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SUMMER PAGE-TURNERS: books for the beach

Norman Warwick finds

SUMMER PAGE-TURNERS: books for the beach

recommended by the good readers of Goodreads.

Among several score recommendations by GoodReads as Summer Page-Turners is Where The Crawdad Sings by Delia Owens.

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet fishing village. Kya Clark is barefoot and wild; unfit for polite society. So in late 1969, when the popular Chase Andrews is found dead, locals immediately suspect her.

But Kya is not what they say. A born naturalist with just one day of school, she takes life’s lessons from the land, learning the real ways of the world from the dishonest signals of fireflies. But while she has the skills to live in solitude forever, the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. Drawn to two young men from town, who are each intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world—until the unthinkable happens.

In Where the Crawdads Sing, Owens juxtaposes an exquisite ode to the natural world against a profound coming of age story and haunting mystery. Thought-provoking, wise, and deeply moving, Owens’s debut novel reminds us that we are forever shaped by the child within us, while also subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.

The story asks how isolation influences the behavior of a young woman, who like all of us, has the genetic propensity to belong to a group. The clues to the mystery are brushed into the lush habitat and natural histories of its wild creatures. (less)

photo 2 Delia Owens is the co-author of three internationally bestselling nonfiction books about her life as a wildlife scientist in Africa—Cry of the Kalahari, The Eye of the Elephant, and Secrets of the Savanna. She has won the John Burroughs Award for Nature Writing and has been published in Nature, The African Journal of Ecology, and International Wildlife, among many others. She currently lives in Idaho, where she continues her support for the people and wildlife of Zambia. Where the Crawdads Sing is her first novel.

The bestselling author of A Gentleman in Moscow and Rules of Civility and master of absorbing, sophisticated fiction returns with a stylish and propulsive novel set in 1950s America

In June, 1954, eighteen-year-old Emmett Watson is driven home to Nebraska by the warden of the work farm where he has just served a year for involuntary manslaughter. His mother long gone, his father recently deceased, and the family farm foreclosed upon by the bank, Emmett’s intention is to pick up his eight-year-old brother and head west where they can start their lives anew. But when the warden drives away, Emmett discovers that two friends from the work farm have hidden themselves in the trunk of the warden’s car. Together, they have hatched an altogether different plan for Emmett’s future.

Spanning just ten days and told from multiple points of view, Towles’s third novel will satisfy fans of his multi-layered literary styling while providing them an array of new and richly imagined settings, characters, and themes.

Born and raised in the Boston area, Amor Towles graduated from Yale College and received an MA in English from Stanford University. Having worked as an investment professional in Manhattan for over twenty years, he now devotes himself fulltime to writing. His first novel, Rules of Civility, published in 2011, was a New York Times bestseller in both hardcover and paperback and was ranked by the Wall Street Journal as one of the best books of 2011. The book was optioned by Lionsgate to be made into a feature film and its French translation received the 2012 Prix Fitzgerald. His second novel, A Gentleman in Moscow, published in 2016, was also a New York Times bestseller and was ranked as one of the best books of 2016 by the Chicago Tribune, the Miami Herald, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the St. Louis Dispatch, and NPR. Both novels have been translated into over fifteen languages.

Mr. Towles, who lives in Manhattan with his wife and two children, is an ardent fan of early 20th century painting, 1950’s jazz, 1970’s cop shows, rock & roll on vinyl, obsolete accessories, manifestoes, breakfast pastries, pasta, liquor, snow-days, Tuscany, Provence, Disneyland, Hollywood, the cast of Casablanca, 007, Captain Kirk, Bob Dylan (early, mid, and late phases), the wee hours, card games, cafés, and the cookies made by both of his grandmothers

Four septuagenarians with a few tricks up their sleeves
A female cop with her first big case
A brutal murder
Welcome to…
The Thursday Murder Club
In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet weekly in the Jigsaw Room to discuss unsolved crimes; together they call themselves The Thursday Murder Club. Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves.

When a local developer is found dead with a mysterious photograph left next to the body, the Thursday Murder Club suddenly find themselves in the middle of their first live case. As the bodies begin to pile up, can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer, before it’s too late?

Richard Osman (above right), the author of Thursday Murder Club is perhaps still best known as  an English television presenter, producer, director, and novelist. Within those perimeters he is a much loved co-presnter of Pointless, the teatime quiz on BBC 1, a post he has announced he is about to relinquish. This has led to stories in the press that the producers of the programme might have to replace him with a team of six to match his level of expertise. He has shown himself to be not only a good game show host buty also a good panel show player with appearances on the likes of Have I Got News For You and Would I Lie to You. It will be interesting to see what is next for Richard Osman.

photo 4 Writer Emily St. John Mandel was born and raised on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. She studied contemporary dance at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre and lived briefly in Montreal before relocating to New York.

She is the author of five novels, including The Glass Hotel (spring 2020) and Station Eleven (2014.) Station Eleven was a finalist for a National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award, won the Morning News Tournament of Books, and has been translated into 34 languages. She lives in NYC with her husband and daughter.

The award-winning, best-selling author of Station Eleven and The Glass Hotel returns with a novel of art, time, love, and plague that takes the reader from Vancouver Island in 1912 to a dark colony on the moon three hundred years later, unfurling a story of humanity across centuries and space.

Edwin St. Andrew is eighteen years old when he crosses the Atlantic by steamship, exiled from polite society following an ill-conceived diatribe at a dinner party. He enters the forest, spellbound by the beauty of the Canadian wilderness, and suddenly hears the notes of a violin echoing in an airship terminal–an experience that shocks him to his core.

Two centuries later a famous writer named Olive Llewellyn is on a book tour. She’s traveling all over Earth, but her home is the second moon colony, a place of white stone, spired towers, and artificial beauty. Within the text of Olive’s bestselling pandemic novel lies a strange passage: a man plays his violin for change in the echoing corridor of an airship terminal as the trees of a forest rise around him.

When Gaspery-Jacques Roberts, a detective in the Night City, is hired to investigate an anomaly in the North American wilderness, he uncovers a series of lives upended: The exiled son of an earl driven to madness, a writer trapped far from home as a pandemic ravages Earth, and a childhood friend from the Night City who, like Gaspery himself, has glimpsed the chance to do something extraordinary that will disrupt the timeline of the universe.

The author delivers a virtuoso performance that is as human and tender as it is intellectually playful, Sea of Tranquility  (left) is a novel of time travel and metaphysics that precisely captures the reality of our current moment. odies begin to pile up, can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer, before it’s too late?

Perhaps, though, you are a book lover who might prefer to read about other Book Lovers. Good reads can even offer you book that will enable you to do so.

Emily Henry writes stories about love and family for both teens and adults. She studied creative writing at Hope College and the now-defunct New York Center for Art & Media Studies. Find her on Instagram @EmilyHenryWrites.

Her latest work, (below right) written by a book lover, about book lovers for book lovers (below right)

One summer. Two rivals. A plot twist they didn’t see coming….

Nora Stephens’ life is books—she’s read them all—and she is not that type of heroine. Not the plucky one, not the laid-back dream girl, and especially not the sweetheart. In fact, the only people Nora is a heroine for are her clients, for whom she lands enormous deals as a cutthroat literary agent, and her beloved little sister Libby.

Which is why she agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August when Libby begs her for a sisters’ trip away—with visions of a small-town transformation for Nora, who she’s convinced needs to become the heroine in her own story. But instead of picnics in meadows, or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city. It would be a meet-cute if not for the fact that they’ve met many times and it’s never been cute.

If Nora knows she’s not an ideal heroine, Charlie knows he’s nobody’s hero, but as they are thrown together again and again—in a series of coincidences no editor worth their salt would allow—what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves.

So, there are five books there to have beside you on your beach towel.

On my own towel will be Still Alright, a memoir by American ´country´ musicians, Kenny Loggins and A Likely Lad telling the story of Peter Doherty. I also have a lot of catching up to do on the jazz scene so many of my mates enjoy, so I´m hoping You´ve Got To Hear This, the untold story of Jazz Musicans will help me do so.

Si can the learn the fourth side of the Story of The Monkees I would like to read Love Is Understanding by Peter Tork.

And I will read, and probably leave until last to do so, a book called Naomi Judd, a book that has perhaps been published in haste, talking about the recent death of Naomi Judd, the mother half of my favourite country female duo The Judds. We reported on this in an article called on 25th May in The Judds: A Tragedy Of Our Times, which you can find in our easy to negotiate archives containing more than 650 arts related features.

There´s nearly always a political biography somewhere on my to-read lists and I am looking forward to They Said This Day Would Never Come, recalling the campaign trail of Barrack Obama and written by Chris Liddel-Westerfield,

Peril, written by Bob Woodward (of Watergate fame) and Robert Costa tells of the transition from President Donald J. Trump to President Joseph R. Biden Jr. stands as one of the most dangerous periods in American history. But as # 1 internationally bestselling author Bob Woodward and acclaimed reporter Robert Costa reveal for the first time, it was far more than just a domestic political crisis. Woodward and Costa interviewed more than 200 people at the center of the turmoil, resulting in more than 6,000 pages of transcripts—and a spellbinding and definitive portrait of a nation on the brink.

This classic study of Washington takes readers deep inside the Trump White House, the Biden White House, the 2020 campaign, and the Pentagon and Congress, with vivid, eyewitness accounts of what really happened. Peril is supplemented throughout with never-before-seen material from secret orders, transcripts of confidential calls, diaries, emails, meeting notes and other personal and government records, making for an unparalleled history. It is also the first inside look at Biden’s presidency as he faces the challenges of a lifetime: the continuing deadly pandemic and millions of Americans facing soul-crushing economic pain, all the while navigating a bitter and disabling partisan divide, a world rife with threats, and the hovering, dark shadow of the former president. “We have much to do in this winter of peril,” Biden declared at his inauguration, an event marked by a nerve-wracking security alert and the threat of domestic terrorism. Peril is the extraordinary story of the end of one presidency and the beginning of another, and represents the culmination of Bob Woodward’s news-making trilogy on the Trump presidency, along with Fear and Rage. And it is the beginning of a collaboration with fellow Washington Post reporter Robert Costa that will remind readers of Woodward’s coverage, with Carl Bernstein, of President Richard M. Nixon’s final days.

The ´Woke´ movement, that would erase from history books events its followers feel are shameful, causes consternation for those of who prefer our history left intact so that we can learn from the mistakes made.

Woke Inc. by Vivek Ramaswamy, became an instant new york Times bs-seller . It tells of a  young entrepreneur who makes the case that politics has no place in business, and sets out a new vision for the future of American capitalism. There’s a new invisible force at work in our economic and cultural lives. It affects every advertisement we see and every product we buy, from our morning coffee to a new pair of shoes.  “Stakeholder capitalism” makes rosy promises of a better, more diverse, environmentally-friendly world, but in reality this ideology championed by America’s business and political leaders robs us of our money, our voice, and our identity. 

Vivek Ramaswamy is a traitor to his class. He’s founded multibillion-dollar enterprises, led a biotech company as CEO, he became a hedge fund partner in his 20s, trained as a scientist at Harvard and a lawyer at Yale, and grew up the child of immigrants in a small town in Ohio. Now he takes us behind the scenes into corporate boardrooms and five-star conferences, into Ivy League classrooms and secretive nonprofits, to reveal the defining scam of our century. The modern woke-industrial complex divides us as a people.  By mixing morality with consumerism, America’s elites prey on our innermost insecurities about who we really are. They sell us cheap social causes and skin-deep identities to satisfy our hunger for a cause and our search for meaning, at a moment when we as Americans lack both. This book not only rips back the curtain on the new corporatist agenda, it offers a better way forward. America’s elites may want to sort us into demographic boxes, but we don’t have to stay there. Woke, Inc. begins as a critique of stakeholder capitalism and ends with an exploration of what it means to be an American in 2021—a journey that begins with cynicism and ends with hope. So, this may be a storfy with a happy ending.

I have to have a sporting biography on the beach, too, so Calling The Shots by Sue Barker in a summer when she is making her final presentations for the BBC from Wimbledon will make for bitter sweet reading. One of England´s finest female player has brought intelligent summaries and empathic interviews with losers (Andy Murray) and winners (Andy Murray) from the centre court net.

Rewind to 1971, and Sue Barker’s coach is sending his 15-year-old tennis protégé to a junior championship in France, alone, with a one-way ticket, telling her she’d have to win the money to pay for her return fare. Sue hides in the grounds of the hosting tennis club overnight, to avoid paying for a hotel. The next day, she walks onto court and smashes it. Five years later, and she’s Britain’s No 1.

The same combination of grit, grace and talent took her to the top of live Sports TV. And now, after four decades on camera encouraging other legends to share their stories, she is telling her own.

Going all in for her once-only autobiography, Sue takes us inside the showbizzy world of 70s and early 80s tennis, hitting the headlines. She reveals the battles she fought for hard-won success in two careers, gives us a ringside seat on the nation’s biggest sporting dramas, and a fascinating insider’s understanding of competitors under pressure.

This is the remarkable life story of a tennis champion, an award-winning broadcaster who has brought sporting history into our living rooms for decades, and a trail-blazing woman who has always called the shots.

photo Boleyn Boy is the autobiography from West Ham legend and Premier League veteran Mark Noble, who retired from playing at the end of the last football season. The title refers to the name of the what was the home ground of the Hammers when he first began playing for them.

A local lad come good, Mark Noble joined the West Ham Youth Academy in 2000 and immediately made an impression. Tenacious, aggressive, brave and full of character, he was the perfect embodiment of West Ham’s values and was seen as having a bright future in the Hammers first team. But nobody could have dreamt of Mark’s career at the club: the most appearances in the Premier League for West Ham United and, by the time of his retirement in 2022, the longest-serving one-club player in Europe – his achievements cemented him as one of the club’s modern legends and earned him the nickname ‘Mr West Ham’.

Now for the first time he opens up about his life and career as West Ham’s lynchpin. From growing up a West Ham supporter in Canning Town, East London, to leading West Ham into Europe at the start of the 2021-22 season, and everything in between – this electrifying new autobiography is an irresistible Premier League story and cements Noble as one of the most legendary players to have pulled on the claret and blue shirt.

Of course, I don´t carry all these books down to the beach, really. What I actually do is shove my Kindle in my beach bag with all these titles stored on it as soon as they are available. And if I need some exciting fiction too, I will turn to T M Logan. Having just read The Holiday, a wonderful mystery thriller, I recommended it to my wife, despite the fact that we rarely share the same reading tastes. She loved it, and found another title since written by him, called Change, and I´m expecting this one to be what Goodreads refer to as ´a sizzling, summer page turner´.

Meanwhile, there plenty of other bits and pieces to be on the lookout for.

Andrew Moorhouse, who has previously written fo these pages tells us that:

The next publication has finally arrived.

Metamorphoses is a selection of Michael Longley’s Ovidian poems wonderfully complemented by Sarah Longley’s drawings.

This is my fifth book publication with Michael and Sarah.

As usual the book has been letterpress printed by John Grice at The Evergreen Press and bound, in quarter leather and Dubletta cloth, at The Fine Book Bindery.

Thursday June 23, 7.30pm. POETRY & JAZZ CAFÉ WITH GRACE NICHOLS (right) AND JOHN AGARD. ASSEMBLY ROOM, NORTH STREET, PO19 1LQ. Internationally acclaimed poets Grace Nichols and John Agard, both winners of the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry, team up with star jazzers Julian Stringle and Dominic Ashworth to entertain and inspire. Grace and John will read from their multi-award-winning collections. Enjoy a delightful mix of words and top-class Plus launch of Poetry & All That Jazz magazine. Refreshments – and comp homemade cake! Tickets £15. 

David Duque and Luis Alejandro García, are two young musicians from the Canary Islands with a strong international impact.

Dalek Dúo was born from this interesting, talented, and all-round bond. They combine timple and guitar and bring a new perspective to this format, which is deeply inspired and focused on chamber music. Their work has brought them to show their art in many venues of the Canary Islands and the Iberian Peninsula. Their efforts will soon cross borders and will be portrayed, firstly, in their first album as a duo, which will be released during the current year 2022.

Through the 11 strings of the timple and the guitar, they offer us a music program that goes from Bach to Piazzolla, even including Enrique Granados. This concert visits the musical academicism and adds innovative adaptations and arrangements of popular music from the Canary Islands and Latin America. It is a unique opportunity to listen to popular sounds from a new perspective, once again with the timple and guitar, in the Cueva de los Verdes Auditorium on July 2nd.

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