Summer Reading Challenge
The Bookshelf staff compiled some of their favorite books of the summer; read one title from each category and earn 25% off a hardback book!
There's nothing like an unexpected ending! If you're looking for a summer read that keeps you guessing until the end, check out these novels!
Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough is an amazing thriller. This gripping read is about the seemingly perfect couple, David and Adele. Then enters Louise, who has a fascination with the couple. She befriends Adele and becomes dangerously close to David. You will not guess the ending to this novel!
In her sophomore novel, Into the Water, Paula Hawkins does not disappoint. The drowning pool and the women who tragically died there are at the center of this mystery. In particular, the deaths of a fifteen-year-old star student and a single mother.
Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane is a slow-burn thriller about a former journalist, Rachel Childs. Filled with deception, conspiracy, and violence. This novel will keep you gripped to the very last page. Dennis Lehane at his best.
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee is a beautifully written family saga. This story follows one Korean family and their experiences in Japan throughout the 20th-century. A tale of love, suffering, and resilience- this is a must read!
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi is another family saga. Taking place in 18th-century Ghana, half-sisters Effia and Esi are born in different villages. Effia is married off to a wealthy Englishman and lives in his palatial home, unaware that her sister, Esi, resides below in the dungeons waiting to be sold into slavery. Truly a remarkable book about family, fate, and resiliance.
The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers is a thrilling historical fiction novel. Major Gryffth Hockaday goes off to fight in the Civil War and leaves his young bride and son behind. When he returns two years later, his wife is in jail charged with murdering a child she had with another man.
The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O'Neill is an atmospheric novel about love, adversity, and fate. The novel follows two orphaned children, Rose and Pierrot, throughout their lives. Rose, the girl who dances with an imaginary bear. And, Pierrot, the boy who plays the piano magically. For fans of The Night Circus.
Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy is one of Annie's recent favorites. Two families join each other on a holiday cruise. The parents are enjoying the vacation and their four children embrace their independence on the ship. When they stop in Central America for an excursion, things get complicated when the children are there one minute and gone the next.
Do you love true-crime documentaries? American Fire by Monica Hesse is the summer read for you. It is a cold November in Accomack County and the fires haven't stopped for months. The town anxiously watched the fire consume their home. Comfort morphed into suspicion as they tried to find the culprit. Reporter Monica Hesse tries to understand the reason why Charlie Smith pleaded guilty to sixty-seven counts of arson.
A favorite of Madison, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon is the perfect romance for readers who love fantasy, time-travel, and Scotland. The year is 1945. Claire and her husband decide to take a second honeymoon after the war. Their celebration is interrupted when Claire walks through the standing stones and is transported to the year 1743 and meets Jamie Fraser.
The Assistants by Camille Perri is a wonderful novel. Tina Fontana is an executive assistant to the CEO of Titan Corp. After six years, Tina is done with taking messages and making dinner reservations. She soon finds herself in an embezzlement scam and the champion for women who are overeducated and underpaid.
Are you looking for light, fun Ya novel this summer? Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith is that, and so much more! Alice doesn't believe in luck, but when she buys her best friend a lottery ticket for his eighteenth birthday and he wins the 140 million dollar prize, how can she not? But when Teddy's new wealth begins to wedge a gap in their relationship, Alice begins to think the ticket is a curse.
Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny is an examination of life, love, marriage, and parenthood. In an emotional and hilarious debut, Heiny captures the life of Graham and his second wife, Audra, who is nothing like his first wife. As Graham tries to navigate love and parenting a child with Asperger's, he is caught off-guard when his first wife, Elspeth reenters his life.
Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett follows Elvis Babbitt a young girl from Alabama trying to grieve her mother who drowned while sleepwalking. After her mother's death, Elvis tries to understand things she doesn't know yet, like how to keep her sister from poisoning herself while sleep-eating and why her father wears her mother's old bathrobe. An honest and darkly humorous novel about family, innocence, and grief.
Our Little Racket by Angelica Baker is another fantastic debut. The novel follows the lives of five women in Greenwich, Connecticut after the fall of a financial titan in 2008. After the collapse of Bob D'Amico's bank, speculation and paranoia strike the Greenwich community. A novel about fear, secrets, and insecurity that will keep you engaged until the very end.
Borne by Jeff VanderMeer will definitely get you thinking this summer. A giant flying bear that terrorizes a city and an unknown creature, Borne, that grows and learns at an accelerated rate. This science fiction novel will get you thinking about language and humanity. This book is the perfect mixture of adventure, danger, and thought.
Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant is a non-fiction book about the science of grief. Through Sandberg's own experiences of grieving the death of her husband, this book is heartbreaking and enlightening. Whether you listen to this on audio or read the physical copy, tissues are needed!
The Leavers by Lisa Ko is another breathtaking debut. Deming Guo’s mother, an undocumented Chinese immigrant, goes to work one day and never returns. Eleven-year-old Deming is left without care until he is adopted by two white college professors. He is renamed Daniel and the story follows his experiences growing up and struggling to balance his new family and his memories of his mother and the community and culture he left behind.
Happy summer and happy reading!