San Diego Comic Con (the biggest pop culture convention in the world that has something for everyone) is this weekend. Therefore, you’ll likely be dying from either, (A) not being there, or (B) anticipation, after all of the awesome upcoming books, comics, shows, film releases, etc. have been announced. However, we have just the thing to keep you entertained while you wait for those attractions to arrive.
Check out Bookstr’s Three to Read, the three books we’ve picked for you to read this week!
OUR HOT PICK
Everyone has a secret. For some, it’s worth dying to protect. For others, it’s worth killing.
The glass beach house was supposed to be the getaway that Susan needed. Eager to help her transplanted family set down roots in their new town―and desperate for some kid-free conversation―she invites her new neighbors to join in on a week-long sublet with her and her workaholic husband.
Over the course of the first evening, liquor loosens inhibitions and lips. The three couples begin picking up on the others’ marital tensions and work frustrations, as well as revealing their own. But someone says too much. And the next morning one of the women is discovered dead on the private beach.
Town detective Gabby Watkins must figure out who permanently silenced the deceased. As she investigates, she learns that everyone in the glass house was hiding something that could tie them to the murder, and that the biggest secrets of all are often in plain sight for anyone willing to look.
A taut, locked room mystery with an unforgettable cast of characters, One Little Secret promises to keep readers’ eyes glued to the pages and debating the blinders that we all put on in the service of politeness.
We’re fresh from ThrillerFest weekend, the literary event that celebrates thriller novels everywhere and their ability to keep us at the edge of our seats. Now’s your chance to celebrate with USA TODAY bestselling author Cate Holahan’s One Little Secret, her latest thriller about the challenges of looking for a fresh start, and how badly it can backfire if done indelicately. Holahan’s dark mystery will have you biting your nails, on your toes, and reconsidering how many alcoholic beverages you’ll want to consume in the company of those you’ve just met, so that you don’t repeat the mistakes of her vivid characters.
OUR BEACH READ
The story of how Las Vegas saved Elvis and Elvis saved Las Vegas in the greatest musical comeback of all time.
The conventional wisdom is that Las Vegas is what destroyed Elvis Presley, launching him on a downward spiral of drugs, boredom, erratic stage behavior, and eventually his fatal overdose. But in Elvis in Vegas, Richard Zoglin takes an alternate view, arguing that Vegas is where the King of Rock and Roll resurrected his career, reinvented himself as a performer, and created the most exciting show in Vegas history.
Elvis’s 1969 opening night in Vegas was his first time back on a live stage in more than eight years. His career had gone sour—bad movies, and mediocre pop songs that no longer made the charts. He’d been dismissed by most critics as over the hill. But in Vegas he played the biggest showroom in the biggest hotel in the city, drawing more people for his four-week engagement than any other show in Vegas history. His performance got rave reviews, “Suspicious Minds” gave him his first number-one hit in seven years, and Elvis became Vegas’s biggest star. Over the next seven years, he performed more than 600 shows there, and sold out every one.
Las Vegas was changed too. The intimate night-club-style shows of the Rat Pack, who made Vegas the nation’s premier live-entertainment center in the 1950s and ‘60s, catered largely to well-heeled older gamblers. Elvis brought a new kind of experience: an over-the-top, rock-concert-like extravaganza. He set a new bar for Vegas performers, with the biggest salary, the biggest musical production, and the biggest promotion campaign the city had ever seen. In doing so, he opened the door to a new generation of pop/rock performers, and brought a new audience to Vegas—a mass audience from Middle America that Vegas depends on for its success to this day.
A classic comeback tale set against the backdrop of Las Vegas’s golden age, Richard Zoglin’s Elvis in Vegas is a feel-good story for the ages.
While our Hot Pick would have been an “interesting” beach read to say the least, we feel as though a beach read should be a little more encouraging of seeking real life adventure, not murder, which is indeed what Richard Zoglin delivers with Elvis in Vegas. Zoglin is a contributing editor and theater critic for Time magazine, and gives us an informed account of the impact that Elvis had on stage performance in Las Vegas and live-entertainment. Embrace the legendary King of Rock’s comeback and return to the stage in this feel-good tale. When you hear “Vegas,” you think “adventure” right? Take this one with you for your next trip to the beach and be inspired to make your journey the best that you can make it.
OUR DARK HORSE
How far would you go to protect the ones you love…when they may not be yours to protect?
When Josh’s longtime partner, Grace, dies in a tragic accident, he is left with a mess of grief—and full custody of her seven-year-old son, Logan. While not his biological father, Josh has been a dad to Logan in every way that counts, and with Grace gone, Logan needs him more than ever.
Wanting to do right by Logan, Josh begins the process of becoming his legal guardian—something that seems suddenly urgent, though Grace always brushed it off as an unnecessary formality. But now, as Josh struggles to find the paperwork associated with Logan’s birth, he begins to wonder whether there were more troubling reasons for Grace’s reluctance to make their family official.
As he digs deeper into the past of the woman he loved, Josh soon finds that there are many dark secrets to uncover, and that the truth about where Logan came from is much more sinister than he could have imagined…
Tightly paced and brimming with tension, Her Secret Son is a heartbreakingly honest portrait of a family on the edge of disaster and a father desperate to hold on to the boy who changed his life.
Our Dark Horse pick is indeed dark, but it is also an intimate and powerful tale about the struggles of grief, and family bonds that are stronger than blood. Hannah Mary McKinnon delivers a hero with Her Secret Son’s Josh, whose drive to do right by his son (in every way but name), is something that deserves to be recognized and admired. McKinnon’s novel will keep you in both suspense and anticipation, as you’re led through a roller coaster of emotions, hoping that Josh and Logan will be able to make it as a family.
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