As the weather warms that list of summer reading keeps piling up, a tantalizing tower of intriguing stories, ready to transport you to new lands. Here are some paperbacks we recommend packing for your next trip to the beach!
Circling the Sun. In this work of historical fiction, Paula McLain, bestselling author of The Paris Wife (FRN981), reimagines 1920s Kenya and the extraordinary life of record-setting aviatrix Beryl Markham. Abandoned by her mother and raised on a failing farm among the native Kipsigis tribe, Markham eventually enters the bohemian Happy Valley set and becomes entangled in a love triangle with safari hunter Denys Finch Hatton and author Karen Blixen. Markham's passion and fate, however, would converge in the golden-age world of aviation.
Skyfaring. In the tradition of the great literary pilots like Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Mark Vanhoenacker provides a meditation on modern-day flight. A commercial airline pilot, he speaks from the cockpit to the questions of the everyday traveler. His thoughtful reflections on everything from jet lag to place names on flight charts renew the mystery and adventure of flight in an age in which air travel has become commonplace transportation.
In Montemartre. A cultural portrait of early-1900s Montmartre and the bohemians and revolutionaries who transformed the European art world. Roe not only covers the lives of the big names from the era (Picasso, Matisse, Stein, Derain and more), she delves into the life of the cafes and salons, highlights the births of infamous paintings and documents the art movements, from cubism to fauvism.
Picnic in Provence. In her sassy, appetizing memoir, newlywed Elizabeth Bard (Lunch in Paris) moves into a charming old house in the south of France and opens an artisanal ice cream shop to sell flavors like sheep's milk yogurt and fruity olive oil. Bon appetit! Alongside anecdotes from truffle hunting and harvesting saffron, Bard provides delicious recipes and reflects on marriage, motherhood and the joys of French slow-living.
Death in Brittany. In this bestselling mystery, the obstinate, caffeine-fueled Commissaire Georges Dupin (who thrives on good food, wine and fresh air) is exiled from Paris to Pont-Aven, a small village on the Breton coast. Here, in the heat of the tourist season, Monsieur Pierre-Louis Pennec has been found dead. But why? The 91-year-old hotel owner was terminally ill and completely harmless! As Dupin builds a list of suspects, he uncovers a web of secrecy that could shatter the reputation of the quiet coastal village. A good old-fashioned mystery, expertly crafted as a love letter to Brittany.
The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine. Sixteenth in the series, this endearing installment in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series is a case of slander. The new client: a young woman whose father is a hero in Botswana but whose reputation is now being called into question. Detective Precious Ramotswe, however, is away on vacation and the matter lies in the hands of her capable (but inexperienced) assistant detective Grace Makutsi.