2017 Best Picks for Summer Books

2017 Best Picks for Summer Books

It’s beach book time!

Every season is perfect for reading — but there’s something special about having a book peeking out of your beach bag. It’s the very best way to telegraph something about your personality without having to actually engage in conversation. Conversely, it’s an easy point of entry when trying to strike up a dialogue with a stranger.

Here are a few great suggestions to enjoy this summer:


Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, Neil DeGrasse Tyson

I think we all know a few people that could benefit from a quick lesson or two about science, don’t we? The physics world’s rock star, Tyson has crafted a fantastic read that breaks down some of the really hard to grasp questions, like “What is the nature of space and time?” into an easy to understand format, and something you can pick up and put down and come back to when you have another free moment. Great for all ages, and an easy way to sneak some learning in over the summer. Out in bookstores now.


Theft By Finding: Diaries (1977 – 2002), David Sedaris.

Sedaris. It really should be “enough said” right there. One of the best satirists around, I was first introduced to his work in “Me Talk Pretty One Day” and followed it up with “Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls.” It’s the kind of read where you’ll be sitting quiet and content and then snort-laugh out loud. This upcoming book, due out May 30, is the first of two collections from his private diaries. Let the hilarity ensue.


Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, Sen. Al Franken

I’ve been an Al Franken fan since his days on Saturday Night Live. I loved “Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot,” “Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them” and “Why Not Me?” So of course I will read this. I know he is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I believe him to be absolutely genuine and passionate about his work as a senator, and hilarious to boot. Due May 30.


The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, Arundahati Roy

I’m not the best when it comes to diversifying my author set, but it seems I never go wrong with selections from Indian authors (think Rohinton Minstry and Mohsin Hamid). Roy is an accomplished author and Booker Prize winner, and I don’t expect anything less from this, a character study in love and friendship between various denizens of Old Delhi. Due June 6.


Runnin’ with the Devil, Noel Monk and Joe Layden

For all my favorite 80s babies — the rock and roll memoir we’ve been waiting for. Noel Monk was both tour manager and band manager up until 1985 when both he and David Lee Roth left the band. The stories, my god, the stories! Due June 13.


The Reason You’re Alive, Matthew Quick

Probably most recognized for “Silver Linings Playbook,” I actually was a bigger fan of “The Good Luck of Right Now” because it was just plain quirky and sad and hopeful. So I look forward to Quick’s telling of an aging Vietnam vet that discovers he needs to make peace with the past and a Native American soldier, sending him on a journey to meet up with his former compatriot—all while navigating changing relationships within his own family. Due July 4.


Mrs. Fletcher, Tom Perrotta

I love, love, love Tom Perrotta and at this writing, am equally anticipating and dreading the last two episodes of “The Leftovers” on HBO. He is one of the masters of familial and interpersonal dysfunction, with hits like “The Abstinence Teacher,” “Election,” and “Little Children.” I can’t wait to read this look into the world of a 46-year-old divorcee and recent empty nester as she discovers via text that she’s someone’s MILF. All the while, Mrs. Fletcher’s son is trying to figure out college life and quickly discovering it’s not the neverending kegger he thought it was going to be. Good times! Due August 1.

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