Sneak Preview: Summer 2024

  • May 24, 2024

A baker’s dozen of promising new titles.

Sneak Preview: Summer 2024

Tens of thousands of books are published each month. And as much as we might like to, we can’t read (let alone review) them all. But what we can do is point out a few we think you might enjoy. In that spirit, here’s a rundown of forthcoming titles that caught our eye and ought to catch yours, too.

*****

Dr. Rip’s Essential Beach Book: Everything You Need to Know About Surf, Sand, and Safety by Rob Brander (Columbia University Press). This truly meta beach read by an Australian surf scientist explains how the sand got there, what the tides bring in, why beaches are all different, and what to watch out for (including pointy fins).

I Don’t Want to Go Home: The Oral History of the Stone Pony by Nick Corasaniti (Harper). Whether or not your vacation is spent on or near the Jersey Shore, the remarkable story of an Asbury Park nightclub Bruce Springsteen put on the map half a century ago — and where he’s still known to pop in unannounced — seems sure to entertain.

Environmental Futures: An International Literary Anthology, edited by Caren Irr, et al (Brandeis University Press). What do the coming days look like for Earth, the one and only planet we have? In this wide-ranging collection, writers (familiar and otherwise) from across the globe contemplate the future of our home via short stories, poetry, creative nonfiction, and drama.

Ben & Me: In Search of a Founder’s Formula for a Long and Useful Life by Eric Weiner (Avid Reader Press). If you’re interested in improving yourself this summer, Ben Franklin is a pretty good role model. He was a respected statesman, an inventor, and a philosopher, among other things. In Ben & Me, author Eric Weiner tries as much as possible to be like the guy on the $100 bill.

How the World Ran Out of Everything: Inside the Global Supply Chain by Peter S. Goodman (Mariner Books). The pandemic taught us to make sure we had an ample supply of household essentials on hand, because we can’t assume we’ll be able to find the things we need in stores. But few of us gave much thought to the world’s supply chain until it snapped. This book examines how that happened and what’s needed to keep it from happening again.

Lula Dean’s Little Library of Banned Books: A Novel by Kirsten Miller (William Morrow). Lula is doing her best to make sure nobody in town can read the books she thinks are bad for them (although she’s never read them herself). She fills her tiny outdoor library with titles she deems acceptable — but then someone replaces them with more controversial works disguised with misleading dust jackets. What could go wrong? Or right?

The Folklore of Wales: Ghosts by Delyth Badder and Mark Norman (Calon). You don’t need to speak Welsh to enjoy this assemblage of tales about all things creepy and inexplicable. The authors, noted folklorists and hosts of “The Folklore Podcast,” have brought together here an array of fantastical stories — many translated into English for the first time — and included some helpful historical and cultural context for their origins.

The New Tourist: Waking Up to the Power and Perils of Travel by Paige McClanahan (Scribner). Travel changes people, often for the better; it provides a greater understanding of how other parts of the world work. But it also changes the people who live in popular destinations and whose jobs depend on tourism. Here’s a look at how.

The Last Drop: Solving the World’s Water Crisis by Tim Smedley (Picador). It’s summer: Hydrate! Then consider how we take water for granted even as rivers and lakes are drying out because of climate change. In some areas, water scarcity is already changing the world, but there are some potential solutions to this alarming existential problem.

How the Light Gets In: A Novel by Joyce Maynard (William Morrow). If you’re a boomer, you’ve probably already read Joyce Maynard, whose precocious 1973 debut was Looking Backward: A Chronicle of Growing Up Old in the Sixties. She’s written true crime and YA but recently has focused mostly on adult fiction. This novel explores how a troubled family copes in today’s troubled world.

The Boys of Riverside: A Deaf Football Team and a Quest for Glory by Thomas Fuller (Doubleday). How did a group of teens from the California School for the Deaf go undefeated on the gridiron in the 2021 season? A New York Times reporter was determined to find out. This uplifting, unusually poignant story about sports, camaraderie, and overcoming the odds is the result.

The Haters: A Novel by Robyn Harding (Grand Central Publishing). An online troll, or perhaps more than one, terrorizes a first-time author. First there’s an ugly email, then a scathing anonymous review, and finally, things get personal. The protagonist’s challenge is to discover who’s out to get her, and why.

 

Glory Days: Stories by Simon Rich (Little, Brown and Company). Lots of people subscribe to the New Yorker. Some read the well-researched, long-form articles concerning issues of the day. Many more probably just read the cartoons and the short stories. Simon Rich writes many of those stories, and they’re always hilarious.

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