Must-Read Books For Summer 2014
As the warm weather finally arrives, we’re looking at what’s new this season in books suited for coming days at the beach, in the mountains, or even your backyard. There’s a new series from New Hampshire children’s author Paul Durham, a memoir from Mariano Rivera, and a new novel from perennial favorite JK Rowling. (digital post by Faith Meixell)
- Dan Chartrand - owner of Water Street Bookstore in Exeter
- Michael Herrmann - owner of Gibson's Bookstore in Concord
TOP PICKS FROM MICHAEL & DAN:
- Euphoria - Lily King: Listen to an interview with the author on WNYC's Leonard Lopate show here. "the story of three young, gifted anthropologists in 1933 caught in a passionate love triangle that threatens theirs bonds, their careers, and ultimately their lives. Set between World War I and II and inspired by events in the life of revolutionary anthropologist Margaret Mead, Euphoria is an enthralling story passion, possession, exploration and sacrifice" (author's website)
- The Luck Uglies - Paul Durham: top pick for middle grades, local author - "Rye’s mother insists the Bog Noblins are extinct…but what if she’s wrong? There’s nobody left who can protect the village from the vile creatures. There was once—an exiled secret society so notorious that their name can’t be spoken out loud: The Luck Uglies." (HarperCollins)
- Capital in the 21st Century - Thomas Piketty: Michael Herrmann's 'eat your vegetables' pick. Check out WBUR's On Point's interview with the author, as well as an excerpt here. "Piketty shows that modern economic growth and the diffusion of knowledge have allowed us to avoid inequalities on the apocalyptic scale predicted by Karl Marx. But we have not modified the deep structures of capital and inequality as much as we thought in the optimistic decades following World War II. The main driver of inequality—the tendency of returns on capital to exceed the rate of economic growth—today threatens to generate extreme inequalities that stir discontent and undermine democratic values." (Harvard University Press)
- Take This Man - Brando Skyhorse: Check out an excerpt and interview on the Diane Rehm Show here. "From PEN/Hemingway award winner Brando Skyhorse comes this stunning, heartfelt memoir in the vein of The Glass Castle or The Tender Bar, the true story of a boy’s turbulent childhood growing up with five stepfathers and the mother who was determined to give her son everything but the truth." (Simon & Schuster)
- The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics - Daniel James Brown: "The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers from the American West, the boys took on and defeated successive echelons of privilege and power. They vanquished the sons of bankers and senators rowing for elite eastern universities. They defeated the sons of British aristocrats rowing for Oxford and Cambridge. And finally, in an extraordinary race in Berlin they stunned the Aryan sons of the Nazi state as they rowed for gold in front of Adolf Hitler."
- The Art of Hearing Heartbeats - Jan-Philipp Sendker: Here's a blog entry from the author about how the book began. "When a successful New York lawyer suddenly disappears without a trace, neither his wife nor his daughter Julia has any idea where he might be…until they find a love letter he wrote many years ago, to a Burmese woman they have never heard of." (Other Press)
- Great Greene Heist - Varian Johnson: Getting attention for its diverse cast of characters: "reformed troublemaker Jackson Green assembles a crack team consisting of a tech genius, science goddess and accountant to ensure an honest run for student council in this fast-moving caper." (LA Times)
Complete List of Books Mentioned During Show
- Jan-Philipp Sendker, Art of Hearing Heartbeats - top fiction recommendation, follow-up is A Well-Tempered Heart
- Marjery Heffron, Louisa Catherine: The Other Mrs. Adams top non-fiction recommendation
- Donna Tartt, Goldfinch - continues to be a bestseller since last fall
- Lily King, Euphoria - strong writer from Maine, beloved in New England. Euphoria is based on true story about Margaret Mead: intrigue, science, romance.
- Stephen King, Mr. Mercedes- just came out yesterday
- Chris Bohjalian, Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands - well-known Vermont author, book comes out in July
- Daniel James Brown, The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics - top nonfiction recommendation
- Joel Dicker, Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair
- Ishmael Beah, Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier - also wrote Radiance of Tomorrow
- Owen King, Double Feature - coming of age story about college graduate working his way into the film industry
- Herman Koch, Summer with Swimming Pool - heavy read, European author also of 'The Dinner'
- Thomas Piketty, Capital in the 21st Century - French book about economic inequality: a heavy read, but accessible to non-experts, has been receiving lots of media attention
- Amy Stewart, The Drunken Botanist
- Stephen King, Mr. Mercedes- just came out yesterday
- Brendan DuBois, Fatal Harbor - mystery recommendation, in the Lewis Cole series
- Claire North, First Fifteen Lives of Harry August - time-traveling, includes a mystery
- Jo Nesbo, The Son - standalone book from the Norwegian author, 'popcorn' read
- Barbara Ehrenreich, Living with a Wild God - lifelong non-believer reflecting on spirituality; author also known for Nickel and Dimed
- Paul Durham, Luck Uglies - by local lawyer-turned-author, good for ages 8+
- John Green, The Fault in our Stars - young adult book (being turned into a movie), not post-apocalyptic. His other books (Looking for Alaska, etc) also recommended
- Esther Earl, The Star Won’t Go Out - the true story of the Fault in our Stars
- Erin Bowman, Taken - like Hunger Games or The Giver, also wrote Frozen
- Adi Rule, Strange Sweet Song - young adult recommendation
- Elizabeth Warren, A Fighting Chance - by the Massachusetts politician, also wrote The Two-Income Trap
- Kirstin Downey, The Woman Behind the New Deal - about Frances Perkins, Elizabeth Warren predecessor
- Varian Johnson, The Great Greene Heist - part of movement to increase characters of varying backgrounds in kids' books, #weneeddiversebooks
- Hermione Lee, Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life - biography
- Joanna Rakoff - My Salinger Year, memoir of Salinger's literary assistant
- David Gilbert, & Sons - novel about notoriously reclusive author; family dynamics
- Brando Skyhorse, Take This Man – memoir of growing up in a dysfunctional family
- Katrina Kenison, Magical Journey - local N.H. editor and author's third memoir. She writes about being an empty nester searching for meaning.
- Barbara Bates Sedoric, The LastingMatters Organizer - self-published, beautifully designed. You can watch the book trailer here.
- Alex Beam, American Crucifixion - Boston Globe columnist, early Mormon history. We interviewed him on The Exchange last month.
- Bill Bryson, One Summer: America, 1927 - go-to author on history, new in paperback