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Pack some compelling characters and swift plots with your sunscreen and hat.
1. A Man Called Ove, Fredrik Backman – This is a charming book about a grumpy and complex man who complains about everything and feels life is over after his wife passes away. Suddenly, his structured life is disrupted after a family of four move in and ultimately give his life purpose. It is a cleverly written story lacing humor and sadness.
2. Heat & Light, Jennifer Haigh –Bakerton, Pennsylvania, a town once booming with oil and coal money, struggled through recent decades because of abandoned mines. Then, residents are told the land has one more gift to give as it sits on a massive deposit of natural gas. This story of a town divided over fracking is well-presented and entertaining.
3. One Plus One, JoJo Moyes – A story of struggling single mom Jess. A chaotic family life and a math whiz daughter who gets a scholarship into a private school. Cue in Ed, a man who cares about nothing but material wealth, is accused of insider trading and whose home Jess happens to clean. When he offers to drive them to a math competition he steels her heart.
4. The Folded Clock, A Diary, Heidi Julavits – After finding and rereading her childhood diaries, the writer takes us through a two year snapshot into her life seen through her eyes in short vignettes which tell us about memories that have molded her into who she is while she tries to grasp the understanding of what they really mean.
5. Seriously I’m Kidding, Ellen Degeneres – You might get some strange looks from the other beachgoers as you laugh out loud and coast through Ellen Degeneres’ latest book. From any and all topics, Ellen lets readers inside her head, maybe the next best place after the beach.
6. Cruel Shoes, Steve Martin —Another comedic success, this old but good read is still relevant, and funny. Martin’s first book is full of short stories and humorous essays. Even in bare feet, you’ll appreciate the story of a woman in a shoe store, inspiring the title.