Cool Summer Reads
The only way to survive summer, is to find some cold water and dive in. You can do that with these books suggested by our staff.
She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb
Dolores Claiborne grew up in a contentious home during the 1950s, when everything was supposed to be perfect. After her mother dies in an accident and being abandoned by her father, Dolores sinks into her own miseries and refuses to let her grandmother into her suffering. Young Dolores grows into a troubled teen who finds consolation in swimming and whale watching. She experiences a calm she has never known before while undergoing water immersion therapy. Her first few daily swims took some coaxing by a patient counselor, but she soon flies past his goals for her and makes a triumphant solo day trip to help a whale beached nearby. Wally Lamb captures both the restless angst of adolescence and the ultimate calm of nature’s steadiness in this lyrical recovery narrative.
On Folly Beach by Karen White
On Folly Beach takes place in two time periods and centers around women who lost love in tragedy, a bottle tree and the relaxed beach town of Folly Beach, South Carolina. In the 1940s, Cat is not keen on the widow’s role World War II forced upon her. But her cousins Maggie and Lulu could never forget the man who made such an impact on their lives. Emmy, in 2009, has lost her husband in the war in Afghanistan and takes a chance on a move to Folly Beach where she takes over the ownership of an old bookshop. Emmy finds clues in old books and a bottle tree that lead her to find love again.
-- Becky Patrick
Tip of the Iceberg by Mark Adams
If you can't go to Alaska this summer to cool off, then read Tip of the Iceberg by Mark Adams, author of the New York Times bestseller Turn Right at Machu Picchu. Adams recounts the 1899 summer voyage into Alaska led by railroad magnate Edward H. Harriman. Travel 3000 miles, through Wrangell, Juneau, Glacier Bay, the Aleutians and the Arctic Circle, and experience breathtaking beauty. Adams is an adventure writer, intricately weaving together travel writing and history. He brings the reader back to the present day, and the challenges posed by climate change.
-- Lisa Gieskes
Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller
Twelve years after Ingrid’s disappearance, Gil almost falls to his death following a woman who resembles his lost wife. His daughter Flora comes home to take care of him and unravel the mystery of her mother’s vanishing. While not a typical “beach read,” the seashore features prominently in Swimming Lessons as the site of Ingrid’s disappearance and the place Flora goes to figure out what happened to her mother. Did Ingrid, a strong swimmer, drown? Was it on purpose? Or did she abandon her family? Pick this title up if you love character-driven novels with a little mystery and a lot of family drama.