Getaway Tales

Books that put the "beach" in beach read.

 


 

 

The Last Summer of the Camperdowns

By Elizabeth Kelly

 

Once again, the wealthy and dysfunctional Camperdown clan makes its annual pilgrimage to Cape Cod for the sea, sun, and relaxation, but during this particular summer, the family finds itself ensnared in a web of unsavory crimes that foretell its imminent destruction. Mixing malcontents and murder in a raucous cocktail, Elizabeth Kelly delivers a hilarious and astute examination of the lives of the rich and restless.

 


 

Sag Harbor

By Colson Whitehead

 

Whitehead's semi-autobiographical fourth novel chronicles the surreal world of Benji, a teenager in the mid-'80s who happens to be the only African-American in a Manhattan prep school, but who spends his summers in a middle-class, all-black community in the Hamptons. The summer months prove sweet, hilarious, and tantalizingly brief, and Whitehead treats this coming-of-age tale --- in which questions of race and class loom large -- with a light touch and an eye for telling details.

 


 

Maine

By J. Courtney Sullivan

 

Every summer, the Kellehers descend on their Maine beachfront property, won in a barroom bet just after WWII. It's a grand old place where grandchildren dig through forgotten furniture and discover old secrets. But the grownups hope that certain drawers remain shut, as three generations of Kelleher women have something to hide. From J. Courtney Sullivan, who winningly explored female friendship in her previous novel Commencement, comes a sun-drenched tale of family drama.

 


 

Time of Wonder

By Robert McCloskey

 

McCloskey, a two-time Caldecott winner who brought us such beloved children's classics as Make Way for Ducklings and Blueberries for Sal, here captures the beauty of the ocean, foggy mornings, and the freedom of a summer on the coast. Visceral sensations -- of joy as a sailboat clips the waves, of fear when a hurricane strikes -- are rendered in beautiful, color-rich pictures that invite readers of all ages to pause and pore over every enchanting page.

 


 

Jaws

By Peter Benchley

 

If the idea of relaxing by the shore seems a little too ho-hum, then pick up Peter Benchley's first novel, published in 1974 and famously adapted for the big screen by Steven Spielberg. The book spent 40 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, and why not? The author combines the stories of three men's lives with a gripping tale of a summer resort thrown into panic by the arrival of a hungry...well, you've probably heard. Wildly inaccurate when it comes to chondrichthyan behavior, it's the worst PR sharks ever had -- and yet a frightfully fun read.  Staring out at the waves will acquire a whole new frisson.

April 19: "What you see first, after the starting gun's crack, is a column of bobbing runners, thousands of them, surging downhill..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.