Your Beach Book Bag

By So, Jimmy | Newsweek, May 22, 2013 | Go to article overview

Your Beach Book Bag


So, Jimmy, Newsweek


Byline: Jimmy So

Twelve must-reads for your summer vacation.

ITALIAN WAYS

By Tim Parks (June 10)

Anyone who writes about modern Italy sooner or later has to deal with how its people must negotiate looking to the past and the future at the same time. Italy is changing, and the prolific essayist and novelist Tim Parks explores this theme as he travels the country by train, talking to people who see great monuments go by in a blur every day.

TRANSATLANTIC

By Colum McCann (June 4)

McCann's Let the Great World Spin was about a man's singular vision of walking across the sky by connecting one of the Twin Towers to the other with a wire. But that novel made clear that McCann's real mission was to connect the author's own childhood home of Ireland (where the man-on-wire dream was hatched) with his adopted home of New York. In his new book, McCann chronicles actual physical journeys across the Atlantic--the stories of aviators who looked across the ocean and longed to land on the other shore.

THE SILENCE OF ANIMALS

By John Gray (June 4)

What's our place in the universe? This lyrical study, from one of Britain's most eminent and controversial thinkers, builds on Gray's previous cult classic Straw Dogs, which sees humans as animals struggling to be both rational and beastly, and takes us on a tour of literature and philosophy to argue that progress is just another myth we humans tell ourselves.

ELEVEN DAYS

By Lea Carpenter (June 18)

This is not one of the many tie-in books about the Navy SEALS raid against Osama bin Laden, but a novel about the disappearance of a Special Ops soldier. It is a distinct way of telling the story of the decade since 9/11--years that seem increasingly wraithlike.

MO' META BLUES

By Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson and Ben Greenman (June 18)

Between fronting the house band for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, recording vital hip-hop albums with The Roots, going on tour to play in front of packed houses, DJing sets almost every night, and even manning a killer Instagram feed, how does Questlove, the hardest-working man in show business, have time to tell his life story? With the help of Ben Greenman, you might answer, but how does The New Yorker editor, music critic, and prolific novelist find time to do that?

SISTERLAND

By Curtis Sittenfeld (June 25)

What scares us is knowing that disaster will strike some day and not knowing how to prevent it. In yet another work of psychological depth, Sittenfeld introduces us to Violet, a medium who announces that a devastating earthquake is going to hit St. …

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