On the Shelf: Epic reads for the beach from Schuler Books & Music

51IgIj7k4bL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_“The Fireman” by Joe Hill


Reviewed by: Whitney Spotts, Events Coordinator, Schuler Books & Music, Lansing


Joe Hill can truly do no wrong. His newest novel nods to the epic novel, “The Stand,” by his father (Stephen King), but approaches the fallout of a worldwide epidemic from a thoroughly modern viewpoint. As a nurse, Harper Grayson is in a position to help when a contagion that causes spontaneous combustion sweeps the world, dividing people into the infected, and the fearful non-infected. Without a clear understanding of how the illness is spread and wildfires beginning to decimate swaths of civilization, populations panic and extermination crews begin to wipe out carriers. Having become infected herself with the “dragonscale” a pregnant Harper is forced to flee her uninfected husband Jakob. With the help of the mysterious Fireman, Harper makes it to a hidden band of dragonscale survivors who have learned to tap into the illness to prevent combustion. But with the danger from healthy marauders and the increasingly cult-like feel of her new community, Harper is far from feeling secure for the future of her child. I couldn’t put “The Fireman” down!



6114a9mAzNL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_“The North Water” by Ian McGuire


Reviewed by Pierre Camy, Schuler Books & Music, Grand Rapids


Faced with few options in his career, disgraced army surgeon Patrick Sumner joins the crew of the Volunteer, a whaling ship bound for the Arctic waters at the turn of the 20th century. During the voyage, Sumner uses his medical and forensic knowledge to track down the murderer of a cabin boy he had recently treated for horrific abuse. McGuire’s descriptions of the world of whaling are so vivid and realistic that you practically smell the stench and blood, see the filth, feel the cold, and experience the violence. I have rarely inhabited the world of a novel as completely as in this gripping literary thriller à la Cormac McCarthy.



Unknown“Invisible Influence” by Jonah Berger
Reviewed by: Charity McMaster, Schuler Books & Music, Grand Rapids


A perfect delve into perceptions with some surprising insights, “Invisible Influence” focuses attention on the hidden agendas ingrained in us.  Historical memory reaches back farther than we think and global perceptions have a much wider reach than we realize. Berger engages the reader without lecturing, arousing the interest we all have in everybody else’s business.  Few books can so easily slip from sociological study to a mainstream must-read; Berger has a natural talent for it.  Perhaps you’ll even prompted to try your own little social experiment.  At the very least, up your beach read game.



when-we-collided“When We Collided” by Emery Lord


Reviewed by Holly Frakes, Children’s Book Buyer


Veronica Cove is a charming vacation town where Jonah and his family have lived their whole lives. When his father dies, Jonah and his siblings are left to pull the pieces back together while their mom is crippled by grief.


Vivi has moved to this small town for the summer with her artist mother. She loves everything about it — the people, the ocean and especially Jonah and his family.  She is a whirlwind, coming into their lives and bringing joy and excitement and love. But Vivi has a dark, sad past of her own and it will sweep through her life and those of the people around her like a raging summer storm.


A gut wrenching novel about the fact that everyone can get lost in this life. This is not just a book to read, but a story to experience. Highly Recommended!


For more reading suggestions, visit schulerbooks.com.