Customers have been asking, "What are the Big Beach Books this year?" That's a tough question to answer. To me, Gone Girl was the perfect beach book. But my sister took The Brothers Karamazov to the beach. (I'm convinced that everyone around her thought she was nuts.) So "big beach book" is highly subjective. We're going to do a display of various types of beach books. (One side of the table for people like my sister; one side for people like me.) Meanwhile, here's the rundown on what the publishers are promoting as big summer reads.
Joyland by Stephen King. I don't think this brief book will take up more than a day or two of your vacation, but it has been flying off the shelves. (Partly because it is not being released as an e-book. God bless you, Stephen King!) And word-of-mouth is very good. When Stephen King is good, he is hard to beat.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. Another book that won't take up a lot of room in your suitcase, but it's Neil Gaiman's first adult book since 2005. Need we say more?
The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes. This could be this year's Gone Girl, if people are not put off by the science fiction. Synopsis: Time traveling serial killer. Reviews have been breathless. From Entertainment Weekly: "A grisly crime thriller meets sci-fi action meets historical fiction in a wildly inventive summer page-turner." The only problem with The Shining Girls as "big summer book" is that it is on back-order at all our sources and it was just released yesterday. So you'd better come nab a copy while we have it. This might turn out to be a "big fall book" because no one can get their hands on it this summer.
The Summer Girls by Mary Alice Monroe, The Last Original Wife by Dorothea Benton Frank and A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams are all going for the non-subtle approach -- their covers feature sand and beach umbrellas. For people who want a big beach book that screams BIG BEACH BOOK!
Not so obvious big summer read: The World of the End by Ofir Touche Gafla, which will be released on June 25th. Kirkus says: “A weird and effective blend of adventure/fantasy, whodunit and romance…. Simultaneously heartwarming and heartbreaking, handled with sublime assurance, astonishingly inventive, funny and totally fascinating.” This is the first English translation of the novel, which was originally released in 2004.
If none of the above appeals to you, we also have a very large selection of paperback bestsellers. Remember all those books about which you said, "I'll wait till it comes out in paperback?" They're out in paperback. Here's a list:
The End of the World Book Club by Will Schawalbe
Carry the One by Carol Anshaw
Beautiful Ruins (great beach book) by Jess Walter
The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
The Ballad of Tom Dooley by Sharyn McCrumb
The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
And many more!
Let us know what you're reading this summer, so we can pass along more suggestions. And come see us, so we can find the perfect summer book for you. If you're weird like my sister, you can check out our fantastic literature section. We do have a lot of big fat Russian novels where every third character is named Dimitri.