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Beach Bag of Books 2018

Beach Bag of Books

Beach Bag of Books 2018

It's time to think about summer reading. We're talking about the kinds of books that you're glad you now have time to kick back with and enjoy. The way we see it, it wouldn't be summer without sun, surf and great reading. You supply the beach chair, and we'll provide the fantastic book ideas in our Seventh Annual Beach Bag of Books Feature. While the contest portion is now closed, here are some summer reading suggestions:

  • COOPER’S CHARM by Lori Foster
  • DIETLAND by Sarai Walker
  • EDEN by Andrea Kleine
  • THE FAVORITE SISTER by Jessica Knoll
  • THE NIGHT SHE WON MISS AMERICA by Michael Callahan
  • SYMPATHY by Olivia Sudjic
  • THIS IS JUST MY FACE: Try Not to Stare by Gabourey Sidibe

Winners

Barbara from Orlando, FL
Janna from Hamden, CT
LouAnn from Omaha, NE
Pat from Fenton, MO
Rosalia from Charlotte, NC
Cooper's Charm by Lori Foster - Fiction


Before the burglary that shattered her confidence, Phoenix Rose had a fiancé, a successful store and a busy, happy existence. After months spent adrift, she takes a job at the lakeside resort of Cooper’s Charm. Visiting Cooper’s Charm to check up on her little sister, Ridley Rose impulsively agrees to fill in as housekeeper. Still reeling from an ego-bruising divorce, she finds satisfaction in a job well done --- and in the attention of the resort’s handsome scuba instructor.

Dietland by Sarai Walker - Fiction


Plum Kettle does her best not to be noticed --- because when you’re fat, to be noticed is to be judged, mocked, or worse. With her job answering fan mail for a popular teen girls’ magazine, she is biding her time until her weight-loss surgery. Then, when a mysterious woman starts following her, Plum finds herself falling down a rabbit hole and into an underground community of women who live life on their own terms. There Plum agrees to a series of challenges that force her to deal with her past, her doubts, and the real costs of becoming “beautiful.”

Eden by Andrea Kleine - Fiction


Every other weekend, Hope and Eden wait for their father to pick them up at a strip-mall bus stop. It’s the divorce shuffle; they’re used to it. Only this weekend, he’s forgotten, and their world will irrevocably change when a stranger lures them into his truck. More than 20 years later, Hope is a playwright with only one play produced long ago, newly evicted from an illegal sublet, working a humiliating temp job. Eden has long since distanced herself from her family, and no one seems to know where she is. When the man who abducted them is up for parole, the sisters might be able to offer testimony to keep him jailed. Hope sets out to find her sister --- and to find herself --- and it becomes the journey of a lifetime.

The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll - Thriller


Brett and Kelly have always toed the line between supportive sisters and bitter rivals. Growing up, Brett was the problem child, in the shadow of the brilliant and beautiful Kelly. In adulthood, all that has changed. Kelly is a struggling single mother, and Brett has skyrocketed to such meteoric success, which has been chronicled on a reality TV show called “Goal Diggers.” When Kelly manipulates herself onto the show and into Brett’s world, Brett is right to be threatened. Kelly, and only Kelly, knows her younger sister's appalling secret, and it could ruin her. Still, when the truth comes out in the explosive final weekend of filming, neither of them ever expected that the season would end in murder.

The Night She Won Miss America by Michael Callahan - Historical Fiction


Betty Jane Welch reluctantly enters the Miss Delaware contest to make her mother happy, only to surprisingly find herself the judges' choice. Just like that, she's catapulted into the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City. Luckily, her pageant-approved escort for the week is the dashing but mercurial Griffin McAllister, and she falls for him hard. But when the spirited Betty unexpectedly wins the crown and sash, she finds she may lose what she wants most: Griff's love. To keep him, she recklessly agrees to run away together. The chase is on as the cops and a scrappy reporter secretly in love with the beauty queen threaten to unravel everything --- and expose Griff's darkest secret.

Sympathy by Olivia Sudjic - Fiction


At twenty-three Alice Hare, a loner, arrives in New York with only the vaguest of plans: to find a city to call home. Instead she discovers the online profile of a Japanese writer called Mizuko Himura, whose stories blur the line between autobiography and fiction. Alice becomes infatuated with Mizuko from afar, convinced this stranger’s life holds a mirror to her own. Realities multiply as Alice closes in on her “internet twin,” staging a chance encounter and inserting herself into his orbit. When Mizuko disappears, Alice is alone and adrift again. Tortured by her silence, Alice uses the only tool at her disposal, writing herself back into Mizuko’s story, with disastrous consequences.

This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare by Gabourey Sidibe - Nonfiction


In THIS IS JUST MY FACE, Gabourey Sidibe --- the “gives-zero-effs queen of Hollywood AND perceptive best friend in your head” (Lena Dunham) --- paints her unconventional rise to fame with full-throttle honesty. Sidibe tells engrossing, inspiring stories about her Bed-Stuy/Harlem/Senegalese family life with a polygamous father and a gifted mother who supports her two children by singing in the subway, her first job as a phone sex “talker,” and her Oscar-nominated role in Lee Daniels’s Precious.