Sections

Turn the page on the best beach reads

for The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

Summertime is beach time, and for many that means time to catch up on some reading. We asked the borough’s brightest bookworms for their picks of the year’s best beach reads:

The BookMark Shoppe’s Picks:

“Inside Madeleine” by Paula Bomer

Paula Bomer’s new short story collection, “Inside Madeleine,” should come with a warning label: not for the timid or easily shocked. This slim volume packs in extreme quantities of sex, drugs, violence and mental illness. Somehow, though, Bomer’s use of these volatile ingredients never becomes gratuitous. She pushes her characters to the extreme in service of exploring the lives of girls and women who are fighting to claim their own space in the world (as often as not, her character find that the world has other plans for them). The title novella follows Madeleine from overweight pre-teen, to promiscuous high school student, to anorexic, anxiety-ridden adult. It’s a remarkable transformation, not less shocking for the fact that every step of Madeleine’s journey is credibly and compellingly drawn, making the haunting final pages feel both wrenching and inevitable. If you’re looking for an unconventional summer read that is both brutally funny and powerfully emotional, don’t miss this book.

“Herbie’s Game” by Timothy Hallinan

Timothy Hallinan’s hilarious mystery novels about burglar detective Junior Bender are the ultimate summer beach reading — as funny as the best of Carl Hiaasen, but with the kinds of puzzling mysteries and plot surprises of the best of Agatha Christie. Junior Bender is a good-natured, too-smart-for-his-own good burglar who cases the houses of Hollywood’s rich and famous. His criminal underworld contacts hire Junior as a fixer to solve their problems and locate their stolen valuables. Well, actually, Junior is blackmailed into taking on cases more often than he is hired. Each book is full of Hollywood trivia, delightful quips, and burglary secrets. The latest novel, “Herbie’s Game,” which comes out in July, has Junior solving the murder of his own burglar mentor. I love this whole series, but think this fourth book is the best installment yet.

— Bina Valenzano, co-owner, The BookMark Shoppe [8415 Third Ave. between 84th and 85th streets in Bay Ridge, (718) 833–5115, www.bookmarkshoppe.com].

Word’s Picks:

“Lexicon” by Max Barry

This one sits in a particular place between “The Flame Alphabet” and “Snow Crash” — a fun-smart-affecting-thoughtful-absurdly-enjoyable thriller in which language’s power as a weapon and a tool is massively heightened in the hands of “poets” who hone their scary skills in a special school (of course). Barry neatly combines a love story, a globe-trotting adventure, and nifty ideas about identity, love, and the compelling power of the right words.

— Molly Templeton, Word [126 Franklin St. at Milton Street in Greenpoint, (718) 383–0096, www.wordbrooklyn.com].

“The Girl in the Road” by Monica Byrne

This science fiction tale of future Africa and Asia has all the escape you could want — new technology, a murder mystery, two interwoven narratives — plus the cultural commentary inherent in the best of speculative fiction. Byrne’s characters are complicated, a little lost, and well worth rooting for. With a debut like this, you’ll want to keep an eye on her.

— Jenn Northington, Word [126 Franklin St. at Milton Street in Greenpoint, (718) 383–0096, www.wordbrooklyn.com].

Greenlight’s Pick:

“Life Drawing” by Robin Black

There are some secrets we choose to share and there are others we keep hidden. They can tear a couple apart or they can bind a couple together. Then there are those that do both in equal measure. “Life Drawing” is a searing, exquisite portrait of a marriage and a novel devoted to life, love, creativity, passion, and art.

— Emily Russo, Greenlight Bookstore [686 Fulton St. between S. Elliott Place and S. Portland Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 246–0200, www.greenlightbookstore.com].

Updated 3:16 pm, May 28, 2014
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

MetroPlus Roosevelt Savings Bank Coney Island Hospital Brookdale VillageCareMax

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter:

Optional: