Sun, sand and a good book: Recommended reads for the beach | Books

Special to the Arizona Daily Star

The first day of summer is technically still a month away, but it sure doesn’t feel like it in Tucson.

Temperatures are already in the 100s. And with school letting out for summer vacation next week, it’s time to get away, which means it’s time to find the “beach reads” table at our favorite bookstore.

Volunteers with the Tucson Festival of Books enjoy beach reads as much as everyone else, and here are some of their recommendations for the summer of ’22:

Book Lovers by Emily Henry. For the third straight summer, Emily Henry has hit the top of the bestseller list. “Beach Reads” was No. 1 in 2020. “People We Meet on Vacation” followed suit last year. This week’s No. 1 is “Book Lovers,” featuring a cut-throat literary agent and a brooding editor. They’re hardly well-matched, yet… – Tricia Clapp

“Malibu Rising” by Taylor Jenkins Reid. If a good beach read must have a beach, Malibu is about as good as it gets. One of last year’s biggest surprises, “Malibu Rising” was released in paperback last week. The centerpiece is the annual beach party thrown by young siblings with a rich family history, both literally and figuratively. ” – Jody Hardy

People are also reading…

“Dating Dr. Dil ” by Nisha Sharma. With a nod to “Taming of the Shrew,” this story features a woman who needs to be engaged to keep her father from selling their family home. Enter the love-cynical TV doctor, who needs to find funding for his own special project. – Jessica Pryde

The Hawk’s Way by Sy Montgomery. This is not your typical beach read, but if you’d like to re-connect with nature this summer… Montgomery is friends with a woman who boards predatory birds. Over time, the author gets to know one of them, and learns how beautifully extraordinary they are. Hawks, she realized, can teach us about life, love and ourselves. – Abby Betancourt

“The Lost Dreamer” by Lizz Huerta. Inspired by ancient Mesoamerica, this first book in a young adult fantasy duology is framed around Indir and Saya, both seers who can see into the future and dream truth, and the new king who wants to bring the dreamers to a permanent end. – Kathy Short

“The Hidden Palace” by Helene Wecker. In this delightful fantasy, two otherworldly creatures – forced to pass as humans – try to make their way into the immigration melting pot of New York City. Chava is a golem, a woman made of clay, and Ahamad is a desert being made of fire, trapped in a man’s body. Having met by accident their lives are now intertwined, their relationship is a delicate balance of human emotions and supernatural impulses. – Helene Woodhams

“Homicide and Halo-Halo” by Mia Manansala. When the head judge at a small-town beauty pageant is found murdered, a former contest winner and her estranged cousin become suspects. They must somehow work together to learn whodunit. – Kim Peters

“Counterfeit” by Kirstin Chen. A straight-laced, by-the-book Chinese-American lawyer lives a perfect life. When it all falls apart, Ava is “saved” by a long-ago friend who now runs an international ring selling counterfeit handbags. “Inventing Anna” fans will love this one, too! It will be released June 7. – Lynn Wiese Sneyd

The Guncle by Steven Rowley. Gay Uncle Patrick, affectionately known as “Gup” by his young niece and nephew, is a struggling actor trying to stay afloat in Palm Springs. When tragedy strikes, he finds himself guardian to a 9- and a 6-year-old. Heart, get ready to be warmed. – Jody Hardy

“Everybody Thought We Were Crazy” by Mark Rozzo. Part history, part biography, “Crazy” takes us back to California of the 1960s. The central characters are Dennis Hopper and Brooke Hayward, but this easy read describes the Sunset Strip, wild weekends in Malibu, pop art, and more. – Abby Betancourt

“By the Book” by Jasmine Guillory. “By the Book” reimagines “Beauty and the Beast” with a story featuring an ambitious woman working in the publishing industry and the reclusive author who won’t send in his manuscript. – Jessica Pryde

The Change by Kirsten Miller. Released last week, this book has already been optioned for television. It features a middle-age woman who now hears voices… and two friends who agree to listen to those voices after they meet an abandoned teenager. – Lynn Wiese Sneyd

“Blood and Silver” by Vali Benson. Self-published by Tucsonan Vali Benson at the outbreak of the pandemic, this young adult novella is set in Tombstone in its “Too Tough to Die” days. It is historical fiction, featuring Tombstone legend China Mary, her daughter, and her daughter’s best friend. A Tombstone brothel is also involved. – Bill Finley


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