Looking for summer reads? Check out the new HITS!
In this excellent, insightful memoir, comedian turned senator Franken recalls his unlikely path to public service. He was raised in a middle-class family in a Minneapolis suburb, tried to launch his comedy career while still an undergraduate at Harvard University, and found success when he landed a gig in 1975 as one of the original script writers on Saturday Night Live. He and his colleagues, some of them fueled by alcohol and drugs, indulged in late-night writing sessions that made the show’s sketches part of the cultural lexicon.
The bestselling author of A Man Called Ove tells a poignant story of a hockey town paralyzed by scandal. Jobs are disappearing and Beartown is slowly dying, so for its citizens, hockey is everything; Beartown is an ice hockey town like many small American communities are football towns. This is the story not just of hockey, but of a 15-year-old named Maya Andersson, whose father, Peter, the general manager of the hockey club, loves hockey, but loves his family more. Seventeen-year-old Kevin Erdahl is the star of Beartown, with a chance to go professional. One night, after a huge win, Maya goes to a raucous party at Kevin’s house and is thrilled at his attention, but things get out of hand, and what takes place changes Beartown forever.
Roberts takes the reader on a journey to western Montana to a family ranch and the story of how one of their own disappeared. Over two decades ago, rebellious Alice Bodine ran away from her Montana home to make her fortune in Hollywood—only to head back three years later. But her return was derailed when she was captured and made prisoner. Now, the Bodine estate is a thriving dude ranch and luxury resort. Bodine Longbow, Alice’s niece, works hard ensuring that the day-to-day operations at the resort run smoothly, even as she comes face-to-face with her childhood crush, Callen Skinner, who has returned to Montana from California. Meanwhile, Alice miraculously escapes her captor with tales of abuse and torture that coincide with the recent murder of two young women. The suspense continues to rise as law enforcement searches for the killer and Alice’s kidnapper.
As the distressed narrator in the title story in Oates’ latest set of unnerving tales notes, the chilling word dismember sounds like remember, which she is loath to do.
The bloody word run, written on the wallpaper, was all it took for Anna Harris to flee the scene of her boss’s brutal murder. Even though she’s reinvented herself as aspiring reporter Irene Glasson and is living on the other side of the country in tiny Burning Cove, CA, she senses she’s in harm’s way and all because of a cryptic notebook in her care. She hopes not to call attention to herself, but then the actress she was in town to interview ends up at the bottom of the pool at the exclusive Burning Cove Hotel. Now Irene and compelling magician-turned-hotel owner Oliver Ward are swept up in a game of mystery and suspense that becomes more complex by the page. Suspicion battles with attraction as our protagonists work to overcome their trust issues and put the puzzle pieces together.
Cussler and Brown deliver another solid entry in the Kurt Austin series. This time out, Austin, head of the special-assignments team of NUMA, the National Underwater and Marine Agency, races against time to locate the wreckage of a remote-controlled experimental high-tech aircraft (it’s actually a combination of airplane and spaceship) that has returned to Earth after three years in orbit. The Nighthawk disappeared during the landing procedure; it was carrying a payload that, if it were to unfreeze, might spark a global catastrophe. The pace is fast, the characters decently well drawn (although action takes priority over characterization), the story just believable enough to keep us from realizing how implausible it really is.
Former lovers Adam Stanley and Eve Landers meet up unexpectedly while vacationing with their spouses on one of Charleston’s beautiful barrier islands, and the two couples end up meeting summer after summer as they share the good times and bad.
After her marriage into a picture-perfect family ends in an ugly divorce, librarian Darcy Cotterill retreats to her late grandmother’s home on Nantucket, settling into a routine as a year-round resident of the popular vacation spot. She rebuilds her life with new friends, a great job, and a boyfriend, but her past comes back to haunt her when her ex-husband unknowingly rents a nearby house for the summer. Their homes are separated by a hedge, allowing Darcy to hear the goings-on in her ex’s yard—including an encounter between his stepdaughter Willow and a local bad boy. Darcy steps in, and she soon finds that she and Willow are kindred spirits. Together with Mimi, an elderly neighbor with a wicked sense of humor, and Susan, the woman next door whose marriage seems to be falling apart, the women spend a memorable summer forgiving the people who have wronged them and celebrating the power of friendship.
For decades, Sedaris has engaged readers with artfully constructed essays of his and his family’s experiences. His diaries have served as source material for those pieces, and this collection of selected diary entries provides new stories, vulgar jokes, and social commentary that have not previously appeared in his writing. While his essays are crafted to present a particular persona and possess a wry tone, reading the same situation in the diaries fills in the edges and makes Sedaris (and his family) more fully rounded people as we see the trajectory of their lives unfold over time.
All of Rev. Jeremiah Dalton’s Camp Horseshoe is in an uproar when two counselors go missing, one after the other. First it’s Elle Brady, the beautiful but melancholy girlfriend of Jeremiah’s son, Lucas. Elle hasn’t been herself the past few weeks. After Elle disappears, another counselor, Monica , soon follows, with story echoing Elle’s. Some 20 years later, the original counselors plan to meet and discuss the night of Monica’s disappearance to get their stories straight, though many of them, like the reader, don’t seem quite clear on what they’re trying to hide. The laboriously manufactured drama yields so little payout that you may feel more manipulated than intrigued.