When the weather gets chilly, there’s something so appealing about getting cozy in bed or by the fireplace and delving into a good book. As with streaming, however, feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of interesting titles out there can make choosing your next time sink a bit more of a challenge. If that’s where you’re stuck, then take a look with us at East End bookstores’ top nine recent bestsellers and learn what books your neighbors are itching to read.
The Lost Boys of Montauk
Amanda M. Fairbanks, (Gallery Books)
Poring over the bestselling books of the most recent month and year at local bookstores — Burton’s Bookstore, Red Jacket Books, Southampton/Sag Harbor Books and BookHampton — Amanda Fairbanks’ retelling of the 1984 Wind Blown tragedy tops the list of recent smash hits. Released in May 2021, the book explores the story of a commercial fishing boat that set out from Montauk Harbor to never to return, as well as the drastic shift from Montauk’s working-class origins to its current reputation as a wealth-drenched vacation destination. If you haven’t already read this one, now’s the time to see what all the fuss is about.
The People We Meet on Vacation
Emily Henry, (Berkley Books)
Nearly taking the top spot on this list, this spring release has readers eagerly flipping pages to learn if once best friends Poppy and Alex will be able to mend their broken friendship — or maybe even fall in love — during a fateful vacation. The New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read has written another summery hit to invoke the feeling of sun, fun and romance.
The Lincoln Highway
Amor Towles, (Viking Press)
Released in October 2021, this fascinating fiction quickly climbed to the top of The New York Times bestsellers list and to the bronze spot of our East End list. Emmett Watson, an 18-year-old in 1954, has just served 15 months on a juvenile work farm for involuntary manslaughter. With his parents now gone, he intends to flee Nebraska with his little brother and start fresh in California. Unfortunately for those plans, after the warden drops Emmett off, he realizes that two of his work farm friends had stowed away in the trunk and intend to lead him on a wild journey to New York City, instead.
The Song of Achilles
Madeline Miller, (Ecco Press)
This new take on classic Greek mythology sticks close to the story of the Iliad with fleshed-out characterizations full of passion, vengeance and an insatiable need for glory. The eponymous Achilles, son of sea goddess Thetis, is a handsome and mighty sight to all he meets — a stark contrast to awkward prince Patroclus, who he finds himself forming an inseparable bond with despite the risk of the gods’ wrath. Joining the battle against Troy, Achilles and Patroclus put their life together on the line, unaware that the Fates will demand a cruel sacrifice.
Montauk Has a Very Hungry Shark
Nina Ross, (East End Press)
Reading isn’t exclusively enjoyable as a solo activity; in fact, those who have a little one at home can attest to how fun and memorable reading to them can be. But you don’t need to get stuck in the rut of reading Green Eggs and Ham or If You Give a Mouse a Cookie a hundred times over. If you and your child are hungry for something fresh, check local waters for Montauk Mike, a friendly shark written and illustrated by Nina Ross who’s always getting himself into exciting adventures. Follow Mike as he searches the East End for the perfect meal.
Montauk Has a Very Lucky Shark
Nina Ross, (East End Press)
Yes, sitting among literary feats of adult fiction and non-fiction, Nina Ross’s beloved shark has earned not one, but two spots in the East End bestsellers list this year. If you’re searching for a new book series in which to entice your young child, Montauk Mike’s adventures are an easy choice. In his third adventure, he quests to identify a small treasure he finds on the sea floor.
Cloud Cuckoo Land
Anthony Doerr, (Scribner Books)
Released at the tail end of September 2021, this book has had many avid readers champing at the bit to read the latest tome by Pulitzer Prize-winning author of All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr. The book weaves together a tapestry of stories — being simultaneously set in 15th century Constantinople, present-day Idaho and on an interstellar ship in the far-flung future. The thread that binds these stories is the heroes at the heart of them, each a child on the cusp of adulthood who finds resilience and hope in a world fraught with peril.
The Midnight Library
Matt Haig, (Viking Press)
Released in 2020, The Midnight Library tells of a library between space and time, life and death, where each book acts as a portal to an alternate reality. Undoing painful breakups, tpursuing your dream job and testing out various leaps of faith are all possible thorough the infinite supply of interdimensional tomes. While exploring this newfound power to undo her greatest regrets, protagonist Nora must discover what she finds truly fulfilling and worth loving for.
Charles Yu, (Pantheon Books)
In this heartfelt fiction that plays off of Asian stereotypes and Hollywood tropes, Charles Yu explores the identity of “generic Asian man” Willis, who works at a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown and dreams of being a kung fu master. Upon stumbling into the spotlight, Willis begins to explore a world that’s more diverse than he’s ever known, and he begins to learn the history of his home, his family and his role in society.