Summer feels up in the air right now, with library programs cancelled and even some delayed publication dates on hot new books - but you can still keep reading! While we’re disappointed that we’re unable to chat with our Sizzlin’ Summer Reads fans in person, we’re still here to help you find a few good reads to escape all of the uncertainty.
Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld
What would have happened if Hilary Rodham had never married Bill Clinton? Sittenfeld’s alternate history is a funny, clever and timely novel about women’s choices and opportunities. If you like Meg Wolitzer, you will like this.
Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell
O’Farrell takes the little we know about Shakespeare’s family and uses it to create a lush and imaginative tale centered on the death of his 11 year old son. However, the real star of this book is Shakespeare’s wife – O’Farrell’s portrait of a 16th century wife and mother is fascinating and moving. If you like Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parma, you will like this.
A Burning by Megha Majumdar
Set in modern India, this debut novel examines the fallout when a young woman is accused of being a terrorist after posting a misguided message on Facebook. Told from various points of view, it gives a jaded yet hopeful look at Indian society and politics. If you like There There by Tommy Orange, you will like this.
Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan
A droll, acerbic story of a young Irish woman’s involvement in a love triangle in Hong Kong. If you like Normal People by Sally Rooney, you will like this.
The Patient by Jasper DeWitt
A young psychiatrist starts a new job at a state mental hospital and attempts to cure the patient no one else has been able to cure. Creepy and chilling, this might make you sleep with the lights on! If you like Stephen King, you will like this.
The Mirror & the Light by Hilary Mantel
Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres to explore when I want to escape the frenzy of this modern life, and Mantel creates an immersive experience with her portrait of the often villainized Thomas Cromwell. This is the finale of the series started with Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies.
Circe by Madeline Miller
Perhaps Tudor England doesn’t go back into history as far as you would like - perhaps you’re more interested in Ancient Greece and Rome. Miller reimagines Homer's Odyssey.
An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take it Back by Elisabeth Rosenthal
The Danger Within Us: America’s Untested, Unregulated Medical Device Industry and One Man’s Battle to Survive It by Jeanne Lenzer
Fentanyl, Inc: How Rogue Chemists are Creating the Deadliest Wave of the Opioid Epidemic by Ben Westhoff
Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life’s Fundamental Bond by Lydia Denworth
Given my interest in historical fiction, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that my other chosen books to escape with are microhistories (think Mary Roach or Mark Kurlanksy). My recent interests lean toward science and healthcare topics, but there are so many microhistories to choose from, filled with nuggets of knowledge. Plus, lifelong learning is good for your health - especially your brain!
Head Over Heels by Hannah Orenstein
A really fun and easy-to-read romantic comedy set in the world of elite gymnastics. A perfect book to take to the beach, or read from home while social distancing. For fans of Emily Giffin or Jasmine Guillory.
The Wife Who Knew Too Much by Michele Campbell
A twisty, fast-paced domestic thriller. A perfect roller-coaster read for a hot summer day with lots of surprises to keep you guessing until the very end. For anyone who loved the Dirty John podcast.
Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert
A fun, super STEAMY romance for the summer. Smart Dani Brown knows what she wants - or she thinks she does, until sparks start flying with strong, quiet Zafir. Vibrant characters with sizzling chemistry.
The Guest List by Lucy Foley
Loved this twisty, atmospheric thriller. An elegant wedding set on a creepy island off the coast of Ireland takes some unexpected turns. I can’t wait to see this turned into a movie!
Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory
A fun read about real people falling in love. Perfect summer vibes for this summer poolside story!
Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier
Grabbed me right from the start and kept my interest throughout the entire book. Good thriller!
The New Husband by D.J. Palmer
Why are stepparents always the worst people in psychological thrillers?
Truths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer
One of my favorites so far this year. There is a single woman's story, with some feminism thrown in, rounded out with family history and false memories.
Don't forget - kids, teens and adults can still sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge! Log your reading time online, then come to the library in August to pick up your prizes. When you earn 1000 points, you'll automatically be entered into the raffle drawing. Check out the prize list and learn more at our SRC page!