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The Best Beach Reads for Summer 2014 From Women and Children First

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Welcome to Beach Reads, the series that delivers page-turning picks for the dog days of summer.

Women and Children First

If you ever find yourself wandering down Andersonville's Clark Street on a sunny Saturday, here's what to do: stop in for a scoop of ice cream at George's before ducking into the amazing feminist bookstore, Women & Children First. Snag one of these staff-recommended summer books and take it to Kopi Traveler's Cafe, where you should definitely order a Thai iced coffee, curl up on one of their burgundy cushions, and start reading. Here are recommendations for summer books from the store's staffers:

The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street by Susan Jane Gilman
"Previously Gilman wrote several funny memoirs, and now her first novel is out and it does not disappoint. It's a wonderful American immigrant story about a resilient, ruthless, and delightful self-created business woman. I loved it, so sue me." —Linda

Mermaid in Chelsea Creek by Michelle Tea
"This book has everything: a cursing Polish mermaid; talking pigeons; a benevolent gender-bending fairy godmother type; an evil grandmother; and an anything-but-ordinary, salt-craving 13-year-old heroine. An extraordinary adventure/fantasy/drama!" —Jill

The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison
"From a brutal marathon through the Tennessee mountains, to an abortion clinic, to a dark street just across the Mexican border, essayist Leslie Jamison grapples with the way in which we shy away from, strive toward, and occasionally perform empathy. Recalling the very best of Sontag and Didion, this is a smartly provocative revelation of a book!" —Sarah
· Women and Children First [Official Site]

Women and Children First

5233 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL