Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Picking the Perfect Read for the Beach or the Back Yard

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Picking the Perfect Read for the Beach or the Back Yard

Article excerpt

For many, that perfect paperback is as vital a part of the season as a hammock, grill and cold drink. Readers often want a special type of tome for this time of year.

"A summer read is something you can lay in the back yard and escape with," says Bill Skees, owner of Well Read in Hawthorne. "You can forget about the heat, forget about the humidity, forget that your vacation is being rained on."

It's an unfair stereotype that "summer read" has become synonymous with trashy novels. While some definitely do reach for those on their way to the beach, others want more.

"A lot of these reads are very well-written and very entertaining," says Skees. "[Customers] are looking for something for the beach, light and easy, that they can pick up and put down without worrying about having to go back to figure out what happened"

When shopping for the best book for long, lazy summer days or that trip to the Shore, a stop at Barnes and Noble reveals a "Summer Reads" table full of paperbacks from authors named Steinbeck, Melville, Salinger and Bronte, among others. Sign into Amazon and see some ideas based on past purchases. But it's the rare, remaining independent bookstore that can offer a staff member with an informed opinion on many possibilities and customize recommendations to a reader.

"You have to zone in on each individual, what do they want, what do they like reading, what captures their interest," says Books and Greetings' Michelle Gerfh.

We asked for recommendations from our local, independent bookstores -- Well Read, Books and Greetings in Northvale, Womrath's in Tenafly and Bookends in Ridgewood -- whose staffs would be happy to talk to anyone who stops by about what book might make their summer more memorable.

Email: yoriok@northjersey.com

Sidebar:

RECOMMENDED SUMMER READS

Recommendations from our local independent bookstores:

Well Read, Hawthorne

* "A Greyhound of a Girl" by Roddy Doyle

Summary: Twelve-year-old Mary O'Hara of Dublin goes on a road trip with her mom, dying grandmother and the ghost of her great- grandmother to help her grandmother say goodbye.

Staff comment: Like Patricia MacLachlan's "Edward's Eyes", "A Greyhound of a Girl" will stick with you long after you turn the last page and dab that last tear.

* "Coast Road" by Barbara Delinski

Summary: Workaholic Jack McGill learns about his teenage daughters and ex-wife Rachel and sees his life in a new way when he stays by the side of his injured ex-wife six years after he left her.

Staff comment: The book is light and easy but does challenge you personally to look at your own relationships and the secrets that might lie in the people that you know and are closest to.

* "The Art of Fielding" by Chad Harbach

Summary: One bad throw in a college baseball game changes the fates of five people, who will confront their issues as the season continues toward a climatic final game. …

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