Paula McLain—author of the 2011 acclaimed mega-seller The Paris Wife—will be at the Darien Community Association on July 28 to kick off Barrett Bookstore’s Summer Book Club with a reading from her new novel, Circling the Sun (Ballantine Books). McLain has a legion of Connecticut fans, but there are home-bred authors with recent releases, too. With the help of Rosanna Nissen and Sally Lovegrove at Barrett Bookstore, we put together this list of books to spend time with this summer.
IT’S THE STUDENT, NOT THE COLLEGE: THE SECRETS OF SUCCEEDING AT ANY SCHOOL—WITHOUT GOING BROKE OR CRAZY
BY KRISTIN M. WHITE
White is a member of the New England Association for College Admissions Counseling and runs her own educational consulting firm in Darien. With data-backed reassurance, she asserts that happiness isn’t an elite college’s decal on the rear window. Published by Manhattan-based The Experiment, it’s helpful reading for parents and teens in the process of applying to schools.
SNAKES! GUILLOTINES! ELECTRIC CHAIRS!: MY ADVENTURES IN THE ALICE COOPER GROUP
BY DENNIS DUNAWAY & CHRIS HODENFIELD
Alice Cooper was once the biggest act in America, producing four platinum albums, including the 1973 U.S. and U.K No. 1, Billion Dollar Babies. Bassist Dennis Dunaway steps out from behind the strings to talk about the band’s raucous heyday with New Canaan-Darien magazine contributor Chris Hodenfield, a former Rolling Stone writer and Darien resident. It’s published by Thomas Dunne Books.
VETERANS DAY: DARIEN, CONNECTICUT
BY FRANK FITZSIMMONS, JR.
Fitzsimmons was a communications intelligence instructor in the Army Security Agency from 1953 to 1956. That experience prompted him to write and self-publish Veterans Day. He chronicles World War II in terms of major political and military decisions, and discusses the patriotism and nationalistic culture that swept America at the time. If you’re swelling with pride this Fourth of July, you should check this one out.
THE WONDER GARDEN
BY LAUREN ACAMPORA
Lauren Acampora—raised in Darien but now living in Westchester County—drew on her time in Connecticut when writing The Wonder Garden, a collection of interlinked short stories set in the prosperous (and fictional) Cheever-esque town of Old Cranbury. Acampora’s debut novel (Grove Press) tackles the milieu of suburban life. Though it’s dark at times, the author does a nice job of portraying the heightened expectations of those living in the suburbs.