Book Bites: Beach Reads and Beyond

We always welcome a healthy dose of joy, especially in the form of bookish distractions (and most especially these days). Our latest roundup of staff picks is brimming with excellent summer reads, from hilarious picture books to enthralling novels. Travel to a beach-front cottage in Nantucket, go on a secret-filled ride with a psychological thriller, or swoon over smart, fun romances. Whether you choose one or all, we wish you, as always, very happy reading.


Ages 4-8

Rescuing Mrs. Birdley  by Aaron Reynolds; illustrated by Emma Reynolds

Miranda watches "Nature Joe Animal Show" every day and considers herself an animal expert.  When Miranda sees her teacher at the grocery store, outside of her natural habitat, the classroom, she takes matters into her own hands and determines she must rescue her teacher by trapping and returning her to her natural habitat. 
— Kimberly

READ for top tips on how to finally keep your teachers in their natural habitat!
PASS if your little scholar just doesn’t enjoy laughing out loud.

Order your copy on our website. 

Ages 8-12

Super Puzzletastic Mysteries  Ed. by Chris Grabenstein

An anthology of short mystery puzzles from twenty different authors, pulled together by Chris Grabenstein. The book is in two sections: the front section has the first half of the story, each one giving you just enough information to try to figure out the answer by yourself. The back half has the conclusion of each story, giving the solution.
— Caroline R.

READ because this book really is puzzletastic.
PASS if you don’t like fun brain exercises.

Order your copy on our website. 

Adult Fiction

Mother Daughter Widow Wife  by Robin Wasserman

A wonderful narrative of selfhood and how memory makes us who we are. The three narrators (Wendy, Alice, Lizzie/Elizabeth) have distinct and believable voices. This is not a novel that ties everything up in a neat box with all loose ends tucked in, as is appropriate to the subject matter. The characters (and readers) are left with nearly as many questions at the end of the novel as they had at the beginning, but there is still a satisfying amount of resolution. I was not surprised to read that this author is a historian of science, and her details of historical psychological treatment of women are blended into the novel seamlessly.
— Caroline R.

READ for an enthralling psychological story full of twists, questions, and insight.
PASS if you’re after something a little less engrossing.

Order your copy on our website.

The Girl from Widow Hills  by Megan Mirada

For fans of psychological thrillers! The girl from Widow Hills is now twenty years older, with a different last name and a long way from her infamous childhood. When Arden was six, she was discovered lost while sleepwalking. After an intense three day search she was found injured but safe in a drainpipe. But the effects of this have never left her. Now a hospital administrator in North Carolina, she has started sleepwalking again. One night, she wakes to find herself standing over a dead body in her yard. Not just any dead body. The body is of the man who rescued her all those years ago. She is being watched but by whom? There are lots of secrets that need to be told.
— Valerie

READ this latest, full of shocking twists, from NYT bestselling author Megan Miranda—her last book was a Reese’s Book Club pick!
PASS if you just can’t stand page-turners.

Order your copy on our website.
Join our virtual event with the author July 8 on Facebook Live!

Party of Two  by Jasmine Guillory

Olivia Monroe has moved home to Los Angeles to start her own law firm. When she meets a gorgeous guy at a hotel bar and has an amazing time, she's stunned to learn that he's Max Powell, the junior senator from California. Olivia has absolutely no interest in dating someone with that high of a profile, but Max is sweet and funny and has chocolate cake delivered to her office - what's a girl to do? Jasmine Guillory combines swoony romance and real world issues to deliver a very satisfying read!
—Cathy

READ because Jasmine Guillory delivers a smart, fun read every. single. time.
PASS if you don’t like love, LA, cake, or presumably happiness??

Order your copy on our website. 

Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

Retired rugby player Zafir and doctoral student Dani work at the same university - he's the security guard for her building. When a safety drill traps Dani in an elevator, Zafir's rescue goes viral and the two decide to fake a relationship to promote the charity he's founded. Soon the line between fake and real begins to blur, forcing Zafir and Dani to confront their true feelings. This steamy romance that candidly discusses mental and emotional health is a welcome addition to any romance fan's TBR pile!
—Cathy

READ to be swept away in this smart, sexy, funny story from bestselling author Talia Hibbert.
PASS if you don’t trust Oprah’s taste in rom-coms.

Order your copy on our website.
Join our virtual event with the author July 11 on Facebook Live!

28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand

Mallory makes the most of life-altering news when she learns that she has inherited her aunt's beach-front cottage on Nantucket. She embraces her new life, a welcome change from her less than comfortable living situation in NYC. During a Labor Day weekend visit by her brother and friends, she starts a long-lasting "same time next year" relationship that forever impacts her and others. You can travel to another place with the characters and setting in this beach read by a favorite author of this genre. 
—Kimberly

READ for a fun, satisfying beach read from one of the genre’s favorite authors!
PASS if you don’t need a long weekend in Nantucket, thanks.

Order your copy on our website.