BookBites is a continuing series bringing readers information and ideas for their next read.
We’re in the heat of the summer beach read season, and
is serving up four more compelling titles to consider.

Without Her by Rosalind Brackenberry

In this exquisitely written, Ferrante-esque novel, Without Her by Rosalind Brackenbury centers around the life-long, enigmatic friendship of Hannah and Claudia, close companions throughout childhood as well as at Cambridge while vying for the same elusive Frenchman who eventually falls in the arms of Claudia, the novel’s narrator. Years later, when Hannah’s husband calls Claudia from the south of France to say that Hannah has gone missing and pleads with her to help him find his missing wife, Claudia begins to suspect that she may be unwittingly involved in a love triangle.  “I absolutely loved this book,” says Annie Dillard. Purchase Without Her(Delphinium Books)

Finding Mrs. Ford by Deborah Royce

Susan Ford’s cocoon of privilege is threatened when an Iraqi man from her distant past boards a plane in Baghdad to come find her. Early one morning in the summer of 2014, the past pays a call to collect. The FBI arrives to question her about a man from Iraq—a Chaldean Christian from Mosul—where ISIS has just seized control.

Sammy Fakhouri is his name and they have taken him into custody, picked up on his way to her house. Why is Sammy looking for Susan after so many years? Buy Finding Mrs. Ford(Post Hill Press) at

Karen’s Heart by Georgeanne Irvine

It started with a murmur and ended with a cheer! This colorful children’s book is the true story of Karen, a Sumatran orangutan who won the hearts of everyone around her while she was growing up. It chronicles her stay in the San Diego Zoo’s baby animal nursery, her reintroduction to her orangutan family, and her brave journey through history-making, open-heart surgery and a challenging recovery.

Karen’s poignant story includes fun facts about orangutans and is part of the San Diego Zoo Kids Hope and Inspiration Series. BuyKaren’s Heart(San Diego Zoo Global Press) at

Come to the Lake by Anne Goodwin

People seek different means to “rescue” themselves from the hustle and bustle of everyday lives, escape from the hundreds of daily peeks on their smartphones, and seek a sense of peace, solitude and tranquility. Rather than preach what may or may not work for somebody else, Anne Goodwin has shared what works for her in her unusual memoir.

It contains the experiences and reflections from life on her family’s 1920s lake cottage in southeastern Wisconsin: short vignettes, essays, poems, notes, images, thoughts, checklists, even recipes that are marvelously conducive to lakeside living. Purchase Come to the Lake (Pleasurable Pause Press) at

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