Summer Fun Guide 2014: Beach Reads

Whether you're at the beach, relaxing by the pool or in a hammock, curl up with one of these local books.

The Story Hour
HarperCollins, $19.25


"The most heartbreaking, most desperate, most bizarre stories she had ever heard all came from India," writes Thrity Umrigar in her sixth novel. Umrigar, an English professor at Case Western Reserve University and former Akron Beacon Journal writer, reveals the similarities and long-held secrets of two women from disparate Indian cultures whose decisions result in unforeseen and unfortunate outcomes. The book, available Aug. 19, is a perceptive and masterful tale of betrayal, regret and redemption from the Cleveland Arts Prize winner.

The Book of Duels
Milkweed Editions, $18


Vengeance and vanity are recurrent themes in Michael Garriga's darkly fascinating debut collection of short fiction. Garriga, a former shrimp picker and bartender who teaches creative writing at Baldwin Wallace University, explores courage, cowardice and revenge by inhabiting the minds of duelists throughout history — the biblical (Cain and Abel), political (Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr) and criminal (Clevelanders Mike Frato and Danny Greene) as well as witnesses to each confrontation. Garriga establishes a stirring form of storytelling that is parts poetry, prose and historical fiction.

Cleveland Summertime Memories
Gray and Co., $17.95


If you fondly remember sand between your toes at Edgewater Park, the taste of burgers at Manners Big Boy and adrenaline-fueled rides on Rocket Cars at Euclid Beach, Gail Ghetia Bellamy's Cleveland Summertime Memories is a welcome blast from summers past. Bellamy, a Lakewood native, revisits nostalgic summer destinations through the recollections of dozens of Northeast Ohioans.

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