Living Columns & Blogs

From The Beacon: Get caught reading these new books

May is Get Caught Reading Month. It's a national campaign to celebrate how much fun reading can be. Here are a few books to be released this month. Which ones will you get caught reading?

"Caleb's Crossing" By Geraldine Brooks (Tuesday)

Brooks has an incredible talent for bringing the past to life by combining fictional characters with real historical events. Loosely based on the first American Indian to graduate from Harvard College, "Caleb's Crossing" takes us back to Martha's Vineyard in the 1660s. Bethia Mayfield, the daughter of a Puritan minister, often slips away to explore the island and observe the nearby Wampanoag. On one such expedition, she secretly befriends Caleb Cheeshahteaumuck, the son of the chieftain. As part of his goal to convert the neighboring American Indians, the minister decides to educate Caleb and Bethia eavesdrops on the lessons in order to attain her own education. When Caleb then travels to Cambridge to attend Harvard College, Bethia follows and witnesses Caleb's bridging of two cultures.

"In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin" By Erik Larson (May 10)

The esteemed author of "The Devil In the White City" and "Thunderstruck" presents a gripping portrayal of William E. Dodd, the first American ambassador to Hitler's Germany. In 1933, Dodd, a mild-mannered professor from Chicago, uproots his wife and children and settles in Berlin. Focusing on Dodd and his free-spirited daughter Martha, Larson illustrates how they are initially entranced by the glamour and glitz of the Third Reich. But as their year in Germany progresses, the true horrors perpetuated by the Nazi regime are revealed.

"Buried Prey" By John Sanford (May 10)

Lucas Davenport is back in the 21st "Prey" mystery, and this time his past has caught up to him. In 1985, Davenport was a young, reckless cop who made his mark by solving a case involving two missing girls. Only now the bodies have been found and it is apparent that the crime was pinned on the wrong person. Determined to right his wrong, Lucas uses all his resources and influence to solve the case correctly. Publisher's Weekly has called this entry in the series "outstanding" and "one of Sanford's best."

"Summer In the South" By Cathy Holton (May 24)

Following a personal tragedy, Chicago writer Ava Dabrowski quits her job and accepts the invitation of her old college friend Will Fraser to spend the summer with him and his two elderly aunts at their estate in Woodburn, Tenn. Expecting a quiet place where she can work on her novel, Ava is soon fascinated by the tragic history of the Fraser family and delves into the mysteries buried in their past, where she learns that some secrets are better left hidden.

"Dreams of Joy" By Lisa See (May 31)

In her new novel, See continues the story of Pearl and May from "Shanghai Girls." In 1957, Pearl's strong-willed 19-year-old daughter, Joy, leaves Los Angeles when she learns the truth about her parentage and runs away to Shanghai to find her biological father, Z.G. Li. While in China, Pearl throws herself into the Communist cause and travels with her father to the countryside to teach art to peasants. Meanwhile, Pearl searches for Joy and faces her own personal challenges as she seeks to reconcile with her daughter. The converging storylines bring a new perspective on China's turbulent history.

Halle Eisenman is the reference manager for the Hilton Head Island Branch of the Beaufort County Public Library, at 11 Beach City Road.