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.


  • “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.”


  • “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.


  • “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.

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