Summer weather always launches trips into the imagination via books. Catching up on old favorites is one option — we all have several we need to read or re-read in the kind of down time summer invites. But publishers also release great summer reads. It’s not uncommon for book club members to read ahead for fall meetings, hoping to find the perfect book to share. It’s also a “thing” for readers to save the lazy day books for this time. Regardless, here are some suggestions:
• “Something in the Water” — Catherine Steadman has written a creepy thriller about greed and self-delusion, in which a honeymooning couple find something very odd, and very tempting in the waters around Bora Bora. Don’t miss it if you like thrillers. I wolfed it down.
• Louise Penney’s most recent book departs from her usual fare with cowriter Hillary Clinton in “State of Terror,” a political thriller set in the post-COVID world.
• “How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House” — Cherie Jones wrote a beautiful story with this novel about an abused young wife whose husband’s lawless activities threaten her life and that of her baby. A good one, sweeping across race and class boundaries in a resort town.
• “The Woman in the Library” by Sulari Gentil is a new release with a local hook to attract Massachusetts readers. It’s a mystery within a mystery, in which Australian author Hannah Tigone is the lead story, but it is her character, Freddie Kincaid, who spends a peaceful day at the Boston Public Library only to be interrupted by a woman’s scream. You’ll find a nice review of it on the Worcester Public Library’s monthly librarians review.
• “Tracy Flick Can’t Win” — Tom Perrotta, a favorite with Boston readers, comes back with a sequel to his earlier “Election.” Tracy Flick, now a mother and assistant principal, has designs on the principal position, regardless of cost to her. Publisher’s Weekly dubbed it “the rare sequel that lives up to the original.”
• “Nightcrawling,” Leila Mottley’s debut novel, is a serious look at how police violence impacts young girls—a very different reality from the shooting events we all know. Set in her native Oakland, California, the book is based on actual details of a sex scandal involving that city’s police officers in 2016. The fictional Kiara is not much younger than the actual author, a youth poet laureate in Oakland some years back. Critics and fellow authors have raved about the novel, which is a new Oprah’s Book Club selection. Recently, Seth Meyers interviewed Mottley on his "Late Night" program.
• “The Reservoir” — Actor David Duchovny’s novel of the pandemic is a promising story inspired by his take on the COVID experience. In it, a former Wall Street executive is driven mad by isolation and curiosity about his neighbor, who appears to be signaling him for help. It’s a twist of “Rear Window” and “The Plague” brought to modern fiction.
• It’s a little older, but Margaret Verble’s 2021 release, “When Two Feathers Fell from the Sky,” is not to be missed. A Pulitzer Prize finalist, Verble brings us into the world of wild west performers and the friendship between a Cherokee horse-diver and a young Black man who loves horses. It’s a riveting read.
• As mentioned, librarians at WPL have a feature on the library’s Facebook page in which two librarians talk about their summer reading list. They highlight “The Catch Me if You Can,” a nonfiction travel piece by Jessica Nabongo, who visited every country in the world —which sounds like an intriguing read.
• Poisoned Pen Press has released a summer cozy for those who like a nice, comforting-as-a-cup-of-tea kind of novel in Tamara Berry’s “Buried in a Good Book.” Cozies have clever titles, clever characters and, usually, recipes. In this book, a thriller writer finds herself in the Pacific Northwest with her daughter. Ask your librarian or bookstore operator for a look at the cozies you’ve missed.
• Author Therese Anne Fowler has newly released “It All Comes Down to This.” “I needed wit and humor and lightness and happy endings,” she said. The resulting book is her take on the dysfunctional family dramedy. Booklist calls it a highly entertaining summer read and Publisher’s Weekly dubbed it “Austenesque.” It’s about three sisters whose dying mother insists their Maine summer home be sold after her death — not a very welcome suggestion to any of them.
• In “Calling for a Blanket Dance,” by Oscar Hokeah, a Native American struggles to become strong in his own identity within his family, told by their voices.
Other books recommended by multiple sources:
• In “Woman of Light,” Kali Fajardo-Anstine has written a novel that follows an American-Chicano family in the American West through five generations.
• “Cult Classic,” by Sloane Crosley, follows a young woman who leaves a dinner with former colleagues in Chinatown for a cigarette and begins to encounter one ex-boyfriend after another.
• “More Than You’ll Ever Know” is Katie Gutierrez’s story of a woman caught leading a double life after one of her husbands murders the other.
Summer usually sees the end of book club meetings in this area, but a few remain.
• O’Connor’s Books, Brews and Banter group will meet at 6:30 p.m., July 6 to discuss Heather Lende’s “If You Lived Here, I’d Know Your Name: News from Small-town Alaska.”
• WPL’s virtual book clubs are as follows:
American History Book Club: “The Fort” by Bernard Cornwell, 7 p.m. July 5.
Science Fiction: “Bellwether” by Connie Willis, 1 p.m., June 21.
Great American Read book Club: Alexandre Dumas’ “The Count of Monte Cristo.”
True Crime Book Club: “The Stranger Beside Me” by Ann Rule, at 7 p.m., June 28.
All meetings are virtual until further notice.
• NOW Book Club will meet to discuss Amy Bloom’s “In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss” at 5 p.m. June 16 in TidePool BookShop, Worcester. On June 21, the bookstore hosts an open mic, “Artists who are Poets and Poets who are Artists.”
Send club and book-related material to firstname.lastname@example.org
This article originally appeared on Telegram & Gazette: Read It and Reap: A few book suggestions to fill the lazy days of summer