by Nicole Tomassi, Marketing & Conference Manager
Last December, I shared on this blog a list of books our staff had read in 2017 that they enjoyed so much, they wanted to recommend them. Well, fast forward several months to what I consider the official start of summer – Memorial Day weekend – and I have a new list of titles to share with you; some so new they haven’t been published yet. This list offers interesting selections, including biographies about people you thought you knew, surefire bestsellers from well-known authors, and riveting memoirs. You’re sure to find a title or two to add to your reading list. Though some might think you’re being lazy whiling the day away with a good book, I believe it’s time very well-spent. Wishing you a happy, fun-filled summer of reading from all of your friends at Westchester!
To learn more about any title below or to order from your favorite local bookstore, simply click on the cover image.
Ruthless River: Love and Survival by Raft on the Amazon’s Relentless Madre de Dios – by Holly FitzGerald
Publisher: Vintage Books
Why I want to read this book: A gripping story of survival in the beautiful but deadly Amazon Basin will have you racing through this book. It’s the true story of a young couple, who grew up in southwestern Connecticut, on a delayed honeymoon through South America in the 1970s. The author’s account of their ordeal is harrowing and exciting, but also ruminates on the way love and faith intertwines with a person’s deep-rooted instinct to survive.
Selected by: Erin Leo, Journals Production Editor
Doctor Who, The Day of the Doctor – by Steven Moffat
Publisher: Penguin Group UK
Why I want to read this book: Growing up in the 80s, Britain’s Doctor Who was a nerd touchstone for young American sci-fi and comic book fans. Nowadays it is constantly airing on TV and streaming, but back then it was rerun on public television in the States, and usually only seasonally so you had to wait for your fix of whatever episodes the local PBS affiliate was able to get their hands on for their annual telethon. To fill in the gaps for fans who only got to see it occasionally – or had missed out on earlier incarnations of the sci-fi hero – there were Target paperback novelizations of classic episodes. I devoured these whenever I could find them in a library or local bookshop. Now, even though you can binge-watch it on Amazon Prime whenever you’d like, Penguin has worked with the shows writers and producers to come up with novelizations of newer episodes, expanding the content a bit with Easter eggs for eager readers. I’m awaiting my copy of The Day of the Doctor, written by the show’s writer, Steven Moffat, and plan on finding my inner 80s nerd again while reading this on the beach this Summer.
Selected by: Tyler M. Carey, Chief Revenue Officer
The Outsider – by Steven King
Publisher: Scribner Book Company
Why I want to read this book: I collect Stephen King books, so it’s no surprise that I’m eagerly awaiting the release of his newest book. This one is about a murder in a small town and an upstanding member of the community as the unexpected perpetrator, at least according to the evidence. I have a feeling nothing in this book will be as it seems.
Selected by: Kim Giambattisto, Senior Production Editor
Look for Me – by Lisa Gardner
Publisher: Dutton Books
Why I want to read this book: Lisa Gardner is one of the only authors I’ve discovered who continues to deliver an unexpected and satisfying ending in every one of her books. I gobbled up her last few novels (Find Her and Right Behind You) so quickly that I’ve been dying to see what she’ll do next!
Selected by: Christina Kinsella, Journals Production Editor
The Art of the Wasted Day – by Patricia Hampl
Why I want to read this book: A picaresque travelogue of leisure written from a lifelong enchantment with solitude. … The real job of being human … is getting lost in thought, something only leisure can provide. The Art of the Wasted Day is a compelling celebration of the purpose and appeal of letting go.
I plan to take this book with me while enjoying a week by the lake in Maine this summer.
Selected by: Debbie Masi, Production Supervisor, Editorial Services
Beauty in the Broken Places: A Memoir of Love, Faith, and Resilience – by Allison Pataki
Publisher: Random House
Why I want to read this book: Five months pregnant and on their way to their “babymoon,” Dr. Dave Levy suffered a rare and life-threatening stroke. This deeply moving memoir is the story of Dave’s miraculous and hard-fought recovery, which is beautifully chronicled in Allison’s letters to her husband. Interspersing their history with the realities of Dave’s day-to-day recovery, the author seamlessly brings the reader into their love story and their journey to bring Dave back and to fall in love all over again. Beauty in the Broken Places reminds us how life can change in an instant and the miracles of second chances.
Selected by: Wendy Muto, Production Manager, Editorial Services
The Death of Mrs. Westaway – by Ruth Ware
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
Why I want to read this book: Everything Ruth Ware has written so far has been intensely captivating and intriguing, and I expect that her newest novel will be no different. In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Lying Game were books I just couldn’t put down. With a movie adaptation in the works, I am excited to see what she comes up with next. The Death of Mrs. Westaway is her fourth novel and is sure to be another addictive one. If you love classic mysteries with modern twists, then I’d definitely recommend picking this up.
Selected by: Christina Kinsella, Journals Production Editor
There But for Fortune: The Life of Phil Ochs – by Michael Schumacher
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Why I want to read this book: I was a teenager when a friend’s father first introduced me to the music of Phil Ochs. His wit and sarcasm was very appealing to my teenage mind. Over the years I’ve developed a deeper appreciation for the lyrics and themes of his songs as I’ve pursued graduate work in American history. I’m looking forward to reading his latest biography in hopes of gaining a new perspective on a person whose radical commentary of the 1960s American political landscape continues to find relevance in my studies.
Selected by: JodieAnne Sclafani, Production Supervisor – Design, Graphics, and Proof
The Tragedy of Benedict Arnold: An American Life – by Joyce Lee Malcolm
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Why I want to read this book: If you live (as I do) in Ridgefield, CT, you come to know Benedict Arnold as the hero of the Battle of Ridgefield, which took place on April 27, 1777, rather than just the infamous traitor he became later. This new book provides a portrait of the man from the early days of his life, in the context of late 18th century America, where you are brought right into the action at some of the most important moments of our country’s history. Without Arnold’s brilliance as a general in the Battle of Saratoga and elsewhere the Revolutionary War could have been lost; this narrative seeks to solve the mystery of why he would later plot to surrender West Point.
Selected by: Susan Baker, Director, Editorial Services
Every Other Weekend – by Zulema Renee Summerfield
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Why I want to read this book: Set in 1988, this debut novel tells the story of Nenny, an eight year old girl who along with her brothers is coming to terms with the reality of her parents’ divorce. Nenny’s an anxious child, and a new living situation which includes her mother’s new husband and his two children only serves to heighten that. Nenny also possesses a very active imagination, which merges the real, the possible, and the improbable in ways that only children can. I’m looking forward to reading this book because like the main character, my family was going through significant changes that made 1988 a transformative year – though for very different reasons – and with the passage of thirty years, it’s become a time I look back upon with amazement.
Selected by: Nicole Tomassi, Marketing and Conference Manager
If you’re looking for more books to put on your summer reading list, consider these resources:
Publishers Weekly – Best Summer Reads 2018
Gates Notes – 5 books worth reading this summer
The New York Times – 17 Refreshing Books to Read This Summer