Sizzlin’ Summer Reads

Last Saturday, my fellow librarian Melissa and I gave a presentation for our library patrons called Sizzlin’ Summer Reads. It happened to be our hottest day of the year so far and the temperature reached 116 degrees that afternoon. It was not pleasant. So I was very happy that we got 11 people to come out and hear us book talk our favorite reads for summer. We had a Powerpoint with the book covers and release dates and other info projected at the front of the room as we went back and forth discussing our choices. After reading like a madwoman over the past 4 months I had quite selection to choose from, but I decided to limit my list to 10 for the sake of time.

As it turned out with both of us giving our book talks and a short introduction the program only lasted about 40 minutes – which I think is ideal. I don’t think I could have talked for much longer!

These are the books that I recommended:

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (June 7) – If you like family sagas such as The Twelve Tribes of Hattie or Cutting for Stone, you’ll love Homegoing.

Under the Harrow by Flynn Berry (June 14) – If you like the slower-paced explosive novels of Ruth Rendell or the contemplative tone of last year’s Disclaimer by Renee Knight (one of my favorite books from last year), Under the Harrow is the book for you.

Disappearance at Devil’s Rock by Paul Tremblay (June 21) – Though this is essentially a mystery novel the chilling supernatural elements will appeal to horror fans as well – especially if you like The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon or Blood Harvest by S.J. Bolton.

All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda (June 28) – If you like gritty mysteries with complex female narrators this is the book for you – fans of Cornelia Reade and Lori Rader-Day will love Megan Miranda.

The Last One by Alexandra Oliva (July 12) – If you like survival TV shows like Man vs. Wild or Alaska: the Last Frontier, if you like dystopian novels like Station Eleven, if you like imaginative stories with a thought-provoking tone – you will love The Last One. This is a genreblended novel that has something for everyone.

The Wicked Boy by Kate Summerscale (July 12) – If you like historical true crime like The Devil in the White City or are interested in the Victorian period you’ll enjoy The Wicked Boy.

Siracusa by Delia Ephron (July 12) – If you like really brilliant novels about betrayal, secrets and lies – like The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud or Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch – Siracusa is the book for you.

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware (July 19) – With a tone similar to The Girl on the Train or What She Knew by Gilly McMillan, a perhaps unreliable narrator and a deeply tension-filled plot The Woman in Cabin 10 is a perfect read for anyone who likes traditional locked-room or country house mysteries – with a twist.

The Muse by Jessie Burton (July 26) – If you like Sarah Waters or richly detailed historical fiction or reading about the art world this is the book for you.

Arrowood by Laura McHugh (August 9) – This mystery is a haunting and gothic story that gradually reveals its secrets – perfect for fans of moody mysteries like Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn.

I think there’s something here for everyone – I tried to choose a varied selection of titles from those that I read. I hope it’s not bragging to say that the patrons who attended really enjoyed it and even asked us when we’ll have our fall session! It looks like I’ll be reading a lot more new books in the coming months. But I don’t mind – it benefits our patrons and gets our adult readers talking about all the exciting new releases. The only downside is that it doesn’t leave me much time for reading the classics I love so much, but if I manage my time better and take a more balanced approach ( I don’t have to read ALL the new books) then I think I can squeeze in a few older titles too.

Do any of these books appeal to you? What do you plan to read this summer?

11 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Thanks. There are a few books on the list that I’ll definitely give a go. Your temperature is incredible, I don’t know how you all survive!

    1. You’re welcome! Well, I survive by staying inside as much as possible. My electricity bill is outrageous, but at least I don’t have heat stroke!

  2. I said “NO NO NO” with great determination when I saw how hot your weather has been. Awful! I hope you have plenty of air conditioning to protect you against this preposterous heat.

    You’ve got a great selection of titles there! I’m adding a few of them to my list — Homegoing’s been on my radar for months now, but some of these others sound equally amazing and I’d never even heard of them!

    1. I say “NO” too, but continue to live here! If my family wasn’t here I probably would have moved long ago. The heat does not agree with me.

      Homegoing was really good – it’s probably the one book out of them all that will stay with me.

    1. Thanks, JoAnn! The Wicked Boy was quite interesting and compelling – just like Summerscale’s other books. And Siracusa is a bombshell – I think you would like it!

  3. Siracusa sounds good. Wish we had this kind of thing at my local library. I think they are facing so many government cuts that they are struggling to survive.

    1. It’s very disheartening to read of all the libraries closing or downsizing in the UK. I see them as vital to the strength of communities and I’m glad that local governments in the US really support them and see them as vital.

      Siracusa is so enjoyable – a true escapist, summer read with a dark side.

  4. SO looking forward to The Wicked Boy!
    There is a wonderful group of women in publishing called The Dewey Divas. When they visit the library to talk about hot new books it’s always cause for excitement. The people in your audience must have had a super time! Stay cool, Anbolyn…I don’t know how you cope…

  5. Awesome recommendations! I am a big fan of mysteries and I have added quite a few of these books to my TBR list this summer. Thanks for sharing with your readers. I would love to recommend a book to add to your “sizzlin summer reads” called “Naked Ambition” by author Rick Pullen. I love thrillers and anything that involves scandal and this book definitely delivered. I really got invested in the characters.The book follows a reporter trying to make a name for himself outs a corrupt politician and gets involved in a scandal that is over his head. The author did a wonderful job of humanizing the characters and really getting to the root of their motivations…and seeing the fallout of some of the decisions made throughout the book really had me on the edge of my seat. It is a really fun read that examines corrupt politicians, questionable journalistic ethics, and it’s full of twists and turns. Check this one out this summer: http://www.rickpullen.com (would love to hear what you think!)

Thank you for reading and commenting.

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