Brad’s Summer Book Picks on The TODAY Show

June 3, 2021


Best thriller

“The Plot,” by Jean Hanff Korelitz

Korelitz, the author behind “The Undoing,” (which has been turned into a popular HBO series) has once again turned out another breathtaking thriller. Jacob Finch Bonner, a failed novelist turned college professor, steals the plot of a work-in-progress book by a former student that has passed away — but he isn’t getting away with it. After enjoying the perks that come with being a bestselling author, he receives a threatening email, proclaiming that he is a thief. The story that ensues? It’s enough to give you chills, Thor says.

Best romance

“Rattlesnake Road,” by Amanda McKinney

This story combines mystery and romance. The result? An emotional rollercoaster. Grey Dalton, the protagonist, feels as though she has lost everything and moves to a small southern town in order to rebuild her life from the bottom up. While she’s there, she stumbles upon mysterious letters that have not been touched for decades (and were not supposed to be) and the rest is history. Now, she is left with many choices to make, including one that will decide the fate of her own love story.

Best summer read for kids

“Much Ado About Baseball,” by Rajani LaRocca

“A fresh take on Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” that is told in alternating perspectives (boy/girl) — and tackles a variety of subjects including moving to a new place, baseball, math, a little magic, and friendship,” is how Thor describes this read. Although it won’t be available until June 15, it is available for pre-order right now.

A read to gift for Father’s Day

“The Last Green Valley,” by Mark Sullivan

“This should absolutely be turned into a movie!” Thor says of this book. It is a historical novel based on real-life events, in which a German family living in Ukraine must decide between going to Nazi Germany for protection, facing the wrath of Stalin’s Red Army or fleeing somewhere else. Despite horrible hardships and other heartwarming moments, they find that love and faith prevail.

What Brad’s reading now

“Lake of the Ozarks: My Surreal Summers in a Vanishing America,” by Bill Geist

This book is a collection of stories written by Bill Geist, the father of TODAY’s own Willie Geist. It recounts his experiences working at a tourist resort in the Ozarks, which undoubtedly shaped his life in many ways. “The stories in the book are told through that wonderful ‘everyman’ sentiment that Bill brought to his TV segments on Sunday mornings,” Thor says. “What’s funny, is that I hear his voice in my head when I’m reading. It’s one of those books that, in looking back, you are reminded of how precious life is and to appreciate every wonderful moment of it.”

From Facebook Live Appearance

Brad’s Bonus Pick

The Maidens: A Novel

The Silent Patient is a hard act to follow, but The Maidens succeeds by leaning into the most enthralling aspects of The Silent Patient—instability and manipulation—but also by exploring new ground. Grieving widow Mariana is at Cambridge University to comfort her undergraduate niece Zoe after one of Zoe’s classmates is murdered on the grounds of the university. The murdered girl was one of the Maidens, a secret society of beautiful young students, acolytes of Edward Fosca, a smug, charismatic professor of Greek tragedy. Languidly-paced, dark, and brooding, the first third of the novel uses the campus setting to set the stage for a mesmerizing tale of misgivings, misdirection, and Greek mythology as Mariana’s response to the murder spirals from professional—she’s a group therapist—to personal, and then, obsessed. Intelligent, intricate, and restrained, The Maidens maybe even better than its predecessor. —Vannessa Cronin, Amazon Book Review


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Email