Unless you’re on the southern hemisphere, you’re more than likely dealing with high temperatures right now. The news may have already broadcast the “egg frying on the sidewalk” schtick before a spot about water parks or other summer activities, but here at Readerly, we know books are a great way to beat the heat. You may think we’d recommend books transporting you to cool, refreshing locales, but that’s what beach reads are for. In the final brutal weeks of summer, we find it’s better to read about the sticky heat from the comfort of our artificially air-conditioned homes or swinging from a front porch swing with a lazy fan beating away the mosquitoes, preferably with a cool beverage in hand. So hunker down, pick up one of these fantastic reads, and while away the last days of summer with a book.
The suffocating, wet heat of the Louisiana bayous in Tom Cooper’s novel The Marauders will make you appreciate the invention of fans and cooling systems. After the BP oil spill, the residents of Jeannette have fallen on hard times, but dreams and schemes have kept them afloat, even if those dreams run the gamut from drug running to the riches of Jean Lafitte. Gus Lindquist, a one-armed treasure hunter, leads this cast of motley male characters as they try to rebuild their lives in an unforgiving environment.
Mary Doria Russell brings to life the dusty heat of Tombstone, Arizona in Epitaph, her novel of the O.K. Corral. Though you likely know the story of the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday, you’ve never heard it like this. America in 1881 was a country divided by the outcome of civil war. Politics were dirty, and the media was dirtier, but the Earp brothers stood against that corruption. They didn’t escape unscathed, and the aftermath of the shootout and the story of these men and the women they loved is enthralling.
Summer is a time for adventure, and no one did adventure like Theodore Roosevelt. In The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey, Candice Millard tells the fascinating true story of Roosevelt’s exploration of an uncharted tributary of the Amazon amid treacherous conditions – danger surrounded the men in many forms as they fought back the greatest threat to man, Mother Nature. With his son, famous explorers, and unreliable natives, Roosevelt faced constant peril in this unbelievable account of one of America’s most intrepid leaders.
If you haven’t traveled to the hot sands of Egypt in the company of Elizabeth Peters’ beloved Amelia Peabody, summer is the perfect chance to start. In Crocodile on the Sandbank, the first of an illustrious mystery series, 32-year-old Amelia finds herself a woman of independent means. It’s 1884, and Amelia decides to defy expectation and explore Egypt and her love of Egyptology. Along the way, she meets Evelyn Barton-Forbes, and the two embrace the journey – mysteries, mummies, dashing (exasperating) archeologists, and all. With a hint of romance and more than a little sass, Amelia and her adventures are a great distraction from summer heat.