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This Summer's Sizzling Reads: A Beach Book List for 2012

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By Rachel Derry
Staff Writer LIFamilies

When the sunshine returns, and the beach chairs become permanently planted in the back of my Jeep, only two worries happen to come to mind; do I have any sunscreen left from last year and what books are going to accompany me to keep me entertained. I know: first world problems!

Literature is an important facet of the summer season. Many new authors and returning superstars work their hardest to make sure that the volume in your beach bag has their title on it. This year is no different, and the shelves of your local bookstore (if you can find one) are well stocked with this season's newest gems.

I've compiled a list of the books that have so far caught my attention in my annual search, so far.

Short and sweet sometimes is the best way to go when lounging around the pool or sprawled out on the beach. Tania James' Aerogrammes and Other Stories is a collection of short stories that seems it will fit the bill. This collection of stories is centered on what it means to love: not in the sense of a romantic novella, but rather as a family member, friend, and considerate human being. Its stories contain alarmingly realistic accounts of family dynamics, the uncanny ability to hurt the ones we love, and boundless empathy.

For a read that also touches on many familiar sentiments, but in a very different sentiment, there is always Daniel Smith's Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety. After seeing this title on multiple "recommended reading" lists, it was one that needed a second look (especially hit on a topic that is very near to life). Smith's memoir is a humorous account of his less than humorous, anxiety-ridden, 23-year old self. Shedding light on a much over looked disease: Smith uses his memoir to illuminate the paralyzing panic and pain associated with sever anxiety, and the debilitated fear attached to simple day to day life decisions.

For an easy read that is still packed with excitement, Barry Lyga's I hunt Killers seems to be a book to check out. Although in the young adult genre, Lyga's tale of a teenage boy with an imprisoned serial-killer father isn't a typical light hearted teen read. Needing to use his depraved life experience to help cops catch a new killer: this protagonist, Jazz, seems to be an interesting, poolside companion.

If you're looking to keep your mind sharp over this lazy season, while lulling yourself in a hammock, Dreamland: Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep by David K. Randall reads as though it's the perfect mind-nurturing science book to invest your time in before you doze. With an entertaining writing style, Randall helps you figure out the sometime illusive, sometime overpowering enigma that is sleep.

For a little historical fiction, Hilary Mantel has put out her second book in a trilogy about the political and marital woes of Henry VIII, Bring Up the Bodies. Told through the eyes of his "fixer," Thomas Cromwell, Bring Up the Bodies follows its predecessor, Wolf Hall, through an intimate, wicked, and witty account of Henry VIII's scandalous actions and incidents while in the public eye.

Lastly, for a traditional 'coming-of-age' story with one heck of a earth-changing twist check out Karen Thompson Walker's Age of Miracles. When the main character, Julia (along with her family and the entire world), comes to realize that the earth's rotation has suddenly begun to slow down, she is forced to face the standard trials of teenagedom while also coping with world-altering changes caused by longer days. Walker's Age of Miracles is promised to be a perfect Sci-Fi fix to accompany you in the surf, sand, and sun.

Long Island Home & Lifestyle Articles > This Summer's Sizzling Reads: A Beach Book List for 2012

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