With Memorial Day approaching, we're all due a day at the shore. And no trip to the beach is complete without the right book. You'll want something not too deep, and with a good amount of escapism - a vacation from your vacation, if you will. And whether adventure, mystery or good old-fashioned family drama is your thing, we've got the book for you.
'Nemesis,' 'The Devil's Star,' 'The Redbreast,' by Jo Nesbo
Forget Stieg Larsson - the "Millennium Trilogy" was so last summer. Jo Nesbo is an exciting voice in Scandinavian crime fiction gaining recent attention stateside. His protagonist, detective Harry Hole (a raging alcoholic), is a complicated man to root for, but Nesbo's smart execution will keep you engaged.
'The House on Salt Hay Road,' by Carin Clevidence
Sure, you can visit Long Island anytime, but Long Island in the 1930s is another story. When a fireworks factory explodes in a small coastal town, it sets off sparks in the titular house on Salt Hay Road, exposing family secrets and emotional rifts in this deliciously soapy tale.
'Dreams of Joy,' by Lisa See
See returns to her beloved characters Pearl and May of "Shanghai Girls" to tell the story of Pearl's rebellious daughter Joy. It's 1957 and the 19-year-old Joy has run away from the family home in Shanghai to find her birth father. See's compelling drama, set against a richly drawn portrait of Communist China, is a transporting read.
'The Curfew,' by Jesse Ball
Jesse Ball once again manages to deliver a devastating blow with a deceptively small package. In his third novel, father and daughter William and Molly live as happy a life as they can under a shady, authoritarian regime. The horrors are only hinted at in Ball's poetic and economic style, but the love among family shines through it all.
'Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children,' by Ransom Riggs
This Quirk Books offering mixes fiction and photography as Young Jacob embarks on a quest to answer questions left by his grandfather's possibly supernatural death. His journey takes him to an abandoned orphanage, where the mystery deepens. It's a YA thriller, but fascinating for all ages.
'A Dance With Dragons,' by George R.R. Martin
Starting with "A Game of Thrones," Martin has brought a vivid fantasy world to life with his epic "A Song of Fire and Ice" series. The fifth in the series steps up the political intrigue and is as densely rich as the books that came before it. And if you haven't already been reading along, you can play a summer-long game of catch-up.