Summer is officially here, so vacation season is in high gear. People are packing those all-important getaway essentials like suntan lotion, cargo shorts, flip-flops…and a good book or two. There’s nothing quite as relaxing as lounging on a patio or sunning yourself at poolside with an enjoyable read. Last year, the mega-selling “Fifty Shades of Grey” and “Hunger Games” series were gracing the book bags of summer page-flippers. There hasn’t been a print phenomenon to mark 2013 (not yet, anyway), but the newest releases cover a lot of diverse ground, so you’re bound to find something to occupy the downtime. Here’s a short sample of what’s available at booksellers or by e-reader download:
“Inferno” (Dan Brown)—Harvard professor/sleuth Robert Langdon has gotten knee-deep in secret messages and deadly conspiracies at The Louvre (“The Da Vinci Code”), in The Vatican (“Angels and Demons”) and on the streets of D. C. (“The Lost Symbol”). This time out, he’s in Italy where Dante’s epic poem becomes the source of intrigue and mayhem.
“Keep it Pithy” (Bill O’Reilly)–You’d think hosting the top-rated cable news show would be enough to keep Bill O’Reilly busy. Amazingly, he still finds time to write gazillion-sellers like “Killing Lincoln” and “Killing Kennedy.” His latest book offers a “no-spin” take on politics, social issues and other hot topics, all delivered with a take-no-prisoners tone.
“Flight Behavior” (Barbara Kingsolver)–Set on a Tennessee farm, this suspenseful novel puts a wife and mother in unfamiliar territory when miraculous events draw a diverse cast of characters into her quiet, simple world.
“Joyland” (Stephen King)–Longtime fans know there’s more to Stephen King than monsters and psychos. His latest novel is reminiscent of “The Body,” the short story made into the film “Stand by Me.” It’s a coming of age tale about a young man’s summer job at an amusement park in the 1970s. Yes, there’s a murder mystery, but it’s more of a side story in this rich period piece.
“Bad Monkey” (Carl Hiaasen)–Don’t know Carl Hiaasen? You really should. The Florida-based writer creates a Funshine State with sketchy good guys, oddball crooks and plot twists that come straight out of nowhere. His latest crime escapade features all this, plus a demented, troublemaking monkey.
See something you’d like? Then go for it, or maybe find something you’ve been wanting to read but haven’t gotten around to yet. Just remember to pack that charger if you go the e-reader route. And if paper is more your style, please don’t dog-ear those pages. Books have feelings too