Whether you’re lounging on an exotic beach or just chilling in the backyard while the children run through the sprinklers, summer is better with a great book to read. Here’s a well-rounded list of options, fiction and nonfiction, and all hard to put down.
Victoria Jones grew up in foster-care, always moving, never loved. Now she’s eighteen and ‘aging out’ of the system. The only thing she’s ever cared about is flowers. But can she make a living and heal her past with bouquets? “The Language of Flowers” is a marvelous story, the kind you get completely lost in, and never want to finish.
Content note: Occasional foul language, including a few F-words, mild sexual references, and a very brief, mildly descriptive sex scene.
From “New York Times” best-selling author, Jennifer McMahon, comes a riveting tale of mystery, secrets, and murder. The Tower Motel was once a thriving business in a small town in rural Vermont. Two sisters grew up among the rooms, playing in the Tower of London replica. But when one sister goes missing, things fall apart. Incredibly atmospheric and fiercely gripping, you’ll read at break-neck pace just to know what happens.
Content note: Occasional foul language, with one or two F-words, a few sexual references, a kissing scene between two teenage girls, and moderate violence.
If you’re looking for something dark and twisty, this is the book. An American tourist is consumed by a black, mysterious mass in Peru. A plane crashes in Minneapolis. Strange earthquakes rock India. China ‘accidentally’ drops a nuclear bomb in a remote part of their country. And a package arrives at a lab in Washington D.C. What does it all mean? Read “The Hatching” and find out.
Content note: Frequent use of foul language, including lots of F-words, and plenty of gore and violence.
4. “Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini
Elizabeth was born a slave. She was also born a gifted seamstress. It is this amazing skill that won her her freedom and took her all the way to the White House. As dressmaker to First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln, Elizabeth had an intimate, front row seat to the inner workings of the First Family during the Civil War. A beautifully written and imagined historical novel.
Content note: Mention of slavery conditions, war violence.
5. “The Weekenders” by Mary Kay Andrews
Mary Kay Andrews is known as the queen of the beach read. Her brand new book, “The Weekenders,” is loaded with drama and summer-time adventure. Riley Griggs has problems. Her beach house is about to foreclose, her friends won’t talk to her, and her husband has disappeared. When a body washes up on shore in Belle Isle, North Carolina, Riley’s hometown, the mystery and her problems deepen.
Content note: Occasional foul language, mild violence, and some sexual references.
6. “Forever and Forever: The Courtship of Henry Longfellow and Fanny Appleton” by Josi S. Kilpack
If you crave a sweet romance to enjoy in the summer heat, this new book from local author Josi S. Kilpack is a fun choice. In 1836, Franny Appleton is the daughter of a wealthy Boston industrialist. While traveling in Europe she meets author and poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He’s much older, and from a lower social class, but they soon fall in love. Will his poetry be able to bridge the gaps between them?
7. “The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness” by Sy Montgomery
Sy Montgomery, a naturalist and author of twenty acclaimed books of nonfiction, delves deep into the mysterious world of the octopus in her new book. This ‘astonishingly complex, spirited creature’ shows intelligence, problem solving, and even emotion. With humor and love, Sy pulls the reader into the fascinating world with descriptive language and compelling science. She might even teach you a thing or two about your own consciousness. “The Soul of an Octopus,” is a finalist for The National Book Award.
Content note: None
8. “The Omnivoire’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals” by Michael Pollan
In our modern world, most of us rarely stop to think about where our food really comes from. Michael Pollan illuminates the simple, yet profound question of what to have for dinner with a detailed look at today’s food industry. A clear, compelling read for foodies and non-foodies alike.
Content note: None