Every month, we’re profiling new-ish releases that are getting critical and commercial buzz. For July, we’re celebrating beach reads of all varieties. Even if you can’t make it to a beach to read them. We’re looking at a haunting true crime story, a suspenseful thriller, a clever romance, an intergenerational family mystery, a new cozy mystery, and some literary fiction set in Hawaii.
If you enjoy true crime:
Liza Rodman and Jennifer Jordan’s The Babysitter: My Summers with a Serial Killer (2021)
When we first processed this audiobook earlier this year, I thought it was a novel because the plot summary on the back was so out there. But nope it’s all-too-terrifyingly real. Liza Rodman was a lonely kid growing up on Cape Cod back in the 1960s. Her mother often left her in the care of a coworker, a friendly handyman named Tony. Liza had fond memories of her time with Tony, including visits to his “secret garden.” Only as an adult did she learn that Tony was a notorious serial killer who hid his share of bodies in that garden. . . .
Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Michelle McNamara.
If you like thrillers:
Stephen Hunter’s Basil’s War (2021)*
Witty, charismatic Basil is a British agent who likes to live large, despite WWII raging around him. He’s carried out numerous dangerous missions, but his latest assignment seems innocuous enough . . . until it isn’t. He’s tasked with going to Occupied France and finding a religious manuscript that officially doesn’t exist but could help end the war.
*Ebook also available on Libby.
Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Stephen Hunter.
If you like contemporary romances:
Emily Henry’s Beach Read (2020)**
January writes romance novels for a living, but she’s pretty jaded in the romance department herself. For the summer at the beach, she finds herself neighbors with Augustus, an acclaimed literary fiction novelist who is suffering with writer’s block. They end up challenging each other to write in the other’s genre. As January tries her hand at literary fiction and Augustus gives writing romances a whirl, they maybe end up falling in love.
**Ebook and audiobook also available on Libby.
Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Katherine Center and Jenn McKinlay.
If you enjoy family sagas:
Elizabeth Thompson’s Lost in Paris (2021)
Hannah and Marla are a dysfunctional mother-daughter duo who end up in Paris together, researching their ancestor Ivy’s life in Paris. They end up finding Ivy’s apartment frozen in time, specifically the 1940s, as well as a diary chronicling her adventures with American expats like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway in the 1920s. But why did Ivy hide her life in Paris from her descendants?
Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Abby Jiminez.
If you love cozies:
Amanda Flower’s Farm to Trouble (2021)***
Shiloh moves back home to Michigan to save the family farm. She has big plans of turning it into an organic operation with its own cafe. If you’ve read enough books, you know that this sort of story involves someone falling in love or stumbling across a body, and in poor Shiloh’s case, it’s the latter. Even worse, the dead body belongs to her main investor. First book in a new series.
***Ebook also available on Libby.
Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Sheila Connolly.
If you prefer literary fiction:
Paul Theroux’s Under the Wave at Waimea (2021)
Joe was a legendary surfer back in the day. He’s still a favorite in the surf community–idolized for his past–but that doesn’t provide him much in the way of income. One fateful night, a drunk Joe accidentally kills a man, and though he faces no legal consequences for it, his life spirals rapidly out of control. Complications ensue.
Recommended for those who enjoy the work of Julian Barnes.
What’s your favorite new-ish books? What books are you buzzing about these days? Have you read any of these books? Tell us in the comments! As always, please follow this link to our online library catalog for more information on any of these items or to place them on hold.