Today is the first day of summer, so it is only right that this week’s Hamptons summer reading list is particularly hot! From a love gone wrong to spies battling the Nazis in Paris, a killer thriller to a look at the people and places who made President Barack Obama the man he is today, our friends at Books & Books in Westhampton Beach share another beach bag’s worth of page-turning favorites.
Gone Girl: A Novel by Gillian Flynn
This non-stop psychological thriller will have you thinking twice about how well you know the one you love. It’s a warm summer morning, on Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary, when the beautiful young woman disappears from their Mississippi River mansion. The pressure mounts as the police, media and his wife’s parents get involved and Nick becomes evasive and bitter, but stands by his innocence. Is he really a killer? And what is in the silver gift box hidden in the bedroom closet? You won’t be able to put this one down.
Freshly back from the war in Europe in 1948, Charlie Beale arrives in Brownsburg, a village of a few hundred people nestled in Virginia. He carries two suitcases—one with his possessions, including his prized butcher knives, and the other full of money. After finding work at a butcher shop, he befriends the owner and his family, developing a close relationship with the owner’s son Sam. Told from Sam’s perspective, an old man looking back on the events that surrounded a love gone terribly wrong, he tells of Charlie’s attraction to Sylvan Glass, the wife of Brownsburg’s wealthiest citizen, which turns into an all-consuming need to possess her.
Often hailed as the top spy novelist, Furst brings to life a dark time—Europe in 1938, in the heat of the Nazi war—and the passion of those who fought to stop it. The Hollywood film star Fredric Stahl heads to Paris for a movie production, and the Nazis have their eye on the influential man as a target. However, when they attack Stahl they are not aware that he is actually part of an informal spy service being run out of the American embassy in Paris. The long list of full-of-life characters and beautifully drawn scenes is hard to put down.
Maraniss’s study of Obama brings to light the forces that shaped the first black president and explains his actions and thoughts. A generational biography with fresh insights and information drawn from hundreds of interviews, letters, journals, diaries and other documents, the book begins in the small towns of Kansas and remote villages of western Kenya, following the struggles of our president’s white and black ancestors of the 20th century. The roots lead to the climactic chapters of Obama’s travels from Honolulu to Chicago, through various cities, as he establishes his own identity and prepares for his political future.
An innkeeper looks over the waters of the Ligurian Sea in 1962 to see an apparition—a tall, thin woman approaching him on a boat—who he soon learns is a dying American starlet. In the present day, the elderly Italian shows up on a movie studio’s back lot, searching for the woman he saw years ago. Walter unfolds a deeply human novel, full of ups and downs, spanning 50 years and a dozen lives. This story will constantly surprise you, bringing you up close to a group of flawed yet fascinating people navigating their lives and clinging to their dreams.
Check out these books and more great summer reading picks at Books & Books, 130 Main Street in Westhampton Beach. Call 631-998-3260 or visit online at booksandbookswhb.com.