5 books to read this summer that will take you to a different place

With the Fourth of July just around the corner, things are going to feel a bit different this year: Social distancing is in and big family get-togethers probably aren’t happening where you live.

As the weather heats up, there’s not a better opportunity to continue social distancing, whether at the beach, poolside, or under a shaded tree.

Here are five fiction and nonfiction book recommendations to keep you entertained this summer.

The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win by Maria Konnikova

Thinking about a career change in pursuit to find more from life? Read Maria Konnikova’s The Biggest Bluff. A New York Times bestselling author, Konnikova quit her staff writer job at the New Yorker to player her hand in poker. Teaming up with Poker Hall of Famer Erik Seidel, Konnikova chronicles her career change and how she mastered life as a professional poker player, winning more than $300,000.

Cool for America: Stories – Andrew Martin

Following his polarizing debut novel Early Work, Andrew Martin picks up where he left off in Cool for America, a collection of stories that dive into the essence of contemporary Americana that readers saw explored in Early Work. The characters are real, the meltdowns (yes, a family vacation blowup) and themes are too, and Cool for America serves as an all-too-real glimpse into our everyday.

Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir by Natasha Trethewey

Tretheway, a former US poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner, takes readers beyond line breaks and into her world when at 19, her former stepfather shot and killed her mother. Memorial Drive is a journey through the segregated South as Tretheway explores her life though domestic abuse and racism and how it shaped her, as she explores the legacy of her mother’s murder and how it shaped herself.

Surviving: Stories, Essays, Interviews by Henry Green

New York Review Books Classics started a Henry Green renaissance a few years ago with reissuing sharp renditions on his classic works like Back, Doting, Loving, and many more. With Surviving, it’s a hodgepodge of Green’s strengths: short stories, journalism, an interview, and other writings from his career; a wonderful escape to times yet explored.

Parakeet by Marie-Helene Bertino

With her wedding just days away, a bride has an unusual string of encounters including one with her dead grandmother, who returns in the form of a parakeet and warns her about marriage. Marie-Helene Bertino’s Parakeet is a wickedly funny, dark novel that revolves around a woman’s life, diving headfirst into questions about memory, self, and more.