Poolside or at the beach, June’s book list is worth diving into

A bumper crop of good summer reading (and listening) begins this month. I have already started next month’s list, and it will be equally engaging. But first, consider one or more of the following:
“Table for Two” by Amor Towles. One of my all-time favorite writers, Towles does not disappoint in this book. I listened to it read by Edoardo Ballerini, with a smaller role for J. Smith-Cameron. I will listen to anything Ballerini reads. I am such a fan that I recognized his voice as the AI assistant in a streaming series and was deeply disappointed that he was the villain. Smith-Cameron you may know as the family business attorney on “Succession.”
“City in Ruins” by Don Winslow. The last book he will write, and the conclusion of the Danny Ryan trilogy. He was an engaging speaker at the Charleston Library Society in May, sponsored by Buxton Books. I highly recommend his cartel series and his book about the New York Police Department, “The Force.” You will not find better-researched work anywhere.
“The Mountain King” by Anders de la Motte. Swedish crime thrillers! Who can resist dark, twisted personalities and dogged, blemished detectives? Not for the squeamish, but irresistible to fans of Stieg Larsson and Jo Nesbo.
“Cold Victory” by Karl Marlantes. Set in Finland immediately post-World War II. Remarkably enlightening about the plight of Finland during and after the war and the unrelenting control by Russia through intimidation and surveillance.
“Flight of the Wild Swan” by Melissa Pritchard. Historical novel about the life and work of Florence Nightingale. She was a highly unusual person with a prickly personality, but dedicated to the improvement of health-care delivery for the military and the public. You may not like her, but you have to respect her tenacity and foresight.
“Honey” by Victor Lodato. An octogenarian mobster daughter returns to New Jersey in this funny romp, family crime drama with a wide range of lifestyles and a satisfying conclusion. Great for the beach or poolside.
“Real Americans” by Rachel Khong. This book has received much acclaim: I have an opinion about that. It would be an excellent book for discussion. Timely topics surrounding immigrants, genetic manipulation, and perceived disparities.
“Fruit of the Dead” by Rachel Lyon. A modern retelling of the tale of Persephone and Demeter. Don’t worry if you didn’t take Greek mythology in college; you can still appreciate the dedication of a mother to rescue her daughter, even one who makes some very poor decisions.
“I Cheerfully Refuse” by Leif Enger. Set in the not-so-distant future, this is a tale of love and dedication. But make no mistake, the hero is canny and talented as he navigates a treacherous Lake Superior. Enger wrote the bestseller “Peace Like a River.”
“Original Sins” by Erin Young. Gritty crime story set in a bleak, wintry Des Moines, Iowa, and the second featuring FBI agent Riley Fisher. 
“The Princess of Las Vegas” by Chris Bohjalian. A uniquely Vegas storyline of crime, large-scale entertainment, and family ties.
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