For those of us who love a good book, summer does indeed bring a plethora of page-turners. From thought-provoking current events tomes to escapist beach reads, here’s a look at what’s new in print and ebooks.
? America is a country born of ideas and revolution, and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Gordon S. Wood explores the links between modern America and the American Revolution in The Idea of America: Reflections on the Birth of the United States (The Penguin Press). The insightful essays explore the ideological origins of the Revolution and the founders’ attempts at forging an American democracy, and they provide food for thought on whether America has become the country our founders hoped it would be.
? Pet peeves get an in-depth analysis in Annoying: The Science of What Bugs Us (Wiley) by NPR science journalists Joe Palca and Flora Lichtman. If you’ve ever wondered why you cringe at the sound of nails on a chalkboard or why certain kinds of music get under your skin, you’ll appreciate the scientific answers provided in the book.
? AmazonCrossing, which uses customer feedback from Amazon.com to identify international books deserving of a wider audience, is bringing eight books to print and digital formats through the summer. Farewell: The Greatest Spy Story of the Twentieth Century, by Sergei Kostin and Eric Raynaud, was originally published in France and tells the story of Vladimir Ippolitovich Vetrov, code name Farewell, a KGB spy who turned double agent when he went to work for the French counter-insurgency agency DST. The story recounts his life and the complex series of events that led him to murder.
? Need a good beach read? Best-selling author Elin Hilderbrand delivers another sizzling story with Silver Girl (Reagan Arthur Books), the story of a woman who loses just about everything because her husband cheated rich investors out of billions of dollars. Meredith Martin Delinn and her old best friend escape to Nantucket to elude life and learn about friendship and forgiveness. As always, Hilderbrand paints an enticing picture of her hometown of Nantucket.
? In summertime, homes often start to burst at the seams when adult children and their offspring descend for a visit. Such is the case in The Arrivals by Meg Mitchell Moore (Reagan Arthur Books), as empty nesters Ginny and William find themselves hosting their three children, a daughter-in-law, plus grandkids. The story underscores how parents will always be parents, even when their children are all grown up and facing adult-size problems.
? Good news for those who yearned for more as they read the last pages of Shanghai Girls: Lisa See’s new novel Dreams of Joy (Random House) continues the story of sisters Pearl and May and Pearl’s strong-willed daughter, Joy. Once again, See beautifully weaves a tale of family, love, and loyalty.