Summertime is upon us, which hopefully means a vacation where you finally get to pick up that book you've been meaning to read for forever is too. Here's a list of book recommendations to add to your stack of beach reads.
1. French Exit by Patrick deWitt
French Exit is a brilliant modern satire about a widow, her adult son, and a cat, which she believes her dead husband has inhabited. The three flee the elite world of New York to Paris, where all kinds of absurdity ensue. Don’t see the movie; read the book.
2. Agent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal by Ben Macintyre
This novel proves that the truth is, in fact, stranger than fiction. Sit down. Apply sunscreen and get comfortable. This is an unbelievable story of espionage during World War II. It is charming and witty and telling as to why Germany did not win the war.
3. Risk of Harm by Lucie Whitehouse
I am a sucker for crime thrillers, and this novel delivers. The protagonist is a homicide detective not afraid to challenge the status quo when a woman is found murdered in a rundown factory. She is determined to find the killer as well as the identity of the victim. Also included: family tension, racism, sexism and single motherhood. (Full disclosure author is a friend of mine, but I still read it in one sitting – no breaks).
4. Less by Andrew Sean Greer
What happens when a white, gay, minor-league author faces turning fifty and attending the wedding of his much younger ex? He travels the world (Paris, Germany, Morocco, and further) searching for some sort of self-reconciliation. The story has been billed as "a coming-of-age story, and the age that's coming is middle age." It's funny, sad, smart and hits a little too close to home.
5. I leave the fifth space open for anything by Amor Towles, Gary Shteyngart and David Sedaris.