Memorial Day Weekend in the Hamptons means the unofficial start of summer—and that means it’s time to start on your summer reading list. Looking for some recommendations? Our friends at Books & Books in Westhampton Beach will be back here every week with their picks for the ultimate page-turners, hottest best-sellers and can’t-miss reads for Summer 2012.
Canada by Richard Ford
This summer, some of America’s greatest senior writers are publishing new fiction. We’re especially excited about Canada by Richard Ford, a true masterwork of haunting and spectacular vision. Canada tells the story of young Dell, who loses his family and must make his way in the world on his own. It is a profound novel of boundaries traversed, innocence lost and reconciled, and the mysterious and consoling bonds of family. Told in spare, elegant prose, both resonant and luminous, it is destined to become a classic, and reaffirms Ford as one of our greatest novelists.
In One Person by John Irving
A compelling novel of desire, secrecy, and sexual identity, In One Person is a story of unfulfilled love and an impassioned embrace of our sexual differences. Billy, the bisexual narrator and main character of In One Person, tells the tragicomic story (lasting more than half a century) of his life as a “sexual suspect,” a phrase first used by John Irving in 1978 in his landmark novel of “terminal cases,” The World According to Garp. This is Irving at his most daringly political, sexually transgressive and moving.
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
At Westish College, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for big league until a routine throw goes disastrously off course. In the aftermath of his error, the fates of five people are upended. As the season counts down to its climactic final game, these five are forced to confront their deepest hopes, anxieties, and secrets. Written with boundless intelligence and filled with the tenderness of youth, The Art of Fielding is an expansive, warmhearted novel about ambition and its limits, about family and friendship and love, and about commitment to oneself and to others.
My Cross to Bear by Gregg Allman
As one of the greatest rock icons of all time, Gregg Allman has lived it all and then some. For almost 50 years, he’s been creating some of the most recognizable songs in American rock, but never before has he paused to reflect on the long road he’s traveled. Now, he tells the unflinching story of his life, laying bare the unvarnished truth about his wild ride that has spanned across the years.
The Murder of the Century: The Gilded Age Crime That Scandalized a City and Sparked the Tabloid Wars by Paul Collins
Clues to a horrifying crime are turning up all over New York, but the police are baffled: There are no witnesses, no motives, no suspects. The grisly finds that began on the afternoon of June 26, 1897, plunged detectives headlong into the era’s most baffling murder mystery. What emerged was a sensational love triangle and an even more sensational trial: an unprecedented capital case hinging on circumstantial evidence around a victim whom the police couldn’t identify with certainty, and who the defense claimed wasn’t even dead. The Murder of the Century is a rich evocation of America during the Gilded Age and a colorful re-creation of the tabloid wars that have dominated media to this day.
Check out these Memorial Day reading picks and more at Books & Books, 130 Main Street in Westhampton Beach. Call 631-998-3260 or visit online at booksandbookswhb.com.