The final weekend in July is almost upon us in the Hamptons, and your summer reading list is about to get a whole lot hotter. From heading out on a boat with Hemingway to heading into the kitchen with Marcus Samuelsson, here’s this week’s can’t-miss beach read recommendations from Books & Books in Westhampton Beach.
Every Saturday afternoon, a young boy who loves to cook walks to his grandmother’s and helps her prepare a roast chicken for dinner. The grandmother is a Swedish retired domestic and the boy is an adopted Ethiopian. That boy will grow up to become world-renowned chef Marcus Samuelsson and this is his story. Yes, Chef chronicles Samuelsson’s journey from Helga’s kitchen to the most demanding, cutthroat restaurants in Switzerland and France, from stints on cruise ships to New York City, where his ambition culminates at Aquavit and he earns the coveted New York Times three-star rating at the age of 24. This is just the beginning, though, as he opens the Red Rooster in Harlem and fulfills his dream of creating a multiracial dining room. This is a tale of personal discovery, the price of ambition and the playful pursuit of flavors.
It’s the spring of 1939, the U.S. has no intelligence service, war looms in Europe, and President Roosevelt, on the verge of an unprecedented third term, needs someone trustworthy to investigate the Nazi’s plans. He chooses the young John F. Kennedy, son of Roosevelt’s ambassador to Britain, traveling through Europe for his Harvard senior thesis. The president’s goal is to stop the flow of German money into the U.S. to buy the 1940 election, which Hitler wants Roosevelt to lose. A mosaic of fact and fiction, Jack 1939 is a gripping tale of espionage that explores what could have been if the young Jack Kennedy had been let loose in Europe on the verge of the world war.
The fourth novel of the Dublin murder squad by New York Times bestselling author Tana French contains her signature blend of police procedural and psychological thriller. Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy, the brash cop from Faithful Place, is the Murder Squad’s top detective with the biggest case of the year in his hands. Patrick Spain and his two young children are dead; his wife Jenny is in intensive care. Initially it seems like an easy solve but there are many details that can’t be explained. Broken Harbor also holds memories for Scorcher and the news sends his sister off the rails again, resurrecting a past he thought he had tightly under control. Broken Harbor is a full-throttle rollercoaster of heinous crime.
The bestselling author of Zeitoun is back with a richly layered, powerful evocation of our contemporary moment—a moving story of how we got where we are. In a rising Saudi Arabian city, far from recession-scarred America, a struggling businessman pursues a last attempt to stave off foreclosure, pay his daughter’s college tuition and finally do something great. This is the story of how one man fights to hold himself and his splintering family together in the face of the global economy’s gale-force winds.
Ranging from 1934 to 1961, from Ernest Hemingway’s pinnacle as the reigning monarch of American letters to his suicide, Hemingway’s Boat traces the exultations and despair around the one constant in his life—his beloved boat Pilar. Drawing from previously unpublished material, including interviews with his sons, Hendrickson shows that for all of Hemingway’s faults, he was capable of remarkable generosity.
The author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe is back with a hilarious, heartbreaking, and utterly original collection of short stories. A big-box-store employee is confronted by a zombie on the graveyard shift, a fighter leads a band of virtual warriors across a computer-generated landscape, and a company outsources grief for profit with the slogan “Don’t feel like having a bad day? Let someone else have it for you.” Yu draws from both pop culture and science with stories of insight and laugh-out-loud humor.
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.