Recommended Reading: 3 Books for Summer

With the official first day of summer nearly upon us, you may be looking for a good book to bring on day-trip to the beach or upcoming vacation. I asked Gil Barbosa, owner of The Book Shop (694 Broadway) in Ball Square, for a few recommendations that you can purchase right in his store.

Live by Night by Dennis Lehane

Live by NightLehane’s newest work, Live by Night, is the recipient of the 2013 Edgar Award for Best Novel. Barbosa describes the book as a combination of historical fiction, thriller and crime. Live by Night is set in Boston in 1926 when the liquor is flowing and the bullets are flying. One man, Joe Coughlin, the son of a prominent Boston police captain, sets out to make his mark on the world after turning his back on his strict upbringing.

Lehane is the author of 10 novels, including The New York Times bestsellers Gone, Baby, Gone; Mystic River; Shutter Island; The Given Day; Moonlight Mile; and Live by Night, as well as Coronado, a collection of short stories and a play. He and his wife Angie divide their time between Boston and the Gulf Coast of Florida.

News From Heaven by Jennifer Haigh

News From HeavenThe bestselling author of Faith and The Condition returns to the territory of her acclaimed Baker Towers with a collection of new short stories centered around the fictionalized coal mining town of Bakerton, Penn.

Jennifer Haigh is the author of the short story collection News From Heaven and four critically acclaimed novels: Faith, The Condition, Baker Towers and Mrs. Kimble. Her books have won both the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction and the PEN/L.L. Winship Award for work by a New England writer. Her short fiction has been published widely in places like The Atlantic, Granta and The Best American Short Stories 2012. She lives in the Boston area.

Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan

Dad is FatGaffigan, a stand-up comedian best known for his infamous commentary on Hot Pockets, bacon, manatees and McDonald’s, discusses the highs and lows of life with five young children in Dad is Fat. Described as “sharply funny,” Gaffigan’s book touches on subjects like cousins (“celebrities for little kids”) to the eating habits of four-year-olds (“there is no difference between a four-year-old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor”).

You can purchase all of these books and many more perfect for summer reading at The Book Shop, which just celebrated its second anniversary. In the last two years, Barbosa has worked tirelessly to host engaging events (Dennis Lehane recently had a reading and book signing at the shop) and expand his offerings to better serve the Somerville community.

Now he’s asking for your help to keep the business going. You can support the store by going to buy a book or donating to this Indiegogo campaign, which runs until Friday, July 12, and has some great perks (coupons to the store, T-shirts and more).

What’s your favorite summer read?

P.S. The Book Shop hosts authors Ilan Mochari and L. Annette Binder this Thursday, June 13 at 7 p.m. for a discussion of their books. Mochari’s debut novel, Zinsky the Obscure, has earned rave reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews and Booklist. He is also a contributor to Cognoscenti, the online magazine for Boston’s NPR news station. Binder’s debut collection of stories, Rise, received the 2011 Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction. She is currently at work on a novel based on her story Dead Languages, which appeared in The Southern Review.

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