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3 Hot Summer Books That Will Keep You Up All Night Reading

Pack these in your getaway bag!

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3 summer books on sandy beach The Lager Queen of Minnesota, Mrs. Everything and The Chain
Jeff Elkins
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This season brings an especially long list of super-entertaining new novels, but these are three of our top picks so far.

Mrs. Everything, by Jennifer Weiner

A TV writer and the author of hit novels such as Good in Bed and In Her Shoes, Weiner brings us another winner. The story follows two sisters, Jo and Bethie Kaufman, as they grow up in Detroit in the 1950s and then go on to college and adulthood, including all of the accompanying humiliations, detours and compromises often required of women (especially of their generation) before they can find their place in the world. It’s a wonderful, absorbing book, skillfully woven with social critique.

The Chain, by Adrian McKinty

This tense thriller has a cringey-but-clever premise: Children are kidnapped, and then their parents are ordered to kidnap another family’s child in order to get their own back, and so on. “You are now part of the chain,” the bewildered parents are told. We enter the story through Rachel, a divorced mom who learns that her daughter, Kylie, has been abducted from a bus stop. Which unlucky kid should Rachel seize to save Kylie’s life? And can the chain ever be broken? It’s a great beach read if you’re game for a little suspense with your relaxation.

The Lager Queen of Minnesota, by J. Ryan Stradal

The author of 2015’s best-selling Kitchens of the Great Midwest is back with another charming novel about colorful Midwesterners. This one is focused on sisters Edith and Helen, estranged for many years after Helen sneakily claimed Edith’s share of the family inheritance to restart production of an old beer brand called Blotz. (Motto: “Drink Lots. It’s Blotz.”) Kindly Edith, now in her 60s, is struggling with her husband’s dementia and trying to earn a living when her life takes a turn, thanks to her hard-working granddaughter, Diana, who ends up being quite the brewmaster herself. It’s a witty, warmhearted story, best consumed on a hot summer day with a nice cold IPA.