Summer Reading

Mitch’s Picks for this Season’s Best Reads

By Lizzie Wilcox

July/August 2019

While summer reading used to mean an assignment to read and write about some dull novel before the first day of school, hopefully it’s now associated with the freedom to delve into a fictional world while lounging on a weekend getaway to the Keys. Books & Books owner Mitch Kaplan gave us some insight on the must-have novels to drop in your summer beach bag. For more recommendations, listen to his podcast “Literary Life.”

Lessons From Lucy by Dave Barry

Kaplan recommends this book to “someone who wants to be moved in many different ways.” We recommend it to all dog people. The book is a series of essays that about Barry’s dog, Lucy. When he turns 70, Barry realizes that his dog is handling old age better than he is, so he learns from her how to lead a happier life.

Solitary by Albert Woodfox

A memoir by Woodfox, who spent 43 years in solitary confinement, the longest solitary imprisonment in U.S. history. To make matters worse, he was sent to jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Kaplan describes it as “a very timely book.” Fox Searchlight recently acquired the movie rights, with Mahershala Ali set to play Woodfox. A must-read for anyone who religiously reads the book before seeing the movie.

Warlight by Michael Ondaatje

A thriller/human interest novel that takes place in post-World War II England. Two teenagers stay behind in London when their parents move to Singapore, left in the care of a mysterious guardian. A “moving, beautifully written” book by a best-selling author who has won many awards.

Flash Count Diary by Darcey Steinke

This nonfiction book can only be described by Kaplan as “the most unusual account you’ll ever read about menopause.” This honest, open and personal work is a stark contrast to the silence surrounding menopause that Steinke found while going through it.

The Other Woman by Daniel Silva

A work of suspense that recounts a series of mysteries in Israel. An enigmatic Frenchwoman holds the Kremlin’s most guarded secret. The chief of Israel’s vaunted secret intelligence service who doubles as an assassin is the only one who can unravel the conspiracy.

Mostly Dead Things by Kristen Arnett

A “Most Anticipated Book of 2019” at Esquire, BuzzFeed, HuffPost and more. When the father of a family of taxidermists commits suicide, the daughter Jessa takes over the business while the rest of the family falls apart. Though the plot sounds dark, Kaplan says, “It’s a lot of fun… very Florida.”