Friday, June 21, 2013

C-SPL's 25 essential summer reads

Fernando Valença via Flickr
It's finally starting to feel like summer (just in time, too!) For those looking for a great summer read - whether you're on vacation or not -  we've picked out 25 of the season's most talked about, best-reviewed books. From family drama to mysterious deaths, and even the immigration experience of supernatural beings, these books can help you relax, keep you awake, make you think or to just escape reality - at least until the season’s over!

Dare Me by Megan Abbott
After a suspicious suicide, the members of a high school cheerleading squad - along with their new, perfectly cool coach - Colette French, are drawn into the investigation.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Separated by their ambitions after falling in love in occupied Nigeria, beautiful Ifemelu experiences triumph and defeat in America while Obinze endures an life as an undocumented immigrant in London.

Ladies' Night by Mary Kay Andrews
Forced to attend court-mandated group therapy after an act of post-divorce rage, rising media star Grace Stanton bonds with three fellow patients who she helps plot pursuits of justice and closure.

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Ursula Todd is born on a cold snowy night in 1910 -- twice. As she grows up during the first half of the twentieth century in Britain Ursula dies and is brought back to life again and again.

The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman
Stage designer Egon Loeser leaves early 1930’s Berlin to pursue a disinterested woman and arrives in Los Angeles, where a Caltech physicist is trying to develop a teleportation device.

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes
The sole survivor of a time-traveling serial killer—who began his murder spree in Depression-era Chicago—tries to hunt him down in 1989 with help from an ex-homicide reporter.

We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo
Ten-year-old Zimbabwe native Darling escapes the closed schools and paramilitary police control of her homeland in search of opportunity and freedom with an aunt in America.

No One Could Have Guessed the Weather by Ann-Marie Casey
Forced to give up her posh life and move to a tiny Manhattan apartment when her husband loses his job, Lucy unexpectedly falls in love with her new home and forges close friendships with three women who are also struggling with the disparities between the ambitions of their youth and middle age.

The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani 
Exiled to an equestrienne boarding school in the South at the height of the Great Depression for her mysterious role in a family tragedy, strong-willed teen Thea Atwell grapples with painful memories while acclimating to the school's strict environment.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
A modern fantasy about fear, love, magic, and sacrifice is told in this story of a family at the mercy of dark forces, whose only defense is the three women who live on a farm at the end of the lane.

Flora by Gail Godwin
Isolated in a decaying family home while her father performs secret work at the end of World War II, 10-year-old Helen, grieving the losses of her mother and grandmother, bonds with her sensitive young aunt while desperately clinging to the ghosts and stories of her childhood.

May We Be Forgiven by A.M. Holmes
Feeling overshadowed by his more-successful younger brother, Harold is shocked by his brother's violent act that irrevocably changes their lives, placing Harold in the role of father figure to his brother's adolescent children and caregiver to his aging parents. Winner of the 2013 Women’s Prize for Fiction.

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
Afghanistan, 1952. Abdullah and his sister Pari live with their father and step-mother in the small village of Shadbagh. Their father, Saboor, is constantly in search of work and they struggle together through poverty and brutal winters.

Equilateral by Ken Kalfus
Obsessed by a belief that highly evolved beings exist on Mars, a turn-of-the-century British astronomer gets support for a massive project to build a signal that is undermined by malaria-stricken Egyptian laborers and two women who understand the astronomer more than he realizes

The Last Summer of the Camperdowns by Elizabeth Kelly
A 12-year-old girl keeps silent after witnessing a crime near her home on Cape Cod during the summer of 1972 as her parents struggle with running a political campaign.

TransAtlantic by Colum McCann
A tale spanning 150 years and two continents reimagines the peace efforts of democracy champion Frederick Douglass, Senator George Mitchell and World War I airmen John Alcock and Teddy Brown through the experiences of four generations of women from a matriarchal clan.

The Son by Philipp Meyer
Kidnapped by the Comanche, thirteen-year-old Eli McCullough quickly adapts to Comanche life until the tribe is decimated by Americans, leaving Eli alone in a world where he is neither white nor Indian.

Night Film by Marisha Pessl
When the daughter of a notorious film director is found dead in New York, an apparent suicide, investigative reporter Scott McGrath throws himself back into a story that almost ended his career.

The Other Typist by Susan Rindell
Working as a typist for the NYC Police Department in 1923, Rose Baker documents confessions of harrowing crimes and struggles with changing gender roles and searching for companionship before becoming obsessed with a glamorous newcomer.

The Peripatetic Coffin by Ethan Rutherford
Eight short stories focus on reality as it is known and as it could be and star characters who are confronted with, and battle against, the limitations of their lives.

Big Brother by Lionel Shriver
When her overweight brother - a once slim, hip New York jazz pianist -comes for a visit, Pandora, for whom love equals food, is forced to choose between her exercise fanatic husband and her brother, who desperately needs her support to lose weight.

The Silver Star by Jeanette Walls
Abandoned by their mother, Bean and her older sister, Liz, are sent to live in the decaying antebellum mansion of their widowed uncle, where they learn the truth about their parents and an increasingly withdrawn Liz has a life-shattering experience.

The Love Song of Johnny Valentine by Teddy Wayne
A satirical tale that follows preadolescent pop idol Jonny Valentine, who hides the bitterness and innocence of a child who feels manufactured by his Los Angeles label and hard-partying manager mother.

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
Tells the story of two supernatural creatures, Chava, a golem brought to life by a disgraced rabbi, and Ahmad, a jinni made of fire, who form an unlikely friendship on the streets of New York until a fateful choice changes everything.

A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams
Returning to the idyllic Rhode Island oceanfront for the summer of 1938, socialite Lily Dane is devastated by the appearances of her newly married ex-fiancé and former best friend, who reintroduce her to an alluring acquaintance from her college years at the same time she realizes that her ties to her ex remain impossible to ignore.

Stop by the Recommendations Desk on First Floor for even more reading recommendations! And don’t forget to sign up for our Adult Summer Reading Program!

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