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Indagare Summer Reads 2021: The Best New Books We’re Reading at the Beach & Beyond

The Indagare staff is looking forward to a summer of traveling, outdoor picnics, park meet-ups and beach gatherings. But in between the long-awaited socializing and reconnecting with family and friends, we’re just as excited for our summer reads. Here are the books the Indagare team will be reading at home, at some of our favorite lakefront hotels, in private hotel cottages, at America’s prettiest beaches and, thankfully, back in Europe. once again.

Related: Books that Transport Us: Nancy Perot & Interabang’s Reading List

Contact us to answer your travel questions or consult with our expert trip designers to start planning your next trip today.

World Travel: An Irreverent Guide by Anthony Bourdain & Laurie Woolever

Anthony Bourdain traveled everywhere, and in this new travel book, published posthumously, he shares guides to some of his favorite destinations, detailing where to stay, how to get there, what to avoid, and, of course, what to eat. (HarperCollins)

Surviving the White Gaze by Rebecca Carroll

This powerful memoir recounts cultural critic Rebecca Carroll’s journey growing up as the only black person in her small New Hampshire town and her struggles with her birth mother, her adopted family and her own identity as an adult.  “As its though-provoking title suggests,” says Indagare’s Jen Barr, “it’s also a raw, honest reflection on finding her place in the world on her own terms—and a searing look at racism and racial identity in the U.S. today.” (Simon & Schuster)

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

In Susanna Clarke’s latest magical tale (she penned international bestseller Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell in 2004) two characters, Piranesi and The Other, both live in a three-story house with infinite rooms, thousands of statues, and an ocean inside whose tides flood corridors in an instant. The Other hates his existence; Piranesi thinks it’s sublime. The novel sees Piranesi help the Other discover more about their sheltered lives, and asks us to question whether magic or reason are mutually exclusive. “It’s a quirky but lovable little gem,” says Indagare’s Eliza Harris. (Bloomsbury)

Of Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia

“Debut novels are among my favorite discoveries, and this much-anticipated novel, set in the U.S., Cuba and Mexico, is a multi-generational page-turner. Beautifully written, Garcia’s novel delves into themes of immigration, inheritance, memory and grief. It will be exciting to see what this young writer does next.” —Indagare’s Simone Girner (Macmillan)

The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman

Amanda Gorman is the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history, and captured our attention with her reading of The Hill We Climb at this January’s presidential inauguration. Her poem is an inspiring call for unity and healing. Oprah Winfrey wrote the forward of this published edition. (Viking Books)

Think Again by Adam Grant

The latest book from the author of Give and Take and Originals invites readers to challenge their own assumptions by developing the art of rethinking and unlearning—opening their minds beyond their original opinions. Using research and storytelling, Grant teaches us how to flex the skills to stay curious. (Viking Books)

I Want to Thank You by Gina Hamadey

In 2019, travel and food editor Gina Hamadey wrote 365 thank you letters—a different note each day to someone who had some impact on her life. Her new book chronicles that process, detailing the monthly themes she picked, like notes to strangers, neighbors, her children’s teachers, her husband and more. But it also encourages readers to develop their own “active gratitude practice,” which can help heal complicated or forgotten relationships and make us all happier, more connected people. (Tarcher Perigee)

Between Two Kingdoms by Suleika Jaouad

Suleika Jaouad was 23 when she was diagnosed with leukemia–and a 35 percent chance of survival. Four years later, after chronicling her fight with a regular New York Times column “Life, Interrupted,” she was deemed “cured.” Between Two Kingdoms is her look back at what came next: After trying so hard to survive, she had forgotten what it meant to live. Jaouad’s memoir follows her (and her dog’s) 100-day, cross-country road trip visiting individuals who had written to her while she was in the hospital. (Random House)

Freedom by Sebastian Junger

Humans cherish community and freedom, but the two aren’t always easy to combine. From the best-selling author of Tribe, Freedom follows Junger’s personal account of walking the railroad lines along the East Coast with two Afghan War veterans and a war photographer. Their journey together—fleeing police, cooking over fires, drinking from rivers and sleeping under bridges—forged a unique reliance between the four men. This new memoir weaves Junger’s travels with historical and scientific discussions on primatology, boxing strategy, resistance movements and labor strikes. (Simon & Schuster)

Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe

“This non-fiction piece traces three generations of the prestigious Sackler family and their connections with the opioid epidemic. Radden Keefe is a great writer. I love way he weaves a compelling narrative not just around the Sackler family, but also around the drug industry and philanthropy as a whole.” —Indagare’s Alex Clifford (Doubleday)

My Year Abroad by Chang-rae Lee

“I love Chang-rae Lee and his new novel, skipping between the U.S. and Asia, where the main character goes on an investment trip. If it is any like Lee’s other books, I’m sure it will be brilliantly written and wildly entertaining.” —Indagare’s Simone Girner (Riverhead Books)

Cassandra Speaks by Elizabeth Lesser

Elizabeth Lesser, co-founder of the Omega Institute, has led Insider Journey trips to Mii amo in Sedona for the last four years with Indagare CEO and founder Melissa Biggs Bradley. Her recent book is an uplifting guide to help women find their voice and redefine their lives. She draws on her own life experiences as well as research on gender and cultural myths—including Cassandra, the Trojan princess with the gift of foresight, but the curse of never being believed. In Cassandra Speaks, Lesser gives exercises that everyone can practice to help find inner change, healing and mindfulness. (HarperCollins)

Related: Indagare Global Conversations Podcast Episode 1.02: Elizabeth Lesser

Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy

This novel sees its protagonist Franny Stone following the world’s last Arctic terns on what may be their final migration from the Arctic to the Antarctic. Of course, it’s about more than the birds…Franny’s secrets will eventually catch up to her as well. Migrations is a haunting love letter to a disappearing world. (Macmillan)

The Maidens by Alex Michaelides

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides was one of my favorite reads a few years ago, so I cannot wait to read his second novel,” says Indagare’s Sarah Levine. The Maidens, like his best-selling debut novel, pulls together Greek mythology and Jacobean drama into a contemporary setting (this time Cambridge University). “I’m hoping to read it on a long plane ride,” Sarah continues. “I couldn’t put down his last book, so I want uninterrupted time to read this next one.” (Celadon Books)

All the Way to the Tigers by Mary Morris

While recovering from major surgery at home, author Mary Morris was reading Death in Venice, and was struck by the line: “He would go on a journey. Not far. Not all the way to the tigers.” She decided that once she was able, she would go all the way to the tigers. What follows is an enlivening account of her three-year sojourn in India on her search to see the elusive tiger. (Anchor)

Related: Indagare Global Conversations Podcast Episode 2.05: Mary Morris

Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead

“From the first chapter in which baby twins are rescued from a sinking ship in 1914, this epic novel is absolutely gripping. Spanning centuries and continents, it features two incredible female heroines, one an aviator, the other a Hollywood starlet. Shipstead is at the height of her storytelling—this is one of those novels in which you first lose and then find yourself.—Indagare’s Simone Girner (Knopf)

Under the Wave at Waimea by Paul Theroux

Legendary travel author Paul Theroux’s latest novel takes place in Hawaii, and offers a gritty, absorbing new take on life in paradise. It centers on Joe Sharkey, a local big-shot surfer who, now in his sixties, is struggling to find his place in the world now that he’s no longer in his prime. An accidental death sends his life—and that of his girlfriend—on a spiral. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Related: 10 Questions for Paul Theroux: The Legendary Author On Hawaii

Did I Say That Out Loud by Kristin van Ogtrop

The former editor in chief of Real Simple gives a hilarious and heartfelt look at the middle years of life, sharing personal stories and anecdotes about her career and her family that will make you laugh out loud and recognize in the trials and tribulations that humor and humility can make all the difference, when you’re coping with being a mother to three sons,  a wife, a friend, a colleague, a daughter, and a sister 24/7. ” (Little, Brown & Company)

Related: What to Read and Watch During COVID-19: Recommendations from Indagare’s Global Conversation Speakers

Paperbacks we’re loving

When a hardcover is too heavy to bring along, these paperback editions are some of our recent favorites:

The Adventures of China Iron by Gabriela Cabezon (Charco Press)
The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates (One World)
Sea Wife by Amity Gaige (Vintage)
Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe (Anchor)
The Porpoise by Mark Haddon (Vintage)
A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes (HarperCollins)
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett (HarperCollins)
The Overstory by Richard Powers (W. W. Norton)
The Great Offshore Grounds by Vanessa Veselka (Vintage)
Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore (HarperCollins)

Contact us to answer your travel questions or consult with our expert trip designers to start planning your next trip today.

– Peter Schlesinger on June 3, 2021

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