These are the books to pack to the pool, throw in your beach bag, or curl
up with on a summer’s night.
Studio 5 Contributor Teri Harman rolls out the Studio 5 Reading List for
The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani
Enza and Ciro first meet as teenagers in the majestic beauty of the Italian
Alps. But after one night of heart-felt conversation and a first kiss,
circumstances beyond their control pull them apart. They meet again,
unexpectedly, far from their native home in the hustle of turn-of-the-
century America, but still fate seems to want to keep them apart. Fate,
however, is not strong enough to keep these star-crossed lovers apart
forever. From the beauty of Italy, the drudgery of garment factories, the
trenches of The Great War and the glamour of the Metropolitan Opera, this
epic and beautifully written story of love and family is one that everyone
will be talking about.
When Women Were Birds: Fifty-Four Variations on Voice by
Terry Tempest Williams, award-winning Utah author, inherited her
mother’s journals after she died at the age of fifty-four from cancer. When
Terry opened the journals each one was empty. In this breathtaking piece
of creative nonfiction she explores what it means to be a woman, a person
and to have a voice. Rich in wisdom, insight and power.
Content note: About a half dozen uses of the F-word and a description of a
painting of female anatomy.
Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson
From a harrowing attack by a highway man to the unexpected attention of
a handsome gentleman, Marianne’s visit to the fabulous English country
estate Edenbrooke is nothing she expects. Local author Julianne
Donaldson’s new Regency (think Jane Austen) love story is a pure delight.
The first in a new brand of novels called Proper Romances from local
publisher Shadow Mountain, this book has all the smoldering romance
without any of “that other stuff.”
Olivia by Julie Wright – The Newport Ladies Book Club
Four local authors have teamed up to create a fun new series of books.
Each book follows the experiences of one of the members of the Newport
Ladies Book Club. The first book is Olivia by Julie Wright and is an engaging
read about a middle-aged woman fighting to keep her marriage together.
The second book, just released, is Daisy by Josi S. Kilpack and is about a
forty-six year old woman who discovers she is pregnant. The great thing
about this series is that all four books will be out by November – no waiting
a whole year for the next book.
The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian
If you’re looking for something a little different to include in your summer
reading this fast-paced, heart-pounding ghost story by best-selling author
Chris Bohjalian is a great choice. Long forgotten, in the dank corner of a
basement in an old Victorian home, is a small door, sealed shut with thirty-
nine 6-inch-long carriage bolts. When Chip Linton, his wife and twin
daughters move in hoping to rebuild their lives after Chip, an airplane pilot,
had to ditch his jet in a lake, resulting in the death of several passengers,
Chip becomes obsessed with the door. Why? Because exactly thirty-nine of
his passengers died in that crash.
Content note: A few mild swear words, one brief, mildly descriptive sex
scene and one short scene of a woman kissing another woman.
Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by Anna Quindlen
This candid, humorous and insightful memoir from best-selling author and
Pultizer Prize winner Anna Quindlen is a delight to read. Using her own
experiences, past and present, she explores what matters most to women
at all stages and ages. From marriage to parenting to girlfriends to how
much stuff we own and how we view our bodies, Anna talks about it all with
her patented ease and sharp observations. Her use of wisdom and
celebration, illuminating what can be satisfying and joyful in life, are the
hallmarks of what make her one of America’s favorite writers.
The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey
With lyrical prose, gorgeous settings and endearing characters this new
telling of Jane Eyre, set in the 1950’s in Scotland and Iceland is a perfect
choice for summer reading. Gemma’s life has always been hard, from the
death of her father and uncle to the barely tolerable servitude at the
Claypoole School, she wonders if her life can ever be what she dreams.
When she goes to work as an au pair to the ward of Mr. Hugh Sinclair
Gemma begins her biggest and most unexpected trial.
The House of Velvet and Glass by Katherine Howe
If you loved Katherine Howe’s first best-selling book, The Physick Book of
Deliverance Dane, then you must pick up her brand new novel. This
historical novel, set in Boston in 1915, is the story of Sybil Allston as she
grieves the loss of her mother and sister on the sinking of the Titanic.
Seeking solace, she visits a spiritual medium and is given a looking glass.
When images of an ocean liner appear in the glass Sybil is determined to
discover if it’s just the effects of the opium or something more mysterious.
Atmospheric, full of wonder and romance.
Content note: The use of the drug opium, including use in opium dens, is a
major theme of the novel; few mild swear words and a scene or two of mild
New in Paperback
These titles are now available in paperback, perfect for packing along on
The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen
Sarah Addison Allen’s books are the quintessential summer reads: magical,
romantic and impossible to put down. Her most recent book was just
released on paperback and is fabulous. Willa Jackson’s great-great
grandfather built one of the finest homes in Walls of Water, North Carolina.
Sadly, when the family met financial ruin the great home stood as a
monument to their failure. When Willa’s old classmate restores the home to
its former glory and a skeleton is uncovered beneath the single peach tree,
scandal, unlikely friendship and mystery ensue.
Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante
If you missed this fascinating, poignant book when it was new, you must
pick up the paperback. Dr. Jennifer White, brilliant, well-known orthopedic
surgeon, is recently widowed and retired, but worst of all she is suffering
from the early stages of dementia. Not only does this stalwart woman have
a hard time holding onto reality, but her neighbor and long-time best
friend has just been murdered, four fingers surgically removed and Jennifer
is the prime suspect.
Content note: Brief sexual references, a few uses of foul
language and mild violence.