Eastern Massachusetts bookstores reveal this summer’s popular beach reads

Eastern Massachusetts bookstores reveal this summer’s popular beach reads

Whether it’s the beach, the park or just the back garden, summer means spending some free time in the sun with a good book. And there’s plenty to choose from, whether it’s familiar classics or new stories fresh off the press.

Children and teens also scour local bookshelves to meet their summer reading needs, in addition to books recommended for school.

Whether it’s mysteries, romance, science fiction, westerns or biographies, there’s sure to be something to pique your interest.

We’ve made some suggestions at various bookstores and a library in the area, so grab some sunscreen, sit back and enjoy.

61 High Street, Gloucester

According to manager Nicole Dahlmer, one book that is “selling like hot cakes” is “The Women” by Kristin Hannah.

“It’s huge,” Dahlmer said of the book, which currently ranks No. 3 on the New York Times Best Sellers list for hardcover fiction.

Another popular summer read is Left for Dead, a nonfiction book by Marblehead author Eric Jay Dolin.

“People come here to Gloucester for books about the ocean,” Dahlmer said.

One of her favorites is “The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi,” a fantasy story in which the heroine is a middle-aged retired Muslim pirate.

“It’s a little bit strange, but very funny,” she said.

279 Harvard Street, Brookline

Community Engagement Coordinator Alex Schaffner said some of the new releases that customers are “loving” include: “Real Americans” by Rachel Khong; “Funny Story” by Emily Henry; “Little Rot” by Akwaeke Emezi; “All Fours” by Miranda July; “Feast” by Lucy Foley; and “James” by Percival Everett.

111 High St., Medford

According to Sam Sednek, assistant director of the library, the titles that circulate most frequently during the summer are “often on high school and college summer reading lists.”

Popular titles being watched include Kristin Hannah’s “The Women” and James McBride’s “The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store”.

“Both of these titles have been popular for a while,” Sednek said. “Leslye Penelope’s ‘Daughter of the Merciful Deep’ just came out and has a lot of interest, so that could be a promising hot read.”

Other books worth checking out, according to Sednek, include Kosoko Jackson’s “I’m So Not Over You” and Abby Jimenez’s “Just for the Summer” (romance); Alejandro Nodarse’s “Blood in the Cut” and Lucy Foley’s “The Guest List” (mystery); Kaliane Bradley’s “The Ministry of Time” and Martha Wells’ “All Systems Red” (science fiction); and Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s “Before the Coffee Gets Cold” and Julia Alvarez’s “The Cemetery of Untold Stories” (fantasy).

“For those nonfiction readers, I will always, always recommend Mary Roach,” Sednek said. “Take a walk in the woods and read and/or listen to her ‘Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law.“”

22 Main Street (Route 27), Natick

According to owner Kim Rickard, “Hidden Truths,” a story about friendship for young readers by Elly Swartz, is a popular choice.

“A lot of people have that tendency,” she said.

Realistic fiction seems to be the genre her clients are looking for something that takes place in the present day, without fantasy.

She also made a personal recommendation: “A Horse Named Sky,” by Rosanne Parry.

25 White St., Cambridge

Co-owner Ellen Jarrett said books that have been selling well lately include: “Sandwich” by Catherine Newman; “Everything I Know About Love” by Dorothy Alderton; “Swan Song” by Elin Hilderbrand; and “Long Island” by Colin Toibin.

“Romance is a popular genre these days, but especially in the summer,” Jarrett said.

Emily Henry’s books, including “Funny Story,” “Happy Place” and “Beach Read,” are good examples of something to read this summer, as are “Just for the Summer,” by Abbi Jimenez, and “This Summer Will Be Different,” by Carley Fortune.

“Sci-fi/fantasy is another popular genre,” Jarrett said. “Sarah Maas’ books are always big sellers.”

Nonfiction bestsellers include Erik Larson’s “Demon of Unrest” and Khalidi’s “Hundred Years’ War on Palestine,” Jarrett said.

“We’ve been selling a dozen or more copies every week for several months now,” she said.

Also “A Day in the Life of Abed Salama” by Thrall.

“Readers are trying to inform themselves with this title and thus better understand the history of this region and thus the current situation,” Jarrett said.

She recently read the book Sipsworth by Simon Van Booy and she loved it.

“A quietly beautifully written novel by one of the most insightful and astute writers I have encountered,” said Jarrett. “No one writes with more insight, compassion and empathy about human connection than Simon Van Booy.”

79 Leonard Street, Belmont

“Romance and thrillers seem to be the most popular genres these days, but general fiction still dominates, especially with so many new books released by authors like Percival Everett, Colm Toibin, Kristin Hannah, Elin Hilderbrand and James McBride,” said co-owner Chris Abouzeid.

Popular adult fiction titles at Belmont Books include “Lion Women of Tehran” by Marjan Kamali; “James” by Percival Everett; and “Ministry of Time” by Kaliane Bradley.

“Demon of Unrest” by Erik Larson and “Mind Spread Out On the Ground” by Alicia Elliott are nonfiction choices.

In addition to “James,” Abouzeid would recommend “The House in the Cerulean Sea” by TJ Klune.

A favorite for young adults is “Warrior Girl Unearthed” by Angeline Boulley, and for the kids, “Children of the Black Glass” by Anthony Peckham is a must.