Warm weather always brings library requests for “beach reads.”
Whether you’re actually heading to the beach, or just to the pool or backyard, summer is a perfect time for engrossing books that can be finished in a weekend or afternoon off. While recent best sellers will usually do for most, I like it when members ask for quick reads that are off the beaten path. Here are a few books I’ve been recommending this summer for adventurous readers.
For thriller and mystery readers, there’s “Rogue Male” by Geoffrey Household. Originally published in 1939, it follows an expert hunter who gets caught stalking with his rifle near the compound of a fictional European dictator. The high tension tale of capture, escape and survival that follows is one you’ll want to finish in one sitting.
For romance fans, I’ve been recommending “Frenchman’s Creek” by Daphne DuMaurier. In the tale, Dona leaves her husband and all the intrigues of Charles II’s court to move into an old family estate in remote Cornwall. All she was looking for was a break, but instead she finds a French pirate living in the house and hiding his ship in a nearby creek. The great Daphne DuMaurier brings depth of character, psychological insight and suspenseful plotting to this swashbuckling historical romance.
Those with a taste for science fiction or fantasy might want to try “The Invention of Morel” by Adolfo Bioy Casares. In this story, a fugitive takes refuge on an abandoned island where the original settlers are rumored to have been killed off by a strange illness. What he finds is much weirder and more fascinating than any disease. Part H.G. Wells and part Lost, it’s a slim page-turner that’s heavy on plot twists and complex ideas, but can easily be finished in a few hours.
When you stop by the library this summer for your beach reads, don’t be afraid to ask the staff for something out of the ordinary. Discovering great books for you is what we do!
Matthew Wenslauskis is a reference librarian at the Thomas Ford Memorial Library