Summer sun, sand, saltwater, and a good book: it makes you want to quit your day job and become a beach bum. We asked our staff what they think. Their recommendations have something for everyone— from YA adventures to darkly comic murder mystery.

1. Love Among the Walnuts by Jean Ferris
After his uncle poisons a birthday cake in order to steal the family fortune, Sandy Huntington-Ackerman’s life becomes increasingly complicated. His mother, father, and their pet chicken fall into a poison induced coma. Sandy joins together with family friends in order to survive the uncles antics and to seek revenge. This story of Good vs. Evil exposes a pure, sweet, and honest plot which shrouds an underlying depth to each character.

 

 

 

 

 

2. Before He Finds Her by Micheal Kardos
Everyone in the quiet Jersey Shore town of Silver Bay knows the story: on a Sunday evening in September 1991, Ramsey Miller threw a blowout block party, then murdered his beautiful wife and three-year-old daughter. But everyone is wrong. The daughter got away. Now she is nearly eighteen and tired of living in secrecy. Under the name Melanie Denison, she has spent the last fifteen years in small-town West Virginia as part of the Witness Protection Program. She has never been allowed to travel, go to a school dance, or even have internet at home. Precautions must be taken at every turn, because Ramsey Miller was never caught and might still be looking for his daughter. Yet despite strict house rules, Melanie has entered into a relationship with a young teacher at the local high school and is now ten weeks pregnant. She doesn’t want her child to live in hiding as she has had to. Defying her guardians and taking matters into her own hands, Melanie returns to Silver Bay in hopes of doing what the authorities have failed to do: find her father before he finds her. Weaving in Ramsey’s story in the three days leading up to the brutal crime, Before He Finds Her is a stunning novel about love and faith and fear—and how the most important things can become terribly distorted when we cling to them too fiercely.

3. Whipping Boy: The Forty-Year Search For My Twelve-Year-Old Bully by Allen Kurzweil
Whipping Boy , an investigative memoir, crime procedural, and revenge thriller, chronicles the author’s search for his childhood enemy who has haunted him for over forty years. The nemesis abused Kurzweil during their time at a prestigious English boarding school in the Swiss Alps. Whipping Boy is an anxiety fueled quest for revenge that takes you around the world in order to confront an enemy.

 

 

 

 

4. Brain Maker by David Perlmutter, MD
Debilitating brain disorders are on the rise-from children diagnosed with autism and ADHD to adults developing dementia at younger ages than ever before. But a medical revolution is underway that can solve this problem: Astonishing new research is revealing that the health of your brain is, to an extraordinary degree, dictated by the state of your microbiome – the vast population of organisms that live in your body and outnumber your own cells ten to one. What’s taking place in your intestines today is determining your risk for any number of brain-related conditions. In BRAIN MAKER, Dr. Perlmutter explains the potent interplay between intestinal microbes and the brain, describing how the microbiome develops from birth and evolves based on lifestyle choices, how it can become “sick,” and how nurturing gut health through a few easy strategies can alter your brain’s destiny for the better. With simple dietary recommendations and a highly practical program of six steps to improving gut ecology, BRAIN MAKER opens the door to unprecedented brain health potential.

 

5. And the Good News Is… by Dana Perino
Thoughtful, inspiring, and often surprising, AND THE GOOD NEWS IS . . . traces Dana Perino’s unlikely journey through politics and television. It’s a remarkable American story-made up of equal parts determination and clear-eyed optimism. From facing professional challenges and confronting personal fears to stepping up to a podium for a President, Dana has come to expect the unexpected and has an uncanny ability to find the good news in any tough situation. AND THE GOOD NEWS IS . . . takes us from her Western childhood in Wyoming and Colorado to a chance meeting on an airplane that changes her life entirely. Then, with refreshing honesty and humor, she recounts her frustration with a string of unsatisfying jobs and living circumstances until a key career tip leads her back to Washington, D.C. to work for the Bush Administration. Dana also shares here her best work and life lessons-tips that will help you to get your point across convincingly while allowing your own grace and personality to shine through. As someone who still believes in working together to solve the problems our nation faces, Dana offers clear, practical advice on how to restore civility to our personal and public conversations. The result is a fascinating read that can help anyone become more successful, productive, and joyously content.

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