One. More. Page recommends the books you’ll love reading on the beach, on your porch, curled up with a glass a wine, or with your friends. Sending reads for your best book life straight to your inbox.
Beach reading season is over, and we’re finding our taste in novels turning away from fruity cocktails and colorful umbrellas. The protagonists in these five novels aren’t thinking about their next vacation—they’re passionately pursuing their careers, sometimes in the face of daunting obstacles.
Set at the turn of the 20th century, this novel opens when our heroine, Betsey Dobson, smashes a handsy boss’s fingers in a door and sets out to pursue a new career as an excursions manager in an English seaside town a bit like Brighton (or Atlantic City in its heyday). With almost no money, but plenty of moxie, Betsey begins to form a new and fulfilling life for herself…until her past threatens to tear it all down. The historical details here are wonderful, including the construction of a “gravity railway”—that is to say, the very first roller coaster!
Hannah Levi is a celebrated midwife in 16th-century Venice, renowned for her ability to deliver healthy babies to women in the most difficult of pregnancies. But when an Italian nobleman implores her to help his wife, who is struggling to birth their child, Hannah is placed in an impossible position: Papal law bans Jewish medics from treating Christians, but she cannot simply allow the duchess to remain in distress—plus, the fee would be enough to ransom her husband Isaac, who has been captured at sea. Readers who loved THE RED TENT will devour this one.
If you liked You’ve Got Mail but felt there weren’t enough bookstore scenes, this one’s for you. Esme is a grad student at Columbia who’s swept off her feet by Mitchell, the gorgeous, sexy scion of New York blue bloods…but it all comes crashing down when she finds herself dumped and pregnant. She finds refuge in a job at a small West Village book shop, where the quirky staff and clientele soon become like family for her. When Mitchell comes back asking for a second chance, Esme has a choice to make: take another shot at the fairy tale, or stick with the new life she’s made herself?
A young, pregnant woman finds a chance at salvation when she gets a job in a shabby Manhattan bookstore after her boyfriend dumps her. The colorful and quirky people who call the bookstore home form an unlikely family. This witty debut is a stirring celebration of books and the people who sell, read, and love them.
Lee Miller might best be known as the glamorous assistant and muse to artist Man Ray, but she was a talented photographer in her own right. This novel follows her through the streets of Paris in the 1920s, as she rubs elbows with Picasso, Charlie Chaplin, and of course Man Ray himself. As she develops her craft and strives for more artistic autonomy, Ray grows more resistant and possessive. Ultimately, Miller finds that she must pursue her deepest passion—her own artistic vision. Perfect for fans of THE PARIS WIFE.
Written by an ER nurse who spent years as an international relief worker in the Middle East, LIPSTICK IN AFGHANISTAN is told in the POV of two compelling women: Elsa, an ER nurse from South Boston who goes to practice at a refugee camp in Afghanistan; and Parween, the local woman who works as her translator and becomes her closest friend. Infused with a verisimilitude that could only come from lived experience, LIPSTICK IN AFGHANISTAN is a novel about the power of friendship to overcome the greatest differences.