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Summer Read Recommendations

4 books worth diving into this summer

Summertime isn’t really summertime until we’ve secured three things: that hit song (“We the best music!”); our water chill spot (pool, lake, beach, or D—all of the above); and a list of must-reads. Here are four page-turners by authors of color that you need to download before your next frosty drink is served. 


1) THE IDEA OF YOU by Robinne Lee

The Scoop: Solène Marchand’s life is pretty black and white. She’s a divorced, art gallery owner and single mom on the cusp of turning 40. But when her ex-husband gifts their 12-year-old daughter and her friends tickets and backstage passes to the August Moon concert—only the biggest boy band in the land— in Las Veags, Solène ends up chaperoning and…having an affair with one of the group’s 20-year-old singers. (I know, right!?) Let’s just say that mama Solène is way past the black-and-white life. It’s full color, and gets hotter with each page you flip. 


2)  THE PERFECT FIND by Tia Williams
The Scoop: Clutch those pearls; this one is juicy! Jenna Jones is a 40-year-old, fashion magazine editor who, in one awful week, gets both dumped by her longtime fiancé and fired from her magazine post. She jets to Virginia to recover, making a return to NYC two years later. Jenna lands a job at a style website run by millennials. Problem is: Jenna’s been out of the game too long, and the digital world has sped up and left her. Plus, she gets messy-drunk at a party and hooks up with a young blood (he’s 22!) named Eric Combs. Basically, her big comeback is anything but smooth. Be ready to cackle one minute and have your heart melt in the next with this great read.


3) THE LEAVERS by Lisa Ko
The Scoop: Wrenching, beautiful, and steeped in ugly truths, Lisa Ko’s debut novel is about an undocumented mother who suddenly disappears leaving her young American-born son behind. It’s been reported that the idea for this compelling story came to Ko after reading a piece in The New York Times eight years ago about an undocumented immigrant from China who spent a year and a in detention after she was arrested at a Greyhound bus station in Florida en route to a new job. The riveting novel delves into many heavy, but important themes like identity, belonging, family, community, and social justice. 


4) THE STAR SIDE OF BIRD HILL by Naomi Jackson

The Scoop: In her bittersweet, beautifully written debut, Naomi Jackson takes us on a vivid ride from Brooklyn to Barbados in a dual coming of age story. Two sisters, 10-year-old Phaedra and 6-year-old Dionne Braithwaite, are sent to live with their grandmother, Hyacinth, in the Caribbean the summer of 1989. The girls’ mother, Avril, a former nurse for AIDS patients, remains stateside trying to recover from a crippling bout of depression. After a tragedy hits the family, the Braithwaite sisters’ long-gone father, Errol, comes to reclaim them, forcing the girls to make a tough choice: go back to America with a man they barely know or stay in their new, not-quite-home home in Barbados. Jackson tackles big, important themes from mental illness and motherhood to immigration and sexuality with both humor and heart. 

What have you been reading this summer? Let us know on social with #TheBridgeATT.


Author’s Bio: Nicole Blades is a novelist and freelance journalist. Her next book, HAVE YOU MET NORA?, will be released Oct. 31. Her latest novel, THE THUNDER BENEATH US, is available now. You can follow Nicole on Twitter or visit her web site for more info.


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