Best Summer Books, Fourth of July Edition

As America celebrates its birthday and we head to beaches and barbecues across the East End, our friends at Books & Books in Westhampton Beach give us a few more reasons to celebrate—with another great list of must-read books for a day, or days, spent relaxing in the Hamptons. Whether it’s a look inside the exclusive relationship among American presidents from Truman to Obama, a journey back to a watershed year in music or an explosive story of werewolf love, Fourth of July week is about to get a whole lot more interesting.

talulla risingTalulla Rising by Glen Duncan

The long-awaited sequel to The Last Werewolf. Talulla Demetriou is now grieving for her werewolf lover, Jake, whose death left her alone with the monster inside. She is on the run from the World Organization for the Control of Occult Phenomena, and pregnant with Jake’s child. After a draining birth in a remote Alaska lodge, the windows crash in and the race for her and her child’s life begins. Full of energy and dark humor, this 21st century heroine will certainly set off the fireworks of your imagination.

the night circusThe Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Now in paperback, The Night Circus captures the enchanting allure of the circus world. It arrives without warning, simply a black-and-white striped canvas tent full of breathtaking experiences, open only in the nighttime. Le Cirque des Reves is much more than the spectators can see. Behind the scenes lies a fierce competition—two young magicians trained from childhood will duel—and only one will be left standing. But love gets in the way and sets off a domino effect that will affect not only the performers, but the patrons as well.

Book Review Fire and RainFire and Rain: The Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, CSNY, and the Lost Story of 1970 by David Browne

Now in paperback, Fire and Rain is the story of one pivotal year in the lives and music of these four legendary artists and how their music shaped and reflected the times. Based upon interviews, rare recordings and recently found documents, Browne captures the heart and soul of the music that was set against the backdrop of the historical and political events that changed the world.

america the philosophicalAmerica the Philosophical by Carlin Romano

Ideal reading for the holiday that celebrates our country, Romano argues that America today leads as the most philosophical culture in the history of the world, a marketplace of truth and argument that surpasses even ancient Greece. He refuses the widely held belief that America is an anti-intellectual society and points out that Americans see through phony justifications and seek fresh intellectual enterprises. He also topples Socrates and asserts that Americans should honor him as their intellectual ancestor.

the president's clubThe President’s Club by Nancy Gibbs

This fascinating look at American history and politics since the end of World War II begins with the relationship between Harry S. Truman and Herbert Hoover and takes the reader through to Obama and his “club.” Written by TIME Magazine’s Executive Editor Nancy Gibbs and Washington Bureau Chief Michael Duffy, The President’s Club traces the surprising and complicated story of “the world’s most exclusive fraternity.”

a first rate madnessA First Rate Madness by Nassir Ghaemi

Ghaemi, director of the Mood Disorders Program at Tufts Medical Center, explores a mystery that historians have long puzzled over – the apparent mental instability of great leaders—from Napoleon, to Lincoln, to Churchill, and many others. His study of this connection sets forth a controversial and compelling thesis: the qualities that mark mood disorders also make for the best leadership in times of crisis. First Rate Madness overturns many of our perceptions about greatness and the mind. A perfect read to celebrate history as America celebrates its birthday.

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

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