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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Brainy Beach Reads

Posted by Alana T.

Everyone wants to take an entertaining book on vacation, but it doesn't have to be a "fluffy" read.  There are a lot of really good books that you will be proud to show off, whether you're on the beach, in a campground, or maybe just sitting on the porch.  These books are a mix of classics and new titles, but all are guaranteed to entertain AND enrich your mind.

A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking.  Shorter and easier to read than A Brief History of Time, this is a must-read for all science enthusiasts.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.   A novel about a future society where books are burned to prevent new ideas from upsetting the status quo. 

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker.  A different take on the monster theme prevalent in so many books today.  Set in turn of the last century New York, the two main characters, untethered to their pasts and lost, find each other and try to build a new life.

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle.  Sherlock Holmes has become popular on the little screen in recent years, and if you've never read any of the books, this is a great place to start.  Mystery, family secrets, murder, wit, intrigue - this book has them all.

Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami.  John Updike described it as a "real page-turner, as well as an insistently metaphysical mind-bender."  Both true.  A runaway teen, an elderly man and talking cats.  It is really difficult to describe this book - just read it!

Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.  A retelling of a classic Indian epic, this story follows the life of a woman born from fire and married to five brothers.  It has magic, epic battles and quests.  The audio version is fantastic, but the book is great, too.

Six Suspects by Vikas Swarup.  Written by the author of Slumdog Millionaire, this book is a vibrant, fast-paced murder mystery set in very modern India.  Surprise ending.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.  Told by an old soul of a dog this novel plays with the metaphor of cars, life, and love "against the rain".  (Note: this book was recommended by three other staff members.)

The Three Muskateers by Alexandre Dumas.  An easy to read, rollicking adventure tale set in Revolutionary France.

Rebecca by Daphne de Maurier.  Moody and dreamlike, this gothic romance recounts the tale of a very young woman, her much older husband, his dead wife (Rebecca) and one of the creepiest characters in literature, Mrs. Danvers, who remains devoted to Rebecca.

Unbroken by Laura HillenbrandAn amazing, true and inspiring story of a WWII pilot, lost at sea.

The Milagro Beanfield War by John Nichols.  As you read this story of an underdog trying to maintain his way of life, you'll get a glimpse into rural New Mexico with hilarious larger than life characters.

My Life in France by Julia Child.  In her own words, this is the captivating story of Julia Child’s years in France, where she fell in love with French food and found ‘her true calling.'

The Mysteries of Udolfo by Ann Radcliff.  The author raised the Gothic romance to a new level and inspired a long line of imitators. A thick atmosphere of fear, a gripping plot, a castle - what more could you want?

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