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There's nothing like a good book to help pass the time, especially now that many of us spending more time than ever at home.
New York Times bestselling author and "The Boy from the Woods" writer Harlan Coben joined Al Roker on 3rd Hour of TODAY to share some of his current favorites. From a thriller to a beach read and a captivating memoir, here are Coben's must-read books for summer.
"Janelle Brown is my new must-read author," Coben told Roker. "It's about two women — one is a grifter and one is an heiress. Their lives collide at Lake Tahoe at this fantastic old mansion. And then it becomes what we love — there are twists, turns, revelations, revenge, duplicity. And it's really well written."
"This book starts in the 1930s during the Spanish civil war. It's a little bit of romance, it's a family saga. They start off in Spain, they travel the world, it goes through their life," he explained.
From page to screen
"You may have seen it. It's a new Hulu TV show," said Coben of "Normal People."
"It's a little bit of a coming of age story. It's a little bit of a romance between two people that are on again, off again," he explained. "It's a little bit about how relationships change us in ways both good and bad. It's not one for everyone, it's a little tougher. But it's so rich and so deep."
"Mikel Jollett is the frontman for a group some people may know called Airborne Toxic Event," said Coben of the "Hollywood Park" author. "His life story is unbelievable. He was born into one of the world's most dangerous cults. Separated from his mother at the age of 6 months and eventually escapes, goes into poverty."
Added Coben, "It ends up being a story of redemption. I don't think I've read a book quite like this one.
For the kids
"Really cool illustrations, the kids seem to really be drawn to it," noted Coben of this kid-friendly pick. "Wonderful life lesson without beating you over the head. And really, who can't be told enough right now to be kind and show some tenderness?"
Tales of the past
"This is a story about Churchill, World War II. It's really about leadership and unity," said Coben on 3rd hour of TODAY's Instagram page, calling Larson of the best nonfiction writers.
Coben's second Instagram pick is "American Pastoral" by Philip Roth.
"In my view, it may be the most complete novel ever written," he said. "It takes place in Newark. It's about a guy named 'The Swede' and all he goes through in the 60s with his family."
For more book recommendations, check out:
- 16 highly anticipated summer books you won't be able to put down
- Looking for an inspirational story? 10 feel-good books to read right now
- 11 author-approved books worth adding to your reading list