Among this week’s half dozen Paperback Picks is a National Book Award winner, a memoir by a Seattle Mariners manager, and an irresistible beach read.
Among this week’s Paperback Picks (a new biweekly feature, appearing the first and third Sunday of the month): a National Book Award winner, a memoir by a Seattle Mariners manager, and an irresistible beach read.
“Cocoa Beach” by Beatriz Williams (HarperCollins). Seattle Times reviewer Melinda Bargreen, in a beach-reads roundup last summer, described this novel, set in post-World War I Florida, as “a tropical milieu of rumrunners, skulduggery, concealed identity, dangerous complications for (the main character) — and lots of entertainment for readers.”
“The Fact of a Body” by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich (Flatiron). I picked this one up while on vacation early this month and couldn’t put it down; it’s a dark, mesmerizing true-crime-meets-memoir story of a murdered child, a pedophile, a death-penalty trial, an attorney who finds the crime uncomfortably close to her own past, and the haunting, delicately tendriled story that she weaves, to try to make sense of all of it.
“Lou: 50 Years of Kicking Dirt, Playing Hard, and Winning Big in the Sweet Spot of Baseball” by Lou Piniella (HarperCollins). Piniella managed the Mariners from 1993 to 2002 (and was named Manager of the Year two of those years) during a long career in the major leagues.
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“No One Can Pronounce My Name” by Rakesh Satyal (Picador). Because no one ever pronounces my name right either, I chose this book from a stack last year, and found an absolutely charming portrait of an unlikely friendship between an empty-nest mother and a lonely gay man, both members of an Indian American community in a Cleveland suburb.
“Sing, Unburied, Sing” by Jesmyn Ward (Scribner). In this National Book Award winner, the story of a family on a journey through rural Mississippi, Ward “immerses the reader in a mesmerizing, cathartic family story, steeped in the painful legacy of American racism,” wrote Seattle Times reviewer David Wright.
“Startup” by Doree Shafrir (Back Bay Books). I don’t know why there aren’t more screwball comedies set in the tech industry; as someone who spent a few years in it, I can say that it’s a perfect setting. This satire by Shafrir (from BuzzFeed News) nicely captures the dizzy, silly speed of the business, and has fun with failed startups, “mindfulness apps,” and texts that really shouldn’t be sent.