''Last Night in Twisted River,'' ''Commuters,'' and more beach reads

By Keith Staskiewicz
Updated July 02, 2010 at 04:00 AM EDT

Last Night in Twisted River
John Irving
Irving’s latest tells the story of a father and son who are forced to leave a logging community after a tragic accident, and the 50 years that follow.

Emily Gray Tedrowe
Greed and loathing invade the suburbs when a 78-year-old widow gets hitched to a wealthy businessman.

Stone’s Fall
Iain Pears
A chronologically flipped historical mystery about a London arms dealer who falls out a window to his death. Was it suicide, an accident, or foul play?

God Says No
James Hannaham
God-fearing and recently married, Gary Gray picks a bad time to come to grips with the fact that he’s attracted to other men in this funny, moving tale.

An Echo in the Bone
Diana Gabaldon
The newest entry in the massively popular Outlander series is a time-hopping, continent-spanning salmagundi of genres.

Dracula’s Guest
Ed. Michael Sims
Short Stories
Long before vampires were sparkly and romantic, they were actually scary. This collection brings together some of the Victorian era’s most chilling bloodsucker fiction.

A Bright and Guilty Place
Richard Rayner
A historical telling of corruption in sunny Los Angeles during the ’20s and ’30s that’s as gripping a read as any Raymond Chandler story.

Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time
Richard Conniff
Ever eat a warthog? Have bugs gestate in your forehead? No? Well, luckily you don’t have to, because naturalist Conniff did all those things and more — and then wrote about them.

Mary Karr
This is the third memoir from the author of The Liars’ Club, and there’s no dip in potency as Karr bluntly but lyrically explores her history of alcoholism.

Delta Girls
Gayle Brandeis
No, it’s not a prequel to Designing Women. It’s the story of two women — one in California and one in Connecticut — living seemingly separate lives, until their paths improbably and dramatically cross.