Lifestyle

Page Turner

By Kate Dwyer

Table with a coffee, flower vase and pink bag with someone holding an open book

Pick up the latest must-reads at Books & Books and linger at Bal Harbour Shops—your summer reading oasis.

We’re a little spoiled over here at Bal Harbour Shops. Up on the Level Three, the crown jewel of the Shops is undoubtedly the independent bookseller, Books & Books. So, when it was time to draw up a Summer reading list, we happily turned to the store’s founder, Mitchell Kaplan, who shared not just a list of titles, but also a game plan on how to approach a list tailored just for you!

Pick a theme.

Just like you plan your sightseeing while on vacation, you can design your summer reading with a specific goal in mind. If you love delving into certain periods in the past, you might tackle a list of historical fiction. If you loved Leslie Jamison’s “The Empathy Exams,” you could spend your summer reading essay collections. If you liked “The Guest List,” by Lucy Foley, you could breeze through cozy whodunits. Or take a cue from a friend of Kaplan’s who prefers “complete bonbons” altogether.

“Same as it Ever Was” book cover by Claire Lombardo

Books & Books
“Same as it Ever Was” by Claire Lombardo (Doubleday), available June 18

“All Fours Book” Cover written by Miranda July

Books & Books
“All Fours” by Miranda July (Riverhead Books)

Set a goal.

Take a page from the kiddos and use summer reading to learn something new, Kaplan suggests, and approach one topic in a targeted way. Since it’s an election year, you could zero in on one of the big issues, and educate yourself about immigration, reproductive justice, or climate change. Depending on how closely you want to stick to your goal, make a list a month or two before the summer and create a reading list based on recommendations from friends, book clubs, or bestseller lists. “I know somebody who one summer decided they wanted to read ‘The Russians,’” Kaplan says, referring to the iconic authors Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky.

“Lies and Weddings” book cover written by Kevin Kwan

Books & Books
“Lies and Weddings” by Kevin Kwan (Doubleday)

“The Swans of Harlem” book cover written by Karen Valby

Books & Books
“The Swans of Harlem” by Karen Valby (Pantheon)

Join (or create) a book club.

For many of us, summer can be the perfect time to join a book club at your local library or bookstore. Or you can form your own club with friends or family: choose one or two books and meet throughout the summer to talk about them. “If you’ve got younger kids, you can assign them books or get them interested in certain topics,” Kaplan says. Or, if kids are older, the entire family can read the same titles and talk about them around the dinner table.

“Pink Glass Houses” book cover by Asha Elias

Books & Books
“Pink Glass Houses” by Asha Elias (William Morrow), available July 30

“The Friday Afternoon Club” book cover written by Griffin Dunne

Books & Books
“The Friday Afternoon Club” by Griffin Dunne (Penguin Press)

 



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