The books we’re taking to the beach this summer

With the dog days ahead of us, it pays to have a good book or two on hand. Behold a worthy round- up of seasonal reads that will see your nose stuck firmly within for the entirety of the holiday season.

A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin
An undiscovered literary treasure from the last century, it’s no wonder the collection of 43 stories that comprise Lucia Berlin’s A Manual for Cleaning Women have been lauded as a rewarding rediscovery. Tying together to reveal a rich, dirty, sad, joyous world of emergency rooms and laundromats, fancy hotels and detox centres, jails and Catholic schools — the author’s tales from yesteryear travel through space and time in a manner that will surely see you earn your literary stripes.

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
Having graced the October cover of Vanity Fair and embarked on a world tour scheduled to come our way, it would seem The Boss is having a revival. And much like his concerts, this self-penned biography is a rollercoaster ride of emotions that illustrate the legend’s New Jersey childhood, his relentless drive to become a musician and the evolution of his E Street Band. The blockbuster memoir, up there with some of the greatest, offers insight that we can all relate to.

Stay Golden by Lucky Blue Smith
Scouted as a 10-year-old boy, before being promptly signed to an international modeling agency, Lucky Blue Smith, now 18, is currently considered the most in-demand male model in the world. Stay Golden provides a front row look at the worlds of fashion and modeling through Smith’s eyes as he shares his personal stories, never-before-seen photographs and intimate letters from his family and friends. Regaling rock ’n’ roll Christmases at the Smith’s casa and much more, the book is bound to be an excellent holiday read.

Swing Time by Zadie Smith
This recently unveiled new release by the English novelist du jour, Zadie Smith, is a follow-up to her bestseller White Teeth. The gripping story revolves around two ‘brown girls’ who dream of being dancers — only one has talent, but the other has ideas. The friendship ends abruptly in their early 20s when one of the women moves from London to West Africa and the ensuing story explores how people are shaped by their relationships, roots and music. This will definitely be a read that crops up at book club… if you’re into that sort of thing.

Absolutely on Music: Conversations Seiji Ozawa by Haruki Murakami, Seiji Ozawa, Jay Rubin
Best-selling novelist Haruki Murakami’s passion for music runs deep. Anyone who’s read his books will be able to tell you about the emotional power of music that permeates each of the world-class conductor’s novels. Now, in Absolutely on Music, Murakami fulfills a personal dream — sitting down with his friend, acclaimed conductor Seiji Ozawa, to talk about their shared passion. It’s an intimate conversation about music and creativity that will cater to those looking for a dose of intellectualism.

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