Editor’s Note: We just love independent bookstores because of the personal attention you get when you visit! Wellesley Books in Wellesley, MA is a favorite of mine, and my “go to” person to recommend books there is Jane Stiles, the author of this post. I have NEVER gotten a bad recommendation from Jane. We know you will love her suggestions for what to read this summer.
The Second Life of Nick Mason by Steve Hamilton
This is the first book in a new series that really blurs the line between good guys and bad. A prisoner is released, but the strings attached are morally unbearable. If you enjoy Lee Child or David Baldacci, you’ve found your new favorite!!
Father’s Day by Simon van Booy
What does it mean to be a parent? This is a beautiful story about an orphan taken in by a wayward relative. Van Booy’s narrative moves between past and present to develop the history of their relationship.
Descent by Tim Johnston –
You will get completely caught up in this unnerving, lyrically-written story of imperfect people coping with unimaginable circumstances. The last 30 pages are amazing.
Flight of Dreams by Ariel Lawhon
Ariel Lawhon’s book explores the fascinating story of the final voyage and the ultimate explosion of the Hindenberg. She speculates on the possible cause for this shocking disaster, while telling a story full of spies, Nazis, class structure and romance. Told through the fictionalized voices of the real-life passengers on board, Lawhon’s book will keep you in rapt suspense, wondering who will survive.
The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett
When Eva and Jim have a chance encounter in Cambridge, do they meet and fall in love, barely notice each other, or become intrigued but feel duty-bound to honor prior commitments? Each outcome produces a vastly different story, but with some intriguing similarities. Aa Barnett plays with fate, destiny and choice in this effortless journey in three simultaneous versions of Eva and Jim’s lives, we are drawn into each story and the inescapable results of choices made along the way.
Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman
If you like laugh out loud funny with a feel good vibe, you will love Britt-Marie. Imagine a slightly north of middle-age woman, on her own for the first time in her life. The ensuing clash with Britt-Marie’s new friends and neighbors in a rough and tumble neighborhood is charming and, ultimately, deeply moving. Enjoy!
Valiant Ambition by Nathaniel Philbrick
This is a trenchant account of the difficult middle period of the Revolutionary War. Anchoring his account to Benedict Arnold’s ultimate betrayal, Philbrick illuminates several webs of intrigue that drove much of the action during this period. As always, his lively style makes for riveting reading.
Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
Named on of TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential peole, Hope Jahren’s has built 3 labe in which she has studied seed, trees, flowers and soil. Lab Girl, her debut memoir, is a portrait of a friendship, as well as a stunning fresh look at plants that will open your eyes to the beauty of the natural world.
The Nest by Cynthia D. Sweeney
A family inheritance – referred to as “the nest” – is at the crux of this endearing story of four adult siblings grappling with a myriad of circumstances, issues, and conflicts. With a great cast of characters as well as smart and witty dialogue, this is an impressive first novel and a great summer read.
Miller’s Valley by Anna Quindlen
Quindlen does it all, effortlessly weaving realistic and well-drawn characters into a compelling tale. The Millers refuse to sell out to big business, even though their home sits in the middle of a man-made flood zone. We learn about the struggles and determination of this remarkable through the narration of the sharp-witted Miller daughter, Mimi. Deeply moving and unpredictable, Milller’s Valley is a pleasure to read!
The Fireman by Joe Hill
This epic page-turner should propel Joe Hill into the upper tier of best-selling authors. His flawed characters are completely believable, and the apocalyptic action scenes are cinematic and exciting. Fans of Justin Cronin and adult fans of J.K. Rowling will love it!
LaRose by Louise Erdrich
When a hunting accident results in the death of his neighbor’s son, Landreaux Iron follows native tradition and offers his own son LaRose to the bereaved family. Thus begins a powerful story set among a group of families in a small community in the North Dakota hinterlands. Erdrich’s luminous prose captures each character’s struggle to overcome their worst impulses, resulting in a book to be treasured.
The Children by Ann Leary
This new book is a poignant, yet hilarious novel that tells the story of an affluent family in Connecticut as it’s unraveling. When the deftly woven parts of all the family members’ stories mesh together, the reader gasps in amazement at the delicate balancing act – between humor and heartbreak – that Leary achieves.
Be sure to visit Wellesley Books to buy these great books and to get even more suggestions for summer reading!