Hot Books for the Summer: Must-Reads for the 2022 Season

Summer is heating up, so make sure you have a good book at the ready for your next pool day! Check out this list of titles available for purchase on BookBaby Bookshop. Remember that every time you choose to purchase a book on Bookshop, you directly support an independent author!

The Baseball Miracle of the Splendid 6 and Towny Townsend by Patrick Montgomery

Baseball is what comes to my mind when I think about the Dog Days of Summer. This is absolutely an essential read for all with fond memories of long and lazy Summer days on the baseball field. I was a baseball player in my younger years, and author Patrick Montgomery does such a wonderful job sharing all that makes baseball wonderful – its beauty, and its sadness. As Bart Giamatti says in A Great and Glorious Game, “It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart”.

Montgomery’s book shares an intimate look into the life of a Marvin “Towny” Townsend, a baseball legend in Virginia. Townsend ignited a baseball revolution in his town and started a program that produced 6 Major League Baseball All-Stars aka the Splendid 6: Michael Cuddyer, David Wright, Ryan Zimmerman, Mark Reynolds, B.J. Upton, and Justin Upton. Not only is this a compelling story about an impactful man who built a baseball from ground up – it offers a breathtaking look into the soul of America’s game. The foreword was written by one of the most iconic members of the Splendid 6, David Wright.

Operation Hawk’s Nest by John Fitzgerald

Can one man change the course of history? Find out in John Fitzgerald’s breakthrough thriller, Operation Hawk’s Nest. This book takes you back to one of the darkest days of American history – September 11th, 2001. A reluctant hero is asked to rise from rubble and go up against nearly impossible odds and embark on one of the most iconic man-hunts in history.

Presumed dead, this former Special Forces soldier is tasked by America’s leaders to embark on a top secret mission to take out the mastermind behind the terrorist attacks on America – Osama Bin Laden. Now, he must travel across the globe, and confront his past along the way. No one, other than the President, Vice President, and Secretary of Defense, know about the plan – and the novel lays out a fascinating look into how the highest level of secrecy in government can be a double-edged sword. Fitzgerald absolutely delivers in crafting a creative and fictional telling of an iconic American special ops mission. Each page will get your heart racing, and it’s a masterpiece from start to finish. If you’re looking to fill some of your late Summer days with an action-packed thriller, then get your copy of Operation Hawk’s Nest!

The Culture of Golf – Isn’t it Just a Game? by Laurence A. Hirsh

How many rounds of golf have you played this Summer? I’ve been on the course quite a bit and this book has prompted me to think about the game in different contexts. I really enjoyed its perspective of where the game is today, and where it needs to go in the years to come.

The Culture of Golf is a great companion for all golfers. Author Laurence A. Hirsh believes that golf is the game of a lifetime – and also one that mirrors life’s challenges. Golf has been his avocation and his vocation for nearly 40 years, and feels like its culture could at times be its worst enemy.

This book shares thoughtful insight into how the game can grow while preserving its best traditions, and opening itself up to socially sensitive positive changes. Hirsh elaborates on how golf should and can grow to reach a broader population and break away from its elitist stereotypes. It’s important that leaders like Hirsh are making it their mission to grow the game and make it more inclusive and reflective of society. I highly recommend that anyone who is a golfer, golf leader, course owner, or club leader, gets a copy of this book so they could learn how to make golf even greater tomorrow than it is today.

Free from the Grind: A Cross-Country Bicycle Adventure by David Heflin

Do you ever dream of just breaking free from your daily routine and doing something completely different – maybe even crazy? The recurring responsibilities of work, family, and bills are certain to weigh on you at times, and there’s always the urge to just step away and embark on an adventure. At least I’ve felt it inside of me – a calling to take a profound risk, travel the world, and experience life to its fullest. And that is exactly what David Heflin did in this compelling story of self-discovery, Free from the Grind: A Cross-Country Bicycle Adventure.

David, a middle-aged university administrator escapes from the daily grind and goes on a journey by bicycle with the goal of pedaling across the country in twenty-eight days. It turns into a pilgrimage of sorts filled with lessons and self-discovery. If you ever are looking for inspiration this summer, check out this book. David will touch your heart and inspire you to be bold and courageous in the one life you have. What are you waiting for? Adventure awaits, and sometimes all you need to do is get on your bicycle and ride.

Summer of the Dragons by John Barr

Summer of the Dragons is the espionage thriller to read this Summer. Written by a former US Army Intelligence Officer, the novel exposes the corruption that permeates through the Korean peninsula.

The novel introduces readers to Jesse Cullen, an Army intelligence officer who still faces his own demons. Haunted by memories of a mission gone wrong, he no longer thinks about the morality of his line of work. As he is in Seoul investigating the rise of anti-Americanism, he meets and falls in love with a North Korean spy who is posing as a college professor. It turns out, that the woman he loves is somehow tied to the chaos and threats America is facing. But he soon finds out that nothing, not even the murder of American soldiers, could come in the way of a peace treaty between the US, South Korea, and North Korea. Angry and disillusioned, Jesse must walk a fine and dangerous line as he seeks to expose corruption and protect the woman he loves.

The novel is action-packed, suspenseful, and satisfying. If you are interested in espionage thrill, action, and international politics, this is the novel for you. Just remember, sometimes to expose the lie, you must bury the truth.

Are We There Yet? Traveling More Responsibly with your Children by Rachel Dodds and Richard Butler

Summer is the season of travel! Do you want to travel but fear that you won’t be able to have fun now that you are traveling with children or even grandchildren? Traveling with young ones is not easy – plan the perfect trip with your family with the help of this book. Its stories teach you how to travel more responsibly with kids so you all can enjoy the wonders of adventure.

No matter what some people say, traveling with kids can be enjoyable! No really… it’s true! When you’re thinking about your late Summer getaway, learn from the best. Consisting of over one hundred stories written by parents and grandparents from around the world, this book will teach you how to keep children happy, amused, and informed while travelling and enjoying destinations. Travel offers such wonderful opportunities for both adults and children. Don’t let hesitation and fear hold you back from seeing all that the world has to offer! Vacations are best spent together, so when you’re planning your next one, learn how to make it count. If you have kids and still want to travel, use this step-by-step guide to plan everything you need to make it the trip of a lifetime.

The Donut and the Hole: A Tale of an American History Teacher by Bob Farina

Are you a teacher on break who has been looking for this Summer’s great novel? Look no further. The Donut and the Hole is touching, empowering, and simply a must-read for teachers. It tells the story of a real estate mogul’s son who – despite his father’s pressing – stood firm and refused to join the family business. Instead, he chose to pursue a career that he felt had influence – a career that mattered to him. He became a teacher.

He went on to have a 45 year career educating, inspiring, and motivating future generations in the classroom. This is a story about choices. Life, after all, is a sequence of choices. Although our protagonist goes on to have a truly extraordinary career as a teacher, his choices led to consequences. A rift between him and his father worsened with time – and his father could never quite accept it. But it goes to show that doing what is right oftentimes leads to consequences – but it is certainly worthwhile in the end. Especially when you build a career that leads to so many saying, “he was the best teacher I ever had”.

The Good Vibe by Levi Himes

There’s nothing quite as inspiring as the open road. With endless possibilities in front of you and the frightening beauty of uncertainty, it’s the perfect opportunity to discover more about yourself.

The Good Vibe is a book written for all who are compelled to hit the open road and seek who they are, and why they are here. This fulfilling story introduces you to a recent college graduate who sets off with a minimal plan – to pick a new destination with each rising sun. This book offers the motivation you need to do something daring and extraordinary in these Summer months. The open road provides the protagonist a chance to explore all that is around him, and all that is within himself. Who knew that a 2004 Pontiac Vibe could be an outlet for such profound adventure, but sometimes that’s all it takes.

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