Nantucket’s beloved bookworm Tim Ehrenberg gives his favorite reads for August.
I have a soft spot for Irish literature ever since I read The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne, and Jess Kidd’s newest novel does not disappoint. Quirky and eccentric characters that seem larger than life, a great plot with a mysterious undertone, and twisted comedy make Mr. Flood’s Last Resort my first recommendation for a hot August day! Also of note, Kidd’s first novel Himself was one of my favorite books of 2016.
If the bright colored cover doesn’t catch your attention, the story inside sure will. At once devastating and funny, hopeless and hopeful, The Great Believers brings to life a cast of men and women who lived through the early AIDS crisis. Two intertwining stories take us through the heartbreak of the eighties and the chaos of the contemporary world, as the characters struggle to find goodness in the midst of disaster. It’s important, moving fiction of a very real time in our history.
I have had a literary crush on author Caroline Kepnes ever since her debut novel YOU graced my bookshelf. I feel the same with her newest, Providence. Think Stranger Things meets your favorite love story, and you’ll get this beautifully written account of a boy who loves a girl, is kidnapped and then returns with an uncontrollable power that endangers anyone he has intense feelings for. It explores the complex relationship between love and identity and is surprising and suspenseful with every sentence.
Whales. We see them on everything around Nantucket from key chains to wooden sculptures to coffee mugs to souvenir t-shirts. But what do we really know about one of the Earth’s most intelligent and largest animals? Pyenson’s research gives us answers in a highly entertaining and informative story to better understand these enigmatic creatures and the scientists who study them. I love books about animals (The Soul of an Octopus and H is for Hawk being two favorites), and Spying on Whales was a great new literary discovery this month.
When life gives you lemons… read this book! A guilty pleasure read here that I don’t feel that guilty about. Remember Miranda Priestly’s first assistant, Emily, from The Devil Wears Prada? Well now she is a hugely successful image consultant who just landed a client of a lifetime. It’s as dishy as a gossip magazine, but with a whole lot of heart, funny dialogue and potato-chip page turning (just one more page!) Make sure a copy of this book is in your beach bag this month.
This may just be one of the most beautifully illustrated books I have ever seen. It’s the story of Finn. Finn lives by the sea and the sea lives by him. Every time he looks out his window it’s a constant reminder of the stories his grandfather told him about the place where the ocean meets the sky. Where whales and jellyfish soar, and birds and castles float. What follows is a magical fairy tale about sailing, books and family that will activate anyone’s imagination with its stunning details.
All books available at Mitchell’s Book Corner or Nantucket Bookworks.