Summer Beach Books: Baseball, Biking and Beyond

The first Subway Series of the season is almost here, and if you’re having a tough time deciding between the beach than the ballpark, this week’s summer reads recommendations from Books & Books in Westhampton Beach are sure to help. Pinstripe Empire: The New York Yankees from Before the Babe to After the Boss will be a hit with all baseball fans, particularly Bronx Bomber fanatics (and plenty of the N.Y. Mets faithful, too), but between the covers below you’ll also find horseshoe crabs and evolutionary oddities, a Silk Road adventure and a secret-soaked marriage—all of which will keep you turning the pages this week in the Hamptons.

Horseshoe Crabs and Velvet Worms: The Story of the Animals and Plants That Time Has Left Behind by Richard Fortey

A leading natural scientist and acclaimed author, Fortey chronicles the history of life in his newest publication, through the stories of those organisms that have survived unchanged throughout time. He brings to life the oddities of evolution and debunks the myth that it has obliterated all that lays in its tracks. The organisms studied by Fortey span the globe and range from plants to animals that have marked geological time.

Pinstripe Empire: The New York Yankees from Before the Babe to After the Boss by Marty Appel

Appel brings us the first narrative history in nearly 70 years of the most successful franchise in baseball. The Yankees’ PR director during the 1970s, he illuminates the team’s century-plus of glory, highlighting its owner, players and 27 championships. Since the ending of his position with the team, he has remained close to the organization, and gives life to the team’s history, not merely recounting the events but providing colorful stories, folklore and photos. Pinstripe Empire is a true treasure for baseball lovers of all ages.

A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar: A Novel by Suzanne Joinson

Joinson’s debut novel explores what happens when traditions from different parts of our increasingly globalized world crash into each other. Set in 1923, Eva and her sister Lizzie head for the ancient Silk Road city of Kashgar as missionaries, the latter commissioned by a publisher to write A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar. Meanwhile, in London, a young woman named Freida returns from a long trip to find a man sleeping outside her door. She provides him with a blanket and pillow and finds the bedding neatly folded and accompanied by a drawing of a bird, Arabic writing and a boat drawn on her wall. The links between the characters are soon revealed.

The Undertow by Jo Baker

Baker’s American debut offers a work of fiction following four generations of the Hastings family, spanning from World War I to the present day, captured in a series of individual moments. The novel opens in 1914 with William, a young factory worker, spending his last evening at home before leaving for service in the Navy, and follows his son, a champion cyclist, his grandson, who struggles with a debilitating handicap, and finally lands on young Billie, a struggling artist in contemporary London. As time passes, so do choices.

To Be Sung Underwater: A Novel by Tom McNeal

Now available in paperback, McNeal’s epic love story tells of a woman trying to remember and a man who could not forget. The novel’s protagonist, Judith Whitman, experienced a love long ago, one that “picks you up in Akron and sets you down in Rio,” but Willy Blunt was not the type you could transport, and when Judith leaves home, she doesn’t look back. Twenty years later, she finds herself in a marriage seeping with secrets and Willy’s phone number in her hand.

Check out these and more great summer reading picks at Books & Books, 130 Main Street in Westhampton Beach. Call 631-998-3260 or visit online at

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