Having slogged through another blustery winter on the Eastern Shore, we are once again ready to embrace spring’s balmy rituals, including more and more activities that only a few weeks earlier would have only been done indoors. After all, what’s better than curling up with a great new book at the beach or on your favorite backyard lounge? In the hopes of saving our readers some precious time, we went to Christine Ferber, manager of the News Center/Hallmark in West Ocean City, to get her expert recommendations of some hot titles to complement the warm weather.
Oh, the Places You’ll Go! may at first seem like our pick for a children’s selection. Indeed, it is that yet so much more. Dr. Seuss’ timeless classic is a gem that would be appreciated by a new mom as well as by a graduating senior. With his trademark use of humorous verse and illustrations, Dr. Seuss addresses the ups and downs life presents while encouraging readers to find the success that lies within themselves. This book is a great gift and, with an inscription, one that will become a collectable. Hardback. $17.99.
Gone Girl is my top fiction pick. Written by Gillian Flynn, it has been on the New York Times Bestseller list for over 40 weeks. It is a fast-paced, can’t-put-down whodunit kind of read. Nick and Amy are celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary, but there’s a problem: The beautiful Amy is missing. Many twists and turns will have you questioning the true nature of intimacy and the secrets that hide within any marriage. This psychological thriller lives up to the hype that the press and Hollywood have bestowed on it. Reese Witherspoon bought the movie rights, so I recommend you read it before it comes to a theater near you. Hardback. $25.00.
Stephen King is one of those authors whom readers have strong feelings for or against depending upon their tastes. I, however, suggest that you put that mindset behind you and consider one of the best books of 2012. 11/22/63 is an ambitious, satisfying brick of a book, clocking in at 880 pages. Winner of the 2012 Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the novel is a classic “What if?” story. It follows Jake Epping’s journey as he accidentally discovers the portal to a time 50 years in the past. He embarks on a new life that includes a quest to rewrite history by preventing the assassination of JFK. This is a fast-paced, suspenseful book that is also surprisingly smart and funny and will make the reader nostalgic for simpler times. Paperback. $19.99.
Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey is an interesting and topical nonfiction title. It’s written by Lady Fiona Carnarvon, the current lady of Highclere Castle, which is the inspiration for the PBS show Downton Abbey. Lady Carnarvon tells the story of Lady Almina, a brave and remarkable woman of her time. Drawing from the archives that include diaries, letters and photographs, she paints a compelling portrait of the era. This is the juicy backstory behind the drama everyone has been watching and talking about. Paperback. $15.99.
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