Astor Place Vintage by Stephanie Lehmann
Told in alternating perspectives by two women living in New York City 100 years apart—Olive, age 20 in 1907, and Amanda, age 39 in 2007. Feels like historical fiction meets chick lit; seems to have the best of both genres.
Magical realism, women’s fiction, reminiscent of Sarah Addison Allen. Simple, gentle tone. Protagonist has synesthesia. It’s easy to get lost in the enchanted world van Praag has created here.
Main character Esme find a safe haven in a second-hand bookstore. Meyler has a natural, flowing writing style that makes you feel like you’re reading something fun and light, even when things get complicated (or when the characters infuriate you!).
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
Quirky, funny, with bits of history thrown in. Main character is an eccentric 100-year-old vodka-loving world traveler you can’t help but cheer for.
Autobiographical essays from the master storyteller. Witty sarcasm, twisted sense of satire, lots of variety in this book.
Jennifer Criswell acts on her dream and moves to Italy. She has no plans, no job prospects, just her trusty Weimaraner by her side. This is her account of her first year in the country.
If you’ve ever worked retail, you’ll be able to relate to Oliva’s stories of working at his family’s car wash. Can’t help but love his dad’s “the customer is always wrong” approach! Light, fast read that will keep you laughing.
Adventures with the Wife in Space by Neil Perryman
Continuing with the memoir idea but moving on to sci-fi, this suggestion is for fellow Whovians. This is Neil Perryman’s account of watching every one of the (surviving) classic episodes of Doctor Who…with his non-Whovian wife. Does their marriage survive?!
The Last Policeman and Countdown City by Ben H. Winters
These are the first two books in a trilogy (final installment releases next month). Mystery/crime fiction/apocalyptic with a soft sci-fi bent. Asteroid approaching Earth, devastation imminent. These are books you race through because you can’t wait to find out what happens next.
I’m adding this one to the list even though I’m still reading it. So far it’s a crazy fun read and a hoot! Rex and his robot sidekick, Sasha, remind of me of the odd-couple characters Lister and Rimmer in the BBC sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf from the ’80s/’90s.
Do you prefer the beach or the pool? What types of books do you like to read on a relaxing summer day?