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5 Must-Read Beach Novels For Your Next Vacation

Author Rebecca Makkai is known for her delightful, whip-smart tales, told with a touch of whimsy. Her latest novel is a witty mystery set at a countryside estate. College professor Zee Devohrs returns to live in her family’s historic home Laurelfield, a former arts colony. Along with her comes her husband, Doug, who’s determined to write a book about a long dead poet who once lived there.

ou think your teenage years were rough? Charmaine Peake is 13 when her father is committed to an asylum for believing himself a prophet. Now she must live with her mother in a cramped trailer and somehow retain her sanity and sense of humor. Biting yet optimistic, this first novel will knock you sideways with its Southern charm and quiet humanity.


One Hundred Years of Solitude

If you've already read this exquisite family saga set in a mythical Latin American town, reread it. If not, prepare to be blown away by the late magical realist's skill and soul.


Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932

Francine Prose'sLovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 evolves around Lou Villars, a cross-dressing lesbian and once-promising athlete who works variously as a nightclub performer, a race car driver, a mechanic, and a Nazi collaborator. What makes this patriotic Frenchwoman turn spy and brutal interrogator for the Gestapo? That's the central question of the novel, and it's taken up by a series of observers, including Lionel, a struggling American ...

Ayelet Waldman, author of Love and Other Impossible Pursuits, returns with a work of fiction that departs from her familiar territory of marriage and motherhood. Love and Treasure is a well-researched tale that unfolds in three intertwining stories set in 1913 Budapest, post–World War II Austria, and present-day Maine.Jack Wiseman is a Jewish American soldier charged with guarding the contents of the Hungarian Gold Train in ...

Let’s get this out of the way: “The Sellout” is a work of a genius, a satirical opus on race in 21st-century America. It takes place mostly in a California ghetto called Dickens, once an agrarian community whose founding charter set forth that it would be free of “Chinamen, Spanish of all shades, dialects, and hats.

In her latest work, Atwood turns her protean talents to an examination of the frailties of the human heart. These exuberantly told tales are a tour de force of wit, style and discernment, blending elements of fantasy and horror: A 60-something woman on an Arctic cruise encounters the man who raped her as a teenager; an ailing narcissistic poet is harassed by the lovers he's mistreated. As one character notes, "Things have a habit of coming full circle: a bad habit."

At the beginning of Veronica Gonzalez Peña's devastating and triumphant novel, a seven-year-old Julia is dragged away from her three bewildered sisters and is soon shipped off to her distant uncle in California. Why exactly Julia is given away remains unclear: Is it to spare her the family's savage existence in the Mexican desert? Or punish her for wanting too much attention? Or just get her out of the way in order to make room for the next-born child? Each question circles back to Julia's…