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WCBS 880's Best Beach Reads For Summer 2019

May 30, 2019 - 2:47 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- Summer is right around the corner and you know what that means: It's time for Beach Reads on WCBS Newsradio 880.

My Ex-Best Friend's Wedding
My Ex-Best Friend's Wedding by Wendy Wax

"My Ex-Best Friend's Wedding" is a novel perfect for anyone who's gone through a rough patch with a best friend.

Author Wendy Wax tells the WCBS Author Talks podcast the story was inspired by a real-life friendship that was lost and never really repaired.

"While I was working on this story, I just kept thinking Oh my gosh, it's terrible that we're not close anymore and I'm writing all this and it's dredging all of that up. And I did reach out, but, in reality, she let me know that in reality, not all friendships are forever.​"

And as you may have guessed from the title, there's a wedding involved. And where there's a wedding, there's a dress. In this case, it's a dress that's been in the author's family for generations.

"I didn't sit down and say, 'Oh I think I'll write a book that includes the family wedding dress," says Wax. "It was one of those things that really presented itself. I didn't even realize the impact the story of that dress had on me."​

And as if you need another reason that "My Ex-Best Friend's Wedding" is the perfect beach read -- it's set in the gorgeous Outer Banks.

"Park Avenue Summer" by Renee Rosen

"Park Avenue Summer" takes us back to the summer of 1965 and has been described as "Mad Men" meets "The Devil Wears Prada."

It is told through the eyes of a wide-eyed girl from the Midwest who arrives in New York City. But it's really about legendary Cosmopolitan magazine editor Helen Gurley Brown.

Author Renee Rosen tells the WCBS Author Talks podcast that she didn't realize how strong, influential and controversial Gurley Brown was. "She talked about sex the way other people talked about the weather," says Rosen.

The author also says she had a unique resource in getting Helen's character just right: a woman whom the editor regarded as the daughter she never had.

"She vetted the book for me. She shared with me things, like Helen used to eat her salads with her fingers and she always had runs in her stockings; her wigs were always a little off kilter".

If you want to read more about how Helen saved Cosmo and changed the course of magazine publishing -- pick up "Park Avenue Summer" by Renee Rosen.

“The Favorite Daughter” by Patti Callahan Henry

Before she was writing best-selling novels, author Patti Callahan Henry was a graduate nursing student who wrote her thesis on brain injuries and memory. 

“What are memories even made of aside from connections in our brains? Why do they have so much power if that’s all they are," she asks. "And why do we forget the ones we want to remember and are constantly reminded of the ones we want to forget?”

That ironic observation drives the story of an estranged family brought together by a life-changing diagnosis.

“The main character is running away from a horrible betrayal by her sister and over here we have her father who draws her home again because he’s losing his memory and that juxtaposition of the main character trying to forget while the person she loves most in the world tries to remember felt like a great push and pull that would unfold a story”.

Henry also captures the atmospheric charm of South Carolina's Lowcountry in her book.

Stay tuned as we reveal a new pick every week between now and Labor Day!

Related: WCBS 880's Best Beach Reads For Summer 2018