Summer is here and as we look forward to spending time at the beach, river, or simply in our back yards, we can finally get to those books we’ve been meaning to read, those recommended by friends, and those we’ve just heard about.
The following is a list of great summer reading enjoyed by our library staff, authors and critics, and just as important, avid readers like you. Many of these titles are also available in audio and eBook formats.
And don’t forget to register for the Adult Summer Reading program to track what you’ve listened to or read. From June 6-Aug 19 you can create your own account, log and rate your books, write reviews and read reviews written by others. How great is that! Come to the Adult Reference Desk at Headquarters Library, let us know you’re taking part, and you’ll receive a gift. Happy summer and happy reading!
Clare, the American wife of a high-ranking diplomat in Paris, is arranging an official dinner crucial to her husband's career. The epitome of restraint, she unravels into a woman of dangerous allegiances, passions, and moral dilemmas as her day is complicated by the unexpected arrival of her son and a random encounter with a Turkish man, whom she discovers is a suspected terrorist. A novel of elegance filled with unexpected depth and surprises.
Georgia Bottoms, an observant, unrelentingly honest, and very humorous Southern belle who keeps six lovers--none of whom know of the others--so she can maintain a lavish lifestyle, finds her ruse crumbling when a married preacher she has been seeing plans to confess their affair in front of his congregation.
At Westish College, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for big league until a routine throw goes disastrously off course. In the aftermath of his error, the fates of five people are upended. An expansive, warmhearted novel about ambition and its limits, about family and friendship and love, and about commitment--to oneself and to others.
When her mother disappears during a weekend trip, Florine Gilham's idyllic childhood in Maine is turned upside down. With her mother gone, the heart falls out of Florine's life and she and her father are isolated as they struggle to manage their loss. An extraordinary snapshot of a bygone America through the eyes of an inspiring girl blazing her own path to womanhood.
In the fields of western New York State in the 1970s, a few dozen idealists set out to live off the land, founding what would become a commune centered on the grounds of a decaying mansion called Arcadia House. A romantic, rollicking, and tragic utopian dream from its hopeful start through its heyday and after.
In a Balkan country mending from war, Natalia, a young doctor, is compelled to unravel the mysterious circumstances surrounding her beloved grandfather’s recent death. Searching for clues, she turns to his worn copy of The Jungle Book and the stories he told her of his encounters over the years with “the deathless man.” But most extraordinary of all is the story her grandfather never told her—the legend of the tiger’s wife.
When Marian Sutro is recruited by the Special Operations Executive to become a British spy in Nazi-occupied France, she views it as an adventure—a reason to return to her beloved Paris. It quickly becomes apparent that this won’t be a vacation, however, when in training she learns different ways to kill men and is given a cyanide pill to hide in her jacket. As she goes deeper undercover, things begin to unravel around her, forcing her to make difficult, life-altering choices. Based on the true, extraordinary story of the SOE recruiting French-speaking British women during World War II to go undercover.
A childless couple working a farm in the brutal landscape of 1918 Alaska discover a little girl living in the wilderness, with a red fox as a companion, and begin to love the strange, almost-supernatural child as their own. A combination of a delicate, ethereal, fairytale and the harsh realities of homesteading in the Alaskan wilderness.
Cameron's shimmering and expectant prose infuses this deceptively simple novel with an incandescent depth. When a spiritually bereft Coral Glynn arrives at Hart House in the gloomy north of England in 1950 to nurse the elderly Mrs. Hart, her ever-precarious situation as a servant/guest in the household is threatened by the unexpectedly quick death of her patient. Still, Coral is presented with the chance of a more comfortable life when Clement, the physically and emotionally damaged son of Mrs. Hart, proposes marriage.
A chilling descent into the world of religious frenzy in small western North Carolina town and the bond between two brothers and the evil they face. Only Jess knows why his autistic older brother died on the very day he was taken into the church, and it’s his voice that carries this intensely felt and beautifully told story.
Dr. Marina Singh embarks upon an uncertain odyssey into the insect-infested Amazon to find her former mentor Dr. Annick Swenson, a researcher who has disappeared while working on a valuable new drug. In a narrative replete with poison arrows, devouring snakes, scientific miracles, and spiritual transformations, she is confronted by her own memories of tragedy and sacrifice as she journeys into the unforgiving heart of darkness.
A literary thriller about a retired orthopedic surgeon suffering from dementia and accused of killing her best friend. A portrait of a disintegrating mind clinging to reality through anger, frustration, shame, and unspeakable loss. A book which examines the deception and frailty of memory and how it defines our very existence.
Combining suspense and intrigue with a wonderfully humorous take on the link between man and beast, Spencer Quinn’s exceptional mystery series has captured widespread praise since its New York Times bestselling debut, Dog On It. The Dog Who Knew Too Much marks the duo’s triumphant return in a tale that’s full of surprises.
Two orphaned boys' lives take vastly different routes in this forceful tale about family bonds and the legacy of violence set in Manhattan and North Carolina. A hard charging thriller with lots of action and suspense that manages to illuminate the inner lives of the characters,-- their blind fear, abject confusion, and yearning for love. Heartbreaking and curiously hopeful, in an almost postapocalyptic way.
A perfect locked-room mystery that is also a tense political thriller. A complex tale of spies, partisan terrorists, vicious infighting, and a turncoat traitor situated in the upper reaches of the Third Reich.
Four friends, recent college graduates, caught in a terrible job market, joke about turning to kidnapping to survive. And then, suddenly, it's no joke. For two years, the strategy they devise-quick, efficient, low risk-works like a charm. Until they kidnap the wrong man. Classic suspense fiction with ingenious plotting, perfect-pitch characterization, and chillingly postmodern amorality.
Every day Christine wakes up not knowing where she is. Her memories disappear every time she falls asleep. Her husband, Ben, is a stranger to her, and he's obligated to explain their life together on a daily basis--all the result of a mysterious accident that made Christine an amnesiac. With the encouragement of her doctor, Christine starts a journal to help jog her memory until inconsistencies begin to emerge, raising disturbing questions. A literaty thriller that examines profound questions about memory and identity.
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance.
On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? Stephen King’s heart-stoppingly dramatic new novel is about a man who travels back in time to prevent the JFK assassination—a thousand page tour de force.
An engrossing story of one man’s search for love, meaning, sanity, and perfect architectural proportions. Meet Asterios Polyp: middle-aged, meagerly successful architect and teacher, aesthete and womanizer, whose life is wholly upended when his New York City apartment goes up in flames. In a tenacious daze, he leaves the city and relocates to a small town in the American heartland. But what is this “escape” really about? A highly praised graphic novel that visually communicates sharply observed social mores that deftly depicts asides on everything from design theory to the nature of human perception.
In fourteen essays ranging from an Axl Rose profile to an RV trek to a Christian rock festival to the touching story of his brother's near-death electrocution, Sullivan writes funny and beautiful. The sum of these stories portrays a real America. A sharp-eyed, uniquely humane tour of America’s cultural landscape—from high to low to lower than low—by the award-winning young star of the literary nonfiction world.
A wonderful, intertwined array of vignettes, quotes, and events to bring to life our first four presidents' love of gardening and its influence on their political thoughts and beliefs.
Once again endearing himself to animal lovers, Cameron explores the concept of canine karma with acute sensitivity and exhibits cunning insight into life from a dog’s perspective. Funny, heartwarming, and touching.
An engrossing narrative history of con artistry in America that documents the early twentieth-century efforts of J. Frank Norfleet to track down a gang of confidence men who swindled him out of everything he had.
Explores the ups and downs of the life of singer-actress Vanessa Williams and how her mother helped her weather the most trying times--experiences that Vanessa could have avoided had she heeded her mother's sage advice. A celebration of the love between a mother and daughter and the life of a woman who beat the odds to achieve her destiny.