Hamptons Beach Reads: Mayhem, Memoir and a Whole Lotta Money

There’s only one more weekend before Labor Day Weekend descends upon the Hamptons, but summer reading is going strong. Our friends at Books & Books in Westhampton Beach add a moving memoir, a dramatic story of FBI surveillance and new novels from New York Times best-selling authors to beach bag’s worth of great books that has been growing all summer long.


Lionel Asbo: State of England by Martin Amis

A terrifying yet loyal thug, Lionel Asbo has always looked out for his ward and nephew, Desmond Pepperdine. He provides him with fatherly advice – always carry a knife – and is determined they should share the joys of Internet porn and all manner of serious criminality. Des, however, desires nothing more than books to read and a girl to love. Just as Des begins to lead a gentler, healthier life, his uncle, once again in prison, wins 140 million pounds in the lottery. Lionel promptly hires a public relations firm and begins dating a topless model and “poet.” His true nature remains uncompromised while his and Desmond’s problems multiply. Amis has brought us a savagely funny saga in Lionel Asbo, and Books & Books is thrilled to be teaming with Westhampton Free Library on October 6 in welcoming Martin Amis back for a reading and signing.

The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani

Now in paperback, The Shoemaker’s Wife tells the story of Enza and Ciro—young lovers who meet in the Italian Alps at the turn of the last century. Still teenagers, the two are separated by the banishment of Ciro from his village and his deportation to New York, apprenticed to a shoemaker. Enza’s family soon faces a disaster of their own, and she, too, is forced to emigrate to America. Destiny reunites the young lovers but abruptly separates them again, as Ciro is sent to serve in WWI. Left behind once more, Enza is drawn into the world of the opera and the arms of international singing sensation Enrico Caruso. A historical epic of love, Trigiani’s story is inspired by her own family’s history.

Fear Index by Robert Harris

Dr. Alex Hoffman is not one for the public spotlight; however, he is well known amongst the ultra-rich for his revolutionary form of artificial intelligence that predicts movements in the financial markets with uncanny accuracy. His Geneva-based hedge fund is poised to make billions. Until, in the pre-dawn, an intruder breaches his mansion’s elaborate security system and starts a nightmare of paranoia and violence. The plot thickens as Hoffman desperately attempts to discover who is trying to destroy him. With Fear Index, Harris has written a fresh and smart novel.

Winter Journal by Paul Auster

From the bestselling author of The Invention of Solitude comes a personal meditation on the body, time and the nature of language itself. Facing his 63rd winter, Auster has set out to write a history of his body and its sensations. Thirty years after his memoir on fatherhood, he now writes on his mother’s life and death. Winter Journal is a highly intelligent and elegantly unconventional memoir.

One Last Thing Before I Go by Jonathan Tropper

The bestselling author of This Is Where I Leave You is back with a heart-wrenching and humorous tale of a family’s struggle to reconnect. Drew Silver has made mistakes—a fleeting fame as the drummer for a one-hit-wonder rock band, an apartment in a building filled with divorced men (like him), and a career playing in wedding bands. His ex-wife is on the verge of re-marriage to a man Drew hates, his Princeton-bound daughter has just told him she is pregnant, and he has just learned that he is in need of emergency surgery. With all of this upon him, Drew decides to refuse the operation and use his time left to become better and live in the moment. As his family looks on, he juggles the ultimate question: Is his life worth saving?

Subversives: the FBI’s War on Student Radicals, Reagan’s Rise to Power by Seth Rosenfeld

Rosenfeld tracks the FBI’s secret involvement with three iconic figures at Berkeley during the 1960’s: the neophyte Ronald Reagan, the radical Mario Savio, and the liberal Clark Kerr. This is the dramatic story of FBI surveillance, illegal break-ins, infiltration, planted news stories and secret detention lists. In addition, Rosenfeld evokes the life of Berkeley in the early ’60s—the university community, forward-looking idealism, and its rise as a battleground for the struggle between the government and free citizens. The FBI spent over $1 million attempting to block the release of the secret files on which Subversives is based, but Rosenfeld compelled them to release more than 250,000 pages. Part history, part biography and part police procedural, this book reads like a true-crime mystery.

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.


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