N Magazine’s resident bookworm Tim Ehrenberg gives his ultimate summer reading list.
FACING THE MOUNTAIN: A TRUE STORY OF JAPANESE AMERICAN HEROES IN WORLD WAR II by Daniel James Brown
Daniel James Brown’s The Boys in the Boat is a bestselling book in our Nantucket bookstores. Brown is back with Facing the Mountain, which is a true testament to storytelling, history and rising up under unprecedented strain. It may just change the way you think about World War II. It’s the story of the special Japanese American army unit that overcame brutal odds in Europe while their families were incarcerated back home. This project, spearheaded by Tom Ikeda, and described in this book by Brown, was nicknamed Densho, a Japanese term meaning “to leave a legacy for future generations.”
THE PREMONITION by Michael Lewis
I’m the type of reader who loves to read books that tackle what I am currently experiencing for insight and reflection. As we emerge from quarantine and take our masks off, we are all asking ourselves: What just happened? The Premonition by Michael Lewis is a pandemic story, a nonfiction thriller about a group of fascinating real-life people, medical visionaries, who saw what was coming. Lewis is a brilliant writer who offers some much-needed insight.
MALIBU RISING by Taylor Jenkins Reid
I’m obsessed with Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books. She creates these stories with celebrity characters that feel so real you want to Google their movies, songs, lives and dramas. Alas, these are all made-up characters that provide the most perfect “one-sitting” summer beach read. Malibu Rising is set in 1983 Malibu, where four famous siblings throw an epic party to celebrate summer.
MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS by Joshua Henkin
Morningside Heights is a novel that reminds me of why I love books so much. It’s that story that you put down for a little while because you don’t want to say goodbye to the people in its pages, but then immediately pick it back up. Joshua Henkin’s emotional saga is about everything: marriage, parenthood, grief, love, loss and everything in between. Most notably, it’s about how to survive when life turns out differently than you expected.
FALLING by T.J. Newman
You just boarded a flight to New York. There are one hundred and forty-three passengers on board. What you don’t know is that thirty minutes before the flight your pilot’s family was kidnapped. For his family to live, everyone on the plane must die. And so is the premise for 2021’s summer blockbuster beach thriller, Falling by T.J. Newman. Written by a former flight attendant during cross-country red-eye flights, Falling is one of those hypothetical stories that hits the ground running and never lets up until you reach the last page. Don Winslow says, “This is Jaws at 35,000 feet.”
FRIENDS + FICTION FAVORITES
Grab your favorite beach chair and fill your biggest tote bag with these five fabulous reads from the “Friends and Fiction” authors. Mary Kay Andrews’ The Newcomer is just as fun as she is. Patti Callahan’s Surviving Savannah is one of my favorite historical novels. The Summer of Lost and Found by Mary Alice Monroe is a beach read with so much heart. Under the Southern Sky by Kristy Woodson Harvey tackles relationships and newsworthy issues in this charming southern novel. Finally Kristin Harmel is back with another WWII story inspired by actual events, The Forest of Vanishing Stars.
Join me, Tim Talks Books, with these five authors for a fun virtual event on Tuesday, July 20th at 7 p.m. ET as part of Nantucket Book Festival’s 2021 program. I will interview the authors, engage in a fast-paced Q+A game show, and then have each writer pen a quick short story about Nantucket. Register for the event at nantucketbookfestival.org.