Books to Read at Bradford Beach This Summer

Don’t walk, run to your nearest indie bookstore or library to get these picks.

WE ASKED Marian Royal, public services manager at Milwaukee’s Central Public Library, for recommendations of new novels for summer reading.   



Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

Fans of Mandel’s Station Eleven will find a lot to love in her latest. The story follows a time traveler from 2041 who visits the past and future to investigate a temporal glitch. “[Mandel] has a wonderful way of writing that’s very engrossing,” Royal says. 

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Join Milwaukee Magazine and Quad for the third-annual Unity Awards Event on March 8 from 6:30-9 p.m. at GATHER in the Deer District.



Our Last Days in Barcelona by Chanel Cleeton

In 1936, Felicia Perez, a Cuban immigrant, arrives in Barcelona, just on the verge of the Spanish Civil War. In 1964, her daughter Isabel comes to the same city to find her missing sister. The two narratives interweave, as Isabel discovers her mother’s hidden past. “Isabel’s faced with a choice between following family expectations or doing what her heart tells her to do,” Royal says.

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Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen

Ava Wong, a successful lawyer with her personal life in shambles, reconnects with an old college friend whose gotten involved in a counterfeit purse scheme. She convinces Ava to get involved against her better instincts. “This one is clever and wry,” Royal says. “What do you do when someone talks you into something illegal, and then it all falls apart?”

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Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson

A Caribbean matriarch leaves behind a strange inheritance for her sons – a black cake and a tape recording. “The brothers have to unravel a story of betrayals and secrets,” Royal says. Oprah Winfrey’s developing a new series for Hulu based on this novel.

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Book Lovers by Emily Henry

If you’re in the mood for a breezy rom-com, look no further. The story follows a big-city literary agent who escapes to a small town, only to run into a grumpy editor she knows. “The story is funny because they both know what’s happening to them is a series of coincidences that no editor worth their salt would allow in a novel,” Royal says.

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This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s July Issue.

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Archer is the managing editor at Milwaukee Magazine. Some say he is a great warrior and prophet, a man of boundless sight in a world gone blind, a denizen of truth and goodness, a beacon of hope shining bright in this dark world. Others say he smells like cheese.