Summer has arrived! And of course, here at NMPL, we're celebrating with a pile of good books! To celebrate all the sunny days and beach trips in our future, the NMPL is sharing what Summer Beach Reads they'll be checking out this month. Check these out yourself, or head to our Reader's Choice Display to find something new!
DIANE RANDALL - DIRECTOR
BEACH MUSIC BY PAT CONROY
An American expatriate in Rome unearths his family legacy in this sweeping novel by the acclaimed author of The Prince of Tides and The Great Santini
A Southerner living abroad, Jack McCall is scarred by tragedy and betrayal. His desperate desire to find peace after his wife’s suicide draws him into a painful, intimate search for the one haunting secret in his family’s past that can heal his anguished heart. Spanning three generations and two continents, from the contemporary ruins of the American South to the ancient ruins of Rome, from the unutterable horrors of the Holocaust to the lingering trauma of Vietnam, Beach Music sings with life’s pain and glory. It is a novel of lyric intensity and searing truth, another masterpiece among Pat Conroy’s legendary and beloved novels.
JEANNA HANN - ADULT DEPARTMENT MANAGER & MARKETTING COORDINATOR
THE SECRET KEEPER BY KATE MORTON
During a summer party at the family farm in the English countryside, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson has escaped to her childhood tree house and is happily dreaming of the future. She spies a stranger coming up the long road to the farm and watches as her mother speaks to him. Before the afternoon is over, Laurel will witness a shocking crime. A crime that challenges everything she knows about her family and especially her mother, Dorothy—her vivacious, loving, nearly perfect mother.
Now, fifty years later, Laurel is a successful and well-regarded actress living in London. The family is gathering at Greenacres farm for Dorothy’s ninetieth birthday. Realizing that this may be her last chance, Laurel searches for answers to the questions that still haunt her from that long-ago day, answers that can only be found in Dorothy’s past.
Dorothy’s story takes the reader from pre–WWII England through the blitz, to the ’60s and beyond. It is the secret history of three strangers from vastly different worlds—Dorothy, Vivien, and Jimmy—who meet by chance in wartime London and whose lives are forever entwined. The Secret Keeper explores longings and dreams and the unexpected consequences they sometimes bring. It is an unforgettable story of lovers and friends, deception and passion that is told—in Morton’s signature style—against a backdrop of events that changed the world
SARAH MORBITZER - CHILDREN'S DEPARTMENT MANAGER
THE BEACHCOMBER'S COMPANION BY ANNA BURGARD
Breezy, inviting, and delightful—just like a day at the beach—The Beachcomber's Companion is a charming illustrated guide to collecting and identifying shells and other coastal treasures. Each of the entries includes fascinating descriptions, fun tidbits, and detailed artwork that makes it easy for readers to identify their own beach discoveries. A handy resource section offers tips on how to prepare before setting out on a shoreline adventure: from the beachcomber's commandments to must-have items for every beachcombing toolkit and advice on preserving shells. Awash with information and gorgeous watercolor illustrations, this is an essential companion for all who love the ocean's shore.
HEIDI LOVETT - PROGRAMMING COORDINATOR
THE MERMAID CHAIR BY SUE MONK KID
Sue Monk Kidd's phenomenal debut, The Secret Life of Bees, became a runaway bestseller that is still on the New York Times bestseller list more than two years after its paperback publication. Now, in her luminous new novel, Kidd has woven a transcendent tale that will thrill her legion of fans. Telling the story of Jessie Sullivan -- a love story between a woman and a monk, a woman and her husband, and ultimately a woman and her own soul -- Kidd charts a journey of awakening and self-discovery illuminated with a brilliance that only a writer of her ability could conjure.
CODY GOBLE - CIRCULATION LIBRARIAN
NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY FIELD GUIDE TO TROPICAL MARINE FISHES
The most comprehensive field guide available to the tropical fishes of the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, Florida, the Bahamas, and Bermuda. All 417 photographs are in full color, capturing the natural beauty of the fishes on coral reefs and other habitats of tropical marine waters. The species photographs are keyed to full text descriptions of more than 400 species, each with its own range map. The text also includes brief coverage of nearly 800 additional species. Detailed endpaper maps, precise black-and-white drawings, and an illustrated family key supplement this authoritative and visually stunning resource.
The National Audubon Society Field Guides group species according to taxonomy and shape. Helpful thumb-tab silhouette keys make identification quick and easy.
BECKY WARMUTH - BOOKKEEPER
THE RUMOR BY ELIN HILDERBRAND
Madeline King and Grace Pancik are best friends and the envy of Nantucket for their perfect marriages, their beautiful kids, their Sunday night double dates with their devoted husbands. But this summer, something's changed, and if there's anything Nantucket likes better than cocktails on the beach at sunset, it's a good rumor.
And rumor has it...
...that Madeline, a novelist, is battling writer's block, with a deadline looming, bills piling up, and blank pages driving her to desperation--and a desperately bad decision;
...that Grace, hard at work to transform her backyard into a garden paradise, has been collaborating a bit more closely than necessary with her ruggedly handsome landscape architect;
...that Grace's husband, successful island real estate developer "Fast Eddie" Pancik, has embarked on quite an unusual side project;
...that the storybook romance between Madeline's son, Brick, and Grace's daughter Allegra is on the rocks, heading for disaster.
As the gossip escalates, and they face the possible loss of the happy lives they've worked so hard to create, Grace and Madeline try mightily to set the record straight--but the truth might be even worse than rumor has it.
DAWN REED - SHIFT LEADER & OUTREACH COORDINATOR
HARRY BY THE SEA BY GENE ZION
A fun classic picture book featuring the beloved Harry the Dirty Dog!
When Harry goes on a visit to the beach, he is mistaken for a sea creature when a big wave covers him with seaweed. Harry also has to hunt for his family beneath all the similar beach umbrellas. Children will relate to Harry's funny misadventures.
This is an irresistible story featuring a classic picture book character, especially perfect for young dog lovers and fans of Harry the Dirty Dog. Harry the Dirty Dog has been recognized by the National Education Association as an all-time top-100 children's book. It has also been welcomed by a new generation at home, as Betty White's 2020 reading of the story on StorylineOnline has been viewed more than 8 million times.
MICHELLE PETERS - CLERK
THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA BY LAUREN WEISBERGER
A delightfully dishy novel about the all-time most impossible boss in the history of impossible bosses.
Andrea Sachs, a small-town girl fresh out of college, lands the job “a million girls would die for.” Hired as the assistant to Miranda Priestly, the high-profile, fabulously successful editor of "Runway "magazine, Andrea finds herself in an office that shouts "Prada! Armani! Versace!" at every turn, a world populated by impossibly thin, heart-wrenchingly stylish women and beautiful men clad in fine-ribbed turtlenecks and tight leather pants that show off their lifelong dedication to the gym. With breathtaking ease, Miranda can turn each and every one of these hip sophisticates into a scared, whimpering child.
THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA gives a rich and hilarious new meaning to complaints about “The Boss from Hell.” Narrated in Andrea’s smart, refreshingly disarming voice, it traces a deep, dark, devilish view of life at the top only hinted at in gossip columns and over Cosmopolitans at the trendiest cocktail parties. From sending the latest, not-yet-in-stores Harry Potter to Miranda’s children in Paris by private jet, to locating an unnamed antique store where Miranda had at some point admired a vintage dresser, to serving lattes to Miranda at precisely the piping hot temperature she prefers, Andrea is sorely tested each and every day—and often late into the night with orders barked over the phone. She puts up with it all by keeping her eyes on the prize: a recommendation from Miranda that will get Andrea a top job at any magazine of her choosing. As things escalate from the merely unacceptable to the downright outrageous, however, Andrea begins to realize that the job a million girls would die for may just kill her. And even if she survives, she has to decide whether or not the job is worth the price of her soul.
ANGIE SINCROFT - CLERK
DISTANT SHORES BY KRISTIN HANNAH
Elizabeth and Jackson Shore married young, raised two daughters, and weathered the storms of youth as they built a family. From a distance, their lives look picture perfect. But after the girls leave home, Jack and Elizabeth quietly drift apart. When Jack accepts a wonderful new job, Elizabeth puts her own needs aside to follow him across the country. Then tragedy turns Elizabeth’s world upside down. In the aftermath, she questions everything about her life—her choices, her marriage, even her long-forgotten dreams. In a daring move that shocks her husband, friends, and daughters, she lets go of the woman she has become—and reaches out for the woman she wants to be.
MOLLY MAGNUS - CLERK
SUMMER SANCTUARY BY LAURIE GRAY
Matthew knows that this summer is going to be the worst ever. His best friend Kyle is gone, his younger brother Mark has surpassed him in size and athletic ability, and his mother is pregnant for the fifth time. The eldest home-schooled son of a preacher, Matthew plans to bury himself in books about the speed of light and Einstein's Theory of Relativity to see if he can prove his own theory about the dilation of time. Instead, he befriends Dinah, a homeless teenager seeking refuge at the library. Although from very different backgrounds, Matthew and Dinah come to realize that they have a great deal in common--their love for music and for cans of olives and potato chips found in a supermarket dumpster that are just past the sell-by date... and maybe even for each other. Matthew struggles with his feelings for his own family as he helps Dinah avoid Child Welfare. And in the process, Dinah helps him discover that even the smallest acts of kindness can make a very big difference.
MEME RILEY - CLERK
SEX & VANITY BY KEVIN KWAN
The iconic author of the bestselling phenomenon Crazy Rich Asians returns with a glittering tale of love and longing as a young woman finds herself torn between two worlds–the WASP establishment of her father’s family and George Zao, a man she is desperately trying to avoid falling in love with.
On her very first morning on the jewel-like island of Capri, Lucie Churchill sets eyes on George Zao and she instantly can’t stand him. She can’t stand it when he gallantly offers to trade hotel rooms with her so that she can have the view of the Tyrrhenian Sea, she can’t stand that he knows more about Curzio Malaparte than she does, and she really can’t stand it when he kisses her in the darkness of the ancient ruins of a Roman villa and they are caught by her snobbish, disapproving cousin, Charlotte. “Your mother is Chinese so it’s no surprise you’d be attracted to someone like him,” Charlotte teases.
Daughter of an American-born-Chinese mother and blue-blooded New York father, Lucie has always sublimated the Asian side of herself in favor of the white side, and she adamantly denies having feelings for George. But several years later, when George unexpectedly appears in East Hampton where Lucie is weekending with her new fiancé, Lucie finds herself drawn to George again. Soon, Lucy is spinning a web of deceit that involves her family, her fiancé, the co-op board of her Fifth Avenue apartment, and ultimately herself as she tries mightily to deny George entry into her world–and her heart.
Moving between summer playgrounds of privilege, peppered with decadent food and extravagant fashion, Sex and Vanity is a truly modern love story, a daring homage to A Room with a View, and a brilliantly funny comedy of manners set between two cultures.
BECKY POWELL - CLERK
A WALK ALONG THE BEACH BY DEBBIE MACOMBER
The Lakey sisters are perfect opposites. After their mother died and their father was lost in grief, Willa had no choice but to raise her sister, Harper, and their brother, Lucas. Then, as an adult, she put her own life on hold to nurse Harper through a terrifying illness. Now that Harper is better and the sisters are living as roommates, Willa has realized her dream of running her own bakery and coffee shop, bringing her special brand of caretaking to the whole Oceanside community.
Harper, on the other hand, is always on the go. Overcoming a terrible illness has given her a new lease on life, and she does not intend to waste it. When Harper announces her plan to summit Mount Rainier, Willa fears she may be pushing herself too far. Harper, for her part, urges Willa to stop worrying and do something outside of her comfort zone—like taking a chance on love with a handsome new customer.
Sean O’Malley is as charming as he is intriguing—a freelance photographer whose assignments take him to the ends of the earth. Soon Willa’s falling for him in a way that is both exciting and terrifying. But life has taught Willa to hedge her bets, and she wonders whether the potential heartache is worth the risk.
Life has more challenges in store for them all. But both sisters will discover that even in the darkest moments, family is everything.
ISABELLE BISHOP - CLERK
THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY BY JENNY HAN
Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer—they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.
NICOLE MCNEILEY - CLERK
WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING BY DELIA OWENS
For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet fishing village. Kya Clark is barefoot and wild; unfit for polite society. So in late 1969, when the popular Chase Andrews is found dead, locals immediately suspect her.
But Kya is not what they say. A born naturalist with just one day of school, she takes life's lessons from the land, learning the real ways of the world from the dishonest signals of fireflies. But while she has the skills to live in solitude forever, the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. Drawn to two young men from town, who are each intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world—until the unthinkable happens.
In Where the Crawdads Sing, Owens juxtaposes an exquisite ode to the natural world against a profound coming of age story and haunting mystery. Thought-provoking, wise, and deeply moving, Owens’s debut novel reminds us that we are forever shaped by the child within us, while also subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.
The story asks how isolation influences the behavior of a young woman, who like all of us, has the genetic propensity to belong to a group. The clues to the mystery are brushed into the lush habitat and natural histories of its wild creatures.
JULIE MOBLEY - CUSTODIAN
THE COUNTRY GUESTHOUSE BY ROBYN CARR
A summer rental, a new beginning…
Hannah Russell’s carefully crafted plans for her life have been upended without warning. When her best friend died suddenly, Hannah became guardian to a five-year-old named Noah. With no experience at motherhood, she’s terrified she’s not up to the challenge. She and Noah need time to get to know each other, so she decides to rent a country house with stunning views on a lake in rural Colorado.
When they arrive at the house, they are greeted by the owner, a handsome man who promises to stay out of their way. But his clumsy Great Dane, Romeo, has other ideas and Noah immediately bonds with the lovable dog. As Hannah learns to become a mother, Owen Abrams, who is recovering from his own grief, can’t help but be drawn out of his solitude by his guests.
But life throws more challenges at this unlikely trio and they are tested in ways they never thought possible. All three will discover their strengths and, despite their differences, they will fight to become a family. And the people of Sullivan’s Crossing will rally around them to offer all of the support they need.
The mission of the North Manchester Public Library is to provide materials, programs, and services necessary to meet the recreational and educational needs of the community in an easily-accessible facility, which is a community center of activity and information.