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Darien Daily Voice serves Darien, CT

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What Will Darien Read This Summer?

DARIEN, Conn. – As Darien residents head off to Weed Beach to get some summer reading in, Barrett Bookstore and the Darien Library have plenty of suggestions for books to take along.

Margaret McIntire at Barrett Bookstore said that some big sellers have included “Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake” by Anna Quindlen, “Canada” by Richard Ford and “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn.

The store’s history book club recently finished “Island of Vice” by Richard Zacks, which tells the story of Teddy Roosevelt’s time as commissioner of New York. The club will next be reading “The Passage of Power,” the fourth in a series of books on former President Lyndon Johnson by Robert A. Caro.

Barrett owner Sheila Daley said “Gone Girl” is “psychologically intriguing,” and predicted it will be the book of the summer.

Erin Shea, the head of adult programming at the Darien Library, recently finished reading “Gone Girl” and said it was “a thrilling summer read for both men and women.”

“You’ll end up finishing this 400-page book in three days because the twists and turns are so delightfully demented,” she said.

Shea also recommends “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed. “It’s a great summer read about hiking, relationships, family, mourning and ultimately figuring things out.”

Another popular book at Barrett is “Overseas” by Greenwich author Beatriz Williams. Williams will be at the store July 11 to discuss her book and sign copies.

If you go by bestseller lists, the fiction book to read is “Fifty Shades of Grey.” The three books in the series have been in the top three spots on the New York Times Book Review for many weeks.

McIntire said that “Fifty Shades” has been so popular at Barrett that the store has moved its copies to behind the counter.

Even though “Fifty Shades” dominates several bestseller lists, others are standing their ground, including “A Game of Thrones” by George R. R. Martin, the book that inspired the popular HBO show, and recent release “Kiss the Dead” by Laurell K. Hamilton, an account of a vampire hunter searching for an abducted teenager.

That popularity broaches the question: "What will be the next big book?” The question that usually follows that is, “When will I have time to read it?”

The library's adult summer reading program allows patrons to write reviews of books they recently read and put them in a basket next to the welcome desk. Not only can you find great reads, but each week the library draws reviews from the basket for a chance to win tote bags filled with new and yet-to-be-published books.

Maggie Shipstead’s new book, “Seating Arrangements,” has already become a popular checkout at the Darien Libary. Shipstead will be at the library to discuss the book on July 16.

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