Yes, we know Fifty Shades of Grey is all the rage but for us BA50s, long lazy summer days means digging into other titles that spur our minds, wet our appetites and feed into our sexual fantasies. Here, some options we’ve culled from our Facebook page, as well as from suggestions from friends, publicists, experts (shout out to Chris Schlup at amazon), as well as our favorite book clubs.
Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen. As she did in her New York Times columns Quindlen says for what many of us wish we could have said ourselves. This memoir is about her 50+ decades as life as a mother, wife, daughter, friend and more.
The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan. A novel by a BA50 author — her first – featuring a Titanic-like story about an elegant ocean liner crossing the Atlantic in the summer of 1914, and the choices one woman – Grace and her husband Henry, need to make when the boat suffers a mysterious explosion.
The Red Book by Deborah Copaken Kogan (http://www.amazon.com/The-Book-Deborah-Copaken-Kogan/dp/1401340822/ref=pd_rhf_dp_shvl2) Been referreed to as “The Big Chill meets The Group:” a story about a once-close circle of friends who meet again at their 20th college reunion.
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. You can almost hear the jazz music as the background soundtrack to this wonderful novel, set in New York City in 1938. It’s a story of a watershed year in the life of an uncompromising 25-year- old as she embarks on a journey from a Wall Street secretarial pool through the upper echelons of New York society in search of a brighter future.
Home by Toni Morrison. A bitter Korean War veteran returns to a segregated America and revisits his small Georgia hometown.
Crossing the Borders of Time: A True Story of War, Exile, and Love Reclaimed by Leslie Maitland. Investigative reporter Leslie Maitland grew up enthralled by her mother’s accounts of forbidden romance and harrowing flight from the Nazis. Her book is both a journalist’s vivid depiction of a world at war and a daughter’s pursuit of a haunting question: what had become of the handsome Frenchman whose picture her mother continued to treasure almost fifty years after they parted?
Summerland by Elin Hilderbrand. The emotional fallout from a high school summer bonfire when one student is killed and another is left in a coma. A page turning read about the real truths behind those white picket fences of suburbia as secrets are kept, promises broken, and hearts betrayed
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter. This book is all the buzz on amazon (though not due out till June 12); it spans time – from 1962 to present – as well as various coasts (from Rome, to Hollywood, to Idaho, England and Scotland). The premise: The innkeeper of small hotel in Italy meets a pretty American actress who is said to be dying of stomach cancer. She not only brings a new aspect to his world and new insight to his own problems but Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor appear as supporting actors.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Behind the perfect McMansion lays the claustrophobic world of a failing marriage. The book reads as plucked from the headlines: Beautiful wife disappears; husband doesn’t seem as distraught as he should be under the circumstances.
In One Person by John Irving. A story about a bisexual man who falls in love with an older transgender woman who happens to be the librarian in a Vermont town.
A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron. From the guy that brought the book 8 Simple Rules for Marrying My Daughter, a story about a dog’s life and his many incarnations. Through all these lives, Bailey contemplates his purpose in a voice full of curiosity and humor. If you liked Garth Stein’s The Art of Racing in the Rain – another great book – you will enjoy this.
Beach House Memories by Mary Alice Monroe. The name alone is perfect for summer, right? But the title is misleading as it’s really a story about the strength of women, particularly issues of class, women’s rights, and domestic abuse set in the tumultuous South during the 1970s. Think The Help fast-forwarded.
The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman. One of my personal favorites, centered on the real life events of the early 70s A.D. in ancient Judea when several hundred Jews fled Jerusalem to the desert near the Dead Sea. The novel follows the lives of four women who are broken and hurt, and yes, intertwined.
Secret Regrets: What if You had a Second Chance? by Kevin Hansen. More than 25,000 people have anonymously confessed their biggest regrets; kind of like “Chicken Soup for the Troubled Soul.”
The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain. A fictionalized account (based on real events) of Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley Richardson as the two move into the incredibly exciting and volatile world of Jazz-age Paris.
The Arrivals by Meg Mitchell Moore. An empty nest fills back up with alarming speed in when Ginny and William Owens home is unexpectedly turned upside down.
Bridge Of Scarlet Leaves by Kristina McMorris. A hauntingly beautiful tale about a white woman who secretly elopes with her Japanese-American boyfriend the night before Pearl Harbor is bombed.
Last Summer by Holly Chamberlin. In the heartfelt tradition of Jodi Picoult, Holly Chamberlin, bestselling author of Tuscan Holiday and Summer Friends, weaves a powerful story of the bond between mothers and daughters, the impact of childhood bullying, and the resilience of true friendship.
You Don’t Want to Know by Lisa Jackson. In her newest standalone novel, New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jackson deftly takes readers to the edge of sanity-and back-in a gripping novel where a mother’s worst fear is only the beginning of a terrifying nightmare, and the truth is more
Shameless: How I Ditched the Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure and Somehow Got Home in Time To Cook Dinner by Pamela Madsen. A quirky book about empowerment, pushing limits and big adventure.
The Sweetness of Forgetting by Kristin Harmel. Due out August 7 this multigenerational tale deals with family, the Holocaust, Alzheimer’s and baking, to the backdrops of Cape Cod and Paris.
Sky of Red Poppies by Zohreh Ghahremani’s. A novel about the close, once-in-a-lifetime friendship of two women whose lives take drastically different paths over the course of many decades and across continents as well as that age-old question, “What if I’d done things differently?”
Queen of the Road: The True Tale of 47 States, 22,000 Miles, 200 Shoes, 2 Cats, 1 Poodle, a Husband, and a Bus with a Will of Its Own by Doreen Orion. How can you not love a book that starts with a martini recipe? This fun, inspiring travel memoir is all about a middle-aged couple and an RV. Think “Eat, Pray, Love – without the depression.”
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed. A memoir about an 1,100-mile hike from the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State — alone! — that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe—and built her back up again.