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Spring is Here!: Books to Enjoy Outdoors

Cindy Burnett
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Reading outdoors

Cindy Burnett provides some fun suggestions for spring reading outdoors. 

Our recent beautiful weather has made me glad that it is spring. I am enjoying sitting on my back patio reading fun, light-hearted books and celebrating the sun. 

In honor of spring, this week I selected five books that I loved from previous years that make entertaining and fun titles to enjoy outdoors:

Beach Read by Emily Henry - This literary love story is smart, humorous and highly entertaining and addresses substantive issues interspersed in a clever romance. Beach Read follows two writers, a romance novelist and an author of literary fiction, who are both impeded by writer’s block and struggling to meet looming book deadlines. Polar opposites in every way and encumbered by prior misconceptions about each other, January and Augustus are thrown together when they rent neighboring beach houses. Late one evening, they agree to swap genres: January will write a heavy drama, and Augustus will compose a happily-ever-after story. To research their books, they will spend time together visiting various local spots and in the process (of course) learn more about each other. This book is a ton of fun and will live up to its name and make a fabulous beach read.

Feels Like Falling by Kristy Woodson Harvey - Set in coastal North Carolina, Feels Like Falling tells the story of two women who finds themselves in drastically changed circumstances and whose unlikely friendship changes the trajectory of their lives. After losing her mother to cancer, her sister to a crazy husband, and her husband to his assistant, Gray unwittingly gets a local pharmacy clerk named Diana fired from her job. Hours before, Diana had broken up with her boyfriend and moved out of their shared apartment. Feeling responsible for Diana’s job loss, Gray invites her to live in her unoccupied guest house, and as their friendship grows, each learns what it really means to find happiness and fulfillment. Harvey’s latest is my favorite book of hers to date – it will make the perfect read for your summer vacation.

Girls Like Us by Cristina Alger - In a genre completely overrun with domestic thrillers and unreliable narrators, Girls Like Us is a breath of fresh air and a very welcome addition.  A true mystery in the best sense of the word, Girls Like Us stars FBI agent Nell Flynn who has come to Suffolk County, on Long Island, New York, to handle her homicide detective father’s affairs following his untimely death. Soon after she arrives, the local police force asks her to consult on a case involving the deaths of two young women. The more she investigates, the more Nell becomes convinced that her father was involved in their deaths and that someone is covering up his tracks. Beset by questions and uncertainty, Nell struggles to solve the murders amid doubts about the way the case is being handled by the local police. I highly recommend this one – it is a true page turner.

The Last Flight by Julie Clark - The Last Flight is a high-octane thriller that begins with a bang and never slows down. Two women eager to flee their own lives agree to swap tickets for their flights at the last minute: Claire gives Eva her ticket to Puerto Rico and takes Eva’s ticket to Oakland. When the flight to Puerto Rico crashes into the ocean, Claire realizes she must assume Eva’s identity to survive, but quickly learns that Eva was not who she claimed to be. Toggling back and forth between the two women, the story rapidly unfolds revealing jaw-dropping twists and turns that you will not see coming. The Last Flight is indisputably the best thriller that I have read in ages – Clark skillfully blends great characters, beautiful writing, and a superb mystery, and I loved racing through it.

Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan - The book begins on the island of Capri in 2013 as the main character, Lucie Tang Churchill, attends the wedding of her friend Isabel Chiu. The wedding couple has transported 400-plus guests to the island to celebrate their nuptials with a 5-day itinerary chock full of hilariously, over-the-top events. While Kwan provides extravagant details about each event, he maintains a somewhat tongue-in-cheek attitude towards his uber-wealthy and blue-blooded characters which makes reading about the events highly entertaining. In Capri, Lucie meets George Zao and develops feelings for him but denies them because she frets that he will not be acceptable to her father’s family. Five years later, Lucie is vacationing in East Hampton with her new fiancé Cecil Pike when George unexpectedly appears and sparks fly again. Houstonians will enjoy the references to two private high schools in the area and a prominent River Oaks Street.

For more book recommendations and bookish thoughts, see Cindy’s monthly Buzz Reads column, her Thoughts from a Page Podcast or follow @ThoughtsFromaPage on Instagram. Find upcoming Conversations from a Page events here.

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