The brutal winter is over and everyone is jockeying for position on the beach.

When you’re out there, lounging by the waves and soaking up the rays, you’ll want a good book. It’s likely that you want a fun, gripping, fast-moving story that might just include an exotic setting. So, we asked Tattered Cover Bookstore to recommend three books that should be packed alongside the blanket and sunblock in the picnic basket. Lead Buyer Cathy Langer was nice enough to give us several new titles that will stimulate the mind as you listen to the waves.

Check ’em out:

1. The Rocks by Peter Nichols (Riverhead Books, May 26, 2015)

therocksSet on the island of Mallorca and revolving around a popular seaside resort club and its community, The Rocks tells the story of a honeymooning couple whose relationship suddenly went south in 1948. The story begins in the present when the two elderly individuals meet decades after the breakup. They’ve lived in the same community for 60 years but haven’t spoken to one another. What happened?

Langer says the book is “tragically comic” and it’s a “very quick, gripping read that’s just perfect for the beach.”

2. Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry (Ecco Press, May 2015)


What’s a more iconic beach location than Coney Island? Leslie Parry’s Church of Marvels is a novel that takes place in the late 19th century, and it follows the story of four New York-based individuals, several of whom were raised within a Coney Island sideshow called the Church of Marvels. From the human circus to the insane asylum, this is a mystical story in which four outsiders struggle to find their niche. As Langer says:

“The characters are really interesting – carnival people and those living on the edge of society – and they’re looking to find their truth in the dark underbelly of New York. There’s a lot of great mystery and intrigue.”

3. The Travels of Daniel Ascher by Deborah Levy-Bertherat (Other Press, May 26, 2015)


Nothing invokes the awe of travel and discovery like the ocean. When at its shore, you might want to try a French novel by Deborah Levy-Bertherat, which features a great character named Daniel Ascher. This interesting specimen lost his family in the Holocaust and his niece’s family adopted him. Now, an author who writes for teens and children (and a little eccentric), he travels the world and brings treasures to his great-niece, Helene, who is the narrator of the story. Langer’s words of praise:

“It’s kind of a mystery and it’s a little whimsical, too. When the niece discovers the real story of Daniel Ascher, it’s very surprising, and the story is both heartwarming and fun. It’s a quick read and a perfect escapist novel.”

There you have it; three books you can’t be without when you don the sunglasses and sunblock. Thanks to Cathy Langer and Tattered Cover Bookstore for participating.

Make sure to tune in next week for another edition of Shelfie Picks and if you missed out, here are some recent YA picks (courtesy of R.J. Julia) and our Live from BEA selections.