by Patrice Riordan McCannby McCann

Summer is almost here! What is in your beach bag? I don’t mean the SPF 100, the beach towels and the sweatshirts. What will you be reading this summer? 

What makes a book a summer read? Think back to the days of no sunscreen, a can of Tab and a transistor radio. There would be a summer blockbuster. Everybody was reading one particular book, and everyone was talking about it! For example, in 1977, it was “The Thorn Birds.”  Ten years later, it was “Presumed Innocent.”  Often, it was something steamy or a mystery that kept everyone guessing!

Here are just a few summer book suggestions that might keep you flipping the pages as you dig your toes in the sand and adjust your visor.

“The Violin Conspiracy” by Brendan Slocumb

Fantastic debut novel about a young man competing in the rarefied classical music world. His priceless violin is stolen from a NYC hotel right before a huge contest. We slowly learn more about Ray and his violin. His family isn’t very interested in his music. His mom wants him to work at Popeye’s. The violin originally belonged to his great great great-grandfather, a freed slave. Who had the biggest reason to steal the violin?? I could not put this brilliant book down. Excellent read! This would be a terrific movie or series!

“The Hotel Nantucket” by Elin Hilderbrand

Elin Hilderbrand knows her beaches and her summers. This Nantucket-based author has written more than 30 books. New York Magazine called her “the queen of the beach read.”  In this book, a British billionaire purchases a crumbling old (and possibly haunted) hotel in Nantucket. We follow along during the renovation and for the first summer. As usual, Elin creates amazing characters. Her attention to detail in describing the decor, the food and the drinks makes me want to live in an Elin novel. I didn’t want it to end. This might even get a second read from me this summer once I have my flip flops on!

“Remarkably Bright Creatures” by Shelby Van Pelt 

If you read one book this summer, READ THIS ONE! Best book of 2022 for me! It’s hard to even put into words how much I loved this debut novel. There’s an aquarium on the Puget Sound. There’s an older woman, Tova, who cleans the halls at night. In this aquarium, there’s also a depressed octopus named Marcellus. He’s a very unique mollusk. Tova carries a deep grief within her as she is recently widowed, and her 18-year-old son disappeared decades ago. There are other unique characters in this small town that we meet as they interact with Tova. It is a poignant book that I really didn’t want to finish. Wonderful read! Highly recommend! Almost a year after reading this book, I still find myself pondering these characters. Can I get a pet octopus now?

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. For more of my suggestions, see The Rockaway Times’ Summer Guide coming out this week!

Happy Reading! 

Rockaway Stuff

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