May 29th, 2014
Announcing my intention to attend a work conference in Detroit was my most successful dinner time conversation starter in years. My son was confident the TSA would waive its rules for carry-on personal protection items in such circumstances, even when their website proved him wrong. My husband insisted I take time to investigate the local real estate market for a $100 “investment” house with views of Canada. Even having backpacked through Europe in my day, the conference’s promotional tagline “Detroit—it’s not as bad as you think” gave me pause.
After four days, I was missing both sweet tea and the sight of trees and green grass, neither of which downtown Detroit appeared to have. But, in return, I’d found the Astoria bakery’s heavenly baklava, sky-high views from the People Mover and my long buried sense of adventure. Detroit—it deserves better.
If an adventure into the unknown is not on your radar this summer, go along for the journey in one of these titles voted best books of the summer.
Lucky Us—Amy Bloom
Eva and her newly discovered half-sister leave depression-era Ohio for Hollywood only to be detoured on their epic road trip by a needy orphan, an accused German spy and their unrepentant father. A comedic road trip that proves distance and fate need not tear a make-shift family apart.
The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street—Susan Jane Gilman
Adopted by a guilt-ridden Italian ice cream vendor, Lillian leaves her Russian Jewish heritage behind as she ascends to the self-proclaimed role of America’s Ice Cream Queen. A cooling rags-to-riches story designed for a hot summer day.
When the indie filmmaker of Hairspray and Crybaby decides to hitchhike from Baltimore to California holding a sign saying “I’m Not Psycho,” nothing can go wrong, can it?
Mr. Mercedes—Stephen King
Where would any self-respecting sociopath hide in a Stephen King novel released in the summer–the local neighborhood ice cream truck, of course. The question is what path will lead to discovery and how many will be hurt on the way.
The Book of Unknown Americans—Cristina Henriquez
The Rivera family makes the journey from Mexico, where they ran a thriving construction business, to Delaware hoping for help for their brain-injured daughter. Finding work at a local mushroom farm does little to ease the family’s fears as they have little English or money to sustain them. A perspective on the American dream with roots close to home.
Fired for dallying with an intern, Jim begins his two-week island vacation on the losing end of the silent treatment from his wife Franny. Planned to celebrate their 35th anniversary, the trip gathers family and friends preoccupied with their own secrets and ambitions set to be revealed under the hot Mallorca sun.
Where are you headed this summer and what’s on your reading list?