Great Books to Read This Week​ – AARP

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Find Free Books in Your Neighborhood

It can feel like luck to run into a Little Free Library (LFL) — those often whimsically decorated boxes bibliophiles like to plant on their front lawns, inviting passersby to take or leave a free book. Now the nonprofit behind the concept has an app that allows users to find most of the 150,000 LFLs around the world, read their backstories and save their faves. Download the app for free on iOS and Android devices, or search online. It found the six LFLs within a few blocks of my home in Northwest Washington, D.C., missing just one. (Some stewards, as the owners of the libraries are called, opt not to register them with the LFL organization, according to director of communications Margret Aldrich.)

Here’s how to start your own Little Free Library.

 Hilderbrand and her fans gather on Nantucket for a Bucket List Weekend.

Hilderbrand and her fans gather on Nantucket for a Bucket List Weekend.

Courtesy of Little Gem Resorts

Beach Bound? Try the Latest Hilderbrand

It’s beach-read time, people! And few writers are more beachy than the beloved Elin Hilderbrand, who’s been writing her Nantucket-set novels for more than 20 years. Her new one is The Hotel Nantucket — next on my TBR list, it’s about the renovation of a storied hotel on the Massachusetts island that’s haunted by the ghost of a 19-year-old chambermaid who died there in a fire decades before. It strikes a personal chord: At age 18 I spent a summer working as a chambermaid at a different Nantucket hotel. Thankfully, the experience was far from tragic, but the book evokes some fond memories of those golden (minus the toilet-cleaning) few months.

If you’re one of the world’s countless big-time Hilderbrand fans, incidentally, consider joining her for her annual Elin Hilderbrand’s Bucket List Weekend, which has been held every January on Nantucket for seven years. But the author has announced that 2023 will be the last year for this festive gathering (usually about 150 fans attend), so she’s planning two: Jan. 5–9 and Jan. 12–16. Both are full, but there’s a wait list. And while the itineraries haven’t been confirmed, last year’s gathering was packed with activities led by the author, including a beach walk, cocktail party, yoga and a gala dinner at the Nantucket Hotel (not to be confused with the aforementioned chambermaid-haunted Hotel Nantucket).

still image of Paul Newman from the 1962 film Sweet Bird of Youth; cover of his memoir Paul Newman: The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man

Still image of Paul Newman from the 1962 film Sweet Bird of Youth; cover of his memoir Paul Newman: The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man.

Bettmann/Getty Images; Knopf

Coming Attractions

Entertainment fans can look forward to a particularly tall stack of celebrity memoirs coming out this October, including Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder by Trekkie William Shatner, 90, writing with Joshua Brandon; Waxing On: The Karate Kid and Me by Ralph Macchio; and Geena Davis’s Dying of Politeness. And on Nov. 1, we’ll get books from Bono (Surrender) and Friends star Matthew Perry, who gets frank about his battles with addiction in Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing. (Read our interview with Jennifer Grey, the Dirty Dancing actress whose memoir Out of the Corner hit shelves this spring.)

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