East End Summer Reading: Mystery, Romance, Memoir and More

Brunette reading a book while relaxing in the hammock at the beach
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There’s something special about getting lost in a good book. Whether you’re lounging by the pool or relaxing on a towel on the glimmering, sandy beach, these book recommendations from Southampton Books and Sag Harbor Books will make you laugh, cry, gasp and more.

The Truth According to Blue by Eve Yohalem (Little, Brown)
In this book by a local author, 13-year-old Blue Broen knows that one of the world’s most famous missing treasures is buried in the waters off her home town of Sag Harbor, and this summer, she and her diabetic alert dog, Otis, are determined to find it. But then Blue gets stuck with Jules, the spoiled daughter of a vacationing movie star, and suddenly they’re in a race to find the missing ship before a film crew gets there first. A great summer read for kids 8-12, The Truth According to Blue is a heartfelt adventure about one girl’s search for lost treasure, friendship, and her place in the world.

Devolution by Max Brooks (Random House)
A group of well-to-do city dwellers form a Utopian, upscale forest community in the shadow of Mount Rainier in Washington. A volcanic eruption drives a group of the last Bigfoot creatures out of their deep forest homeland and into the path of the unsuspecting and unprepared community.

28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand (Little, Brown)
If you’re not sure you’ll make it to Nantucket this summer, this is another way to get there. Equal parts breezy and heartbreaking in all the best ways, Elin Hilderbrand’s latest romantic masterpiece explores love over the passage of time, and how it can break through the burdens of career, family and social expectation.

Summer Longing by Jamie Brenner (Little, Brown)
When a woman finds an abandoned baby on the doorstep of her beachside Provincetown cottage, it causes an emotional ripple effect through the women of the town, who must ultimately band together to care for the child. A story of love, reconciliation and redemption wrapped up in a beachy summer package, Summer Longing is designed to get your heart swelling.

Sailing the Seas by Gestalten (Gestalten)
Needing an escape? Let this book be your guide. As you flip through the beautifully photographed pages, you can practically feel ocean spray splashing against your cheek. Full of gorgeous locations, detailed itineraries and captains’ notes, it’s a book for the old salt sailors as well as those of us who just daydream of the sea.

Stray by Stephanie Danler (Random House)
From the author of Sweetbitter, this memoir has plenty of bitter, and quite a lot of beauty and hope as well. Stephanie Danler explores a family history shaded with addiction and abandonment, and ultimately comes out stronger for facing the demons of her past. It’s the ultimate exploration identity—what we take from our family, and what we leave behind.

Lies that Bind by Emily Giffin (Ballantine Books)
One part love story, one part mystery and one part ode to New York City, this breathless novel follows a reporter who has one whirlwind night with a man, and then loses him among the missing of 9/11. In her search to find him she peels back layers of his character that she’s not sure she wants to see. Lies that Bind is romantic and thrilling, and sure to keep you turning pages late into the night.

Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell (Random House)
The latest from David Mitchell, the guy who bent your mind with books like Cloud Atlas and The Bone Clocks, this crazy kaleidoscopic novel follows a British rock band called Utopia Avenue through the highs and lows of fame. Utopia Avenue is filled with beautiful prose and characters trying to hold onto their idealism and fighting for the belief that art might still change the world.

Rockaway by Diane Cardwell (Houghton Mifflin)
Reeling from a failed marriage and a general disconnect from life, Diane Cardwell makes a fateful decision one day to take the A train down to Rockaway. From there, Cardwell learns to surf, and most importantly, learns how to reset her life. Following the ups and downs of this process, including the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, Cardwell proves to all of us that redemption is not easy, but it’s never too late to reach for it.

Summer to Summer by Jennifer Ash Rudick (Vendome Press)
Finally, a book designed to incite jealousy and give us all decorating tips at the same time. Whether you have a home by the sea or just want to be a voyeur, this stylish guide to elite summer homes will leave you drooling over the picturesque landscapes and sumptuous interiors.

Friends and Strangers by J. Courtney Sullivan (Random House)
Friends and Strangers explores the relationship between two very different women: Elisabeth, a new mother and a fierce New Yorker now adrift in a small town, and Sam, a senior at the local college facing down her own existential crossroads. When Elisabeth hires Sam to take care of her baby, a friendship bond forms and complications ensue. A hilarious and insightful look at female friendship, privilege and power dynamics, from one of the wittiest writers in the business.

Get more great picks from Southampton Books and Sag Harbor Books at southamptonsagharborbooks.com.

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