Many readers of fiction enjoy it because the stories take them away from their day-to-day lives. When lots of troubling things are happening in the greater world, it’s a comfort to escape to a good book, especially in the summer when there’s more time for reading.
A Stirring in the North Fork by Mark Torres (Mark Torres, 2015). This self-published mystery is set on the North Fork of Long Island, a familiar place for many local readers. Why was a beautiful young Latina, who worked as a maid in a hotel, brutally murdered? Savoy Graves, a curious and out of work lawyer, feels compelled to investigate the 1972 murder when he reads about it in an old newspaper. Savoy digs deep and uncovers corruption with powerful people at a local level, which may lead to solving the crime.
Jonathan Unleashed by Meg Rosoff (Viking, 2016). A funny and touching tale of a young man living and working in New York City who is about to marry the wrong girl for all the wrong reasons. He has an endearing relationship with his two dogs, one a cocker spaniel and the other a shepherd, who literally try to move him in the right direction. This is a sweet, screwball romance that will make readers smile.
The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson (Harper Collins, 2015). A memorable story of psychological suspense that will be enjoyed by readers who liked The Girl on the Train. Ted meets Lily Kintner on the plane from London and after a few martinis reveals he would like to kill his wife. The plot thickens from there, in a book that’s hard to put down and will soon be made into a movie.
The Long, Hot Summer by Kathleen MacMahon (Grand Central Publishing, 2016). The Macantees of Dublin, Ireland are one interesting family. Each chapter in this books is about a member of the clan who are a mix of politicians, media moguls, artists and free spirits. They are a smart bunch of characters with intriguing secrets and the book adds up to a masterful and darkly funny tale.
The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047 by Lionel Shriver (Harper Collins, 2016). The year is 2029 and the U.S. government is calling in its debt. No one can keep their gold and no one can leave the country with more than $100. The Mandibles, a quirky family from Brooklyn and Washington, D.C., have to deal with economic and social repercussions that reveal their true characters. This dystopian story is frightening with the real possibility that an autocrat could destroy the U.S. as we know it.
Cathleen Towey Merenda, The Director of the Westbury Memorial Public Library, is serving on the University Press Committee for the American Library Association in 2016.