Summer reads to pick up

  • By Jane Henderson St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  • Friday, May 31, 2013 2:05pm
  • Life

Summer books aren’t only notorious potboilers or “beach reads.” They can be finely composed and serious. But more often than not, they offer the chance to escape into another world. Here’s a selection of fiction titles coming this summer.

June

  • “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” by Neil Gaiman. A middle-aged man returns home, and, sitting by a pond, remembers a strange encounter from his childhood. Gaiman’s first book for adults since 2005.
  • “Flora” by Gail Godwin. A wry adolescent and her young caretaker deal with heartbreak during the summer of 1945.
  • “The Black Country” by Alex Grecian. Scotland Yard’s new Murder Squad has its hands full with a family missing in the coal-mining midlands in this historical thriller.
  • “Bad Monkey” by Carl Hiaasen. Will Hiaasen ever run out of goofy gatorland-inspiration for his South Florida satires? Apparently, and thankfully, not.
  • “And the Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini. What looks to be a summer blockbuster begins with a poor Afghan man who decides to sell one of his children. From the author of “The Kite Runner.”
  • “Joyland” by Stephen King. Pulpy paperback about a college student who works as a carny in 1973 and confronts things that will change his life.
  • “Sisterland” by Curtis Sittenfeld. Twin sisters seem to have sixth senses, and one cashes in on hers as an adult psychic.
  • “Revenge Wears Prada” by Lauren Weisberger. Years after she quit working for dragon lady Miranda Priestly, Andy has started a bridal magazine and is engaged. But everything doesn’t seem right to the heroine of “The Devil Wears Prada.”

July

  • “The Highway” by C.J. Box. Two girls, and even their car, disappear on a remote country road.
  • “Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger” by Beth Harbison. Humorous chick lit from the author of “When in Doubt, Add Butter.”
  • “The Last Word” by Lisa Lutz. Izzy Spellman’s professional life is never easy, but she didn’t help it by staging a hostile takeover of the family business. We learn what happens next in the latest episode of the humorous mystery series.
  • “Kiss Me First” by Lottie Moggach. Psychological thriller by a new British author explores danger when a young woman falls under the influence of an online charmer.
  • “Visitation Street” by Ivy Pochoda. On a summer evening, two Brooklyn teens set sail on a raft, but only one makes it back to shore.
  • “The English Girl” by Daniel Silva. Gabriel Allon must find out what happened to a young woman who disappears on the island of Corsica.

August

  • “The Girl You Left Behind” by Jojo Moyes. A mystery and love story revolve around a World War I soldier’s portrait of his young wife, Sophie, who is desperate to see her husband. Decades later, the portrait resurfaces when a husband gives it to his wife.
  • “Night Film” by Marisha Pessl. Has it really been seven years since Pessl’s “Special Topics in Calamity Physics”? Her new novel is billed as a literary thriller that involves a reclusive cult-film director father and the suspicious suicide of his daughter.

Talk to us

More in Life

Shawn McQuiller of Kool & The Gang performs at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, on Sunday, May 8, 2022, in New Orleans. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

Kool & The Gang and Average White Band are coming soon to a casino near you. Queensryche also is due in Arlington.

Preston Brust, left, and Chris Lucas of LOCASH perform during CMA Fest 2022 on Thursday, June 8, 2022, at the Chevy Riverfront Stage in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

The country music duo Locash drops by the Angel of the Winds Casino on Saturday. And there’s the Summer Meltdown festival at its new home near Snohomish all weekend.

‘Poco Orange’ Red Hot Poker. (Terra Nova Nurseries)
Warmer weather means brighter, hotter colors in the garden

Here are seven plants that will bring a blazing pop of color to your outdoor spaces.

An easy one-mile loop near the visitor center at Seaquest State Park explores the edge of Silver Lake.
(Scott Hewitt/The Columbian)
Discover seven hidden gems not far from the super slab

Weekend trips: Next time you’re making the I-5 slog toward Oregon, check out some of these parks and preserves just off the freeway corridor.

Caption: Now’s a great time to stock up on free Covid tests available to Washington State residents at: https://sayyescovidhometest.org.
COVID-19’s behind her except for a nagging cough

But things might have been much different — in a bad way — without testing and vaccines.

The blended-families challenge requires patience, maturity

Don’t expect miracles — it can be rough going for some time. Get professional help if you need it.

Her Turo rental was repossessed with valuable items inside

When Michelle Marshall’s Turo rental gets repossessed, the car-sharing company offers her a partial refund. But what about her son’s expensive epilepsy medication? Is Turo responsible for that?

Lee Oskar and his dog Tex inside his art studio in his home on Wednesday, March 2, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Harmonica whiz Lee Oskar is also a pro with a paintbrush

Oskar’s music and art studios are in his Everett home. The former member of the 1970s band War is now 74, and still rocks “Low Rider.”

The 2022 WM Recycle Corps interns are part of WM’s recycling education and outreach team.
WM Recycle Corps interns return after two-year COVID slowdown

The collegiate interns are back in the community to help improve recycling habits and reduce waste.

Caption: At Flight Room in Lynnwood, aerial fitness poses like “vampire” use every muscle in your body.
Fitness takes flight at new aerial studio in Lynnwood

Jennifer Bardsley finds benefits and “silk kisses” from doing aerial yoga at Lynnwood studio.

Photo Caption: This carved shelf brought $2,500 at New Haven Auctions. Decorations and symbols associated with the Odd Fellows add to its appeal.
Odd Fellows iconography adds to this carved shelf’s value

Fun fact: The Odd Fellows is believed to have originated in medieval trade guilds, with “odd fellow” meaning someone who did odd jobs for a living.

The Limelight Prime Panicle Hydrangea. (Proven Winners)
3 new “pee gee” hydrangeas for gardeners to salivate over

These new shrubs boast better flower color and, in some cases, more compact forms that fit better in smaller gardens.