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Recommended Reading

Our summer must-read lists
Posted 05/28/2019 10:59PM

Ms. Bartels

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn
"Two women – a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947 – are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption."

Courting Mr. Lincoln by Louis Bayard
"[A] historical novel about the relationships between the brilliant, melancholic future President and the two people who knew him best: his handsome and charming confidant (and roommate) Joshua Speed and the spirited young debutante Mary Todd."

Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
"A gripping novel about the whirlwind rise of an iconic 1970s rock group and their beautiful lead singer, revealing the mystery behind their infamous breakup."

Improvement by Joan Silber
"A bold and piercing novel about a young single mother living in New York, her eccentric aunt, and the decisions they make that have unexpected implications for the world around them."

The Library Book by Susan Orlean
"Susan Orlean reopens the unsolved mystery of the most catastrophic library fire in American history, and delivers a dazzling love letter to a beloved institution – our libraries."

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
"Slasher meets satire in this darkly comic novel set in Nigeria about a woman whose younger sister has a very inconvenient habit of killing her boyfriends."

Us Against You by Fredrick Backman
"Beartown is home to tough, hardworking people who don't expect life to be easy or fair. No matter how difficult times get, they've always been able to take pride in their local ice hockey team. So it's a cruel blow when they hear that Beartown ice hockey might soon be disbanded."

When You Read This by Mary Adkins
"Told in a series of e-mails, blog posts, online therapy submissions, text messages, legal correspondence, home-rental bookings, and other snippets of our virtual lives, When You Read This is a deft, captivating romantic comedy – funny, tragic, surprising, and bittersweet – that candidly reveals how we find new beginnings after loss."

The Winter Soldier by Daniel Mason
"From the gilded ballrooms of Imperial Vienna to the frozen forests of the Eastern Front; from hardscrabble operating rooms to battlefields thundering with Cossack cavalry, The Winter Soldier is the story of war and medicine, of family, of finding love in the sweeping tides of history, and finally, of the mistakes we make, and the precious opportunities to atone."

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
"Anna Fox lives alone, a recluse in her New York City home, drinking too much wine, watching old movies and spying on her neighbors. Then the Russells move next door: a father, a mother, their teenaged son. The perfect family. But when Anna sees something she shouldn't, her world begins to crumble and its shocking secrets are laid bare. What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control?"

Ms. Ricker

And the Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness
"[A] richly illustrated and lyrical tale, one that asks harrowing questions about power, loyalty, obsession, and the monsters we make of others."

Best Friends by Shannon Hale
"Bestselling creators of Real Friends Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham are back with a true story about popularity, first boyfriends, and finding your own path."

The Faithful Spy by John Hendrix
"In his signature style of interwoven handwritten text and art, John Hendrix tells the true story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a pastor who makes the ultimate sacrifice in order to free the German people from oppression during World War II."

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling
"[A] middle grade novel about a spunky girl born without arms and a boy with Tourette syndrome navigating the challenges of middle school, disability, and friendship – all while solving a mystery in a western theme park."

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart
"Twelve-year-old Coyote and her father rush to Poplin Springs, Washington, in their old school bus to save a memory box buried in a park that will soon be demolished."

Saving Winslow by Sharon Creech
"Louie doesn't have the best luck when it comes to nurturing small creatures - not even lightning bugs, worms, or goldfish. So when his father brings home a sickly, newborn mini donkey, he's determined to save him."

Shout: A Poetry Memoir by Laurie Halse Anderson
"A memoir that shares the author's life, covering her rape at thirteen, her difficult early childhood, and her experiences surrounding her publication of Speak."

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden
"After eleven-year-old Ollie's school bus mysteriously breaks down on a field trip, she has to take a trip through scary woods, and must use all of her wits to survive. She must stick to small spaces."

Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley
"Seventeen-year-old Cullen's summer in Lily, Arkansas, is marked by his cousin's death by overdose, an alleged spotting of a woodpecker thought to be extinct, failed romances, and his younger brother's sudden disappearance."

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
"Teen mother Emoni Santiago struggles with the challenges of finishing high school and her dream of working as a chef."

Ms. Kazan

Belgravia by Julian Fellowes
"Set in the 1840s when the upper echelons of society began to rub shoulders with the emerging industrial nouveau riche, Belgravia is peopled by a rich cast of characters. But the story begins on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. At the Duchess of Richmond's now legendary ball, one family's life will change forever."

The Iliad by Gareth Hinds
"In a companion volume to his award-winning adaptation of The Odyssey, the incomparable graphic novelist Gareth Hinds masterfully adapts Homer's classic wartime epic."

The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See
"The story of two friends from different backgrounds that begins during a period of Japanese colonialism in the 1930s and 1940s followed by World War II, the Korean War, and up through the era of cell phones and wet suits for women divers."

The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff
"[A] story of friendship and courage centered around three women and a ring of female secret agents during World War II."

Normal People by Sally Rooney
"Throughout their years at university, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together. And as she veers into self-destruction and he begins to search for meaning elsewhere, each must confront how far they are willing to go to save the other."

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
"Sixteen-year-old Bri hopes to become a great rapper, and after her first song goes viral for all the wrong reasons, must decide whether to sell out or face eviction with her widowed mother."

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
"Queenie Jenkins is a 25-year-old Jamaican British woman living in London, straddling two cultures and slotting neatly into neither. . . . After a messy break up from her long-term white boyfriend, Queenie seeks comfort in all the wrong places."

Saints for All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan
"A sweeping novel about two sisters – one the matriarch of a boisterous Irish Catholic family, the other a cloistered nun, hidden from the world – and the secret that drove them apart."

Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Keefe
"A narrative about a notorious killing that took place in Northern Ireland during The Troubles and its repercussions to this day."

Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris
"Struggling reporter Ellis Reed gets reminded of his own family's dark past as he sees a sign saying '2 children for sale.' When he snaps a picture of the sign he never thought it would be his big break, or that it would bring dangerous consequences. Ellis, along with sympathetic co-worker Lillian Palmer, must ask themselves what they are willing to risk to save a broken family."

Ms. Matlin

Bloody Rose by Nicholas Eames
"A band of fabled mercenaries, led by the infamous Bloody Rose, tour a wild fantasy landscape, battling monsters in arenas in front of thousands of adoring fans, but a secret and dangerous gig ushers them to the frozen north, and the band is never one to waste a shot at glory . . . even if it means almost certain death."

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
"When Agnes Nutter predicts that the end of the world is days away, the demon Crowley and his angel friend, Aziraphale, team up to save humankind."

The Helpline by Katherine Collette
"An eccentric woman who is great with numbers – but not so great with people – realizes it's up to her to pull a community together in this . . . debut perfect for fans of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and The Rosie Project."

The Lost Boys: Inside Muzafer Sherif's Robbers Cave Experiment by Gina Perry
"In 1954, a group of boys attended a remote summer camp in Oklahoma. There they were split into two groups, and encouraged to bully, harass, and demonize each other. The results would make history as one of social psychology's classic studies: the Robbers Cave experiment."

The Magic Order: Book One by Mark Millar and Olivier Coipel
"Magic meets the Mob in The Magic Order, as five families of magicians – sworn to protect our world for generations – must battle an enemy who's picking them off one by one. By day, they live among us as our neighbors, friends and co-workers, but by night they are the sorcerers, magicians and wizards that protect us from the forces of darkness . . . unless the darkness gets them first."

The Only Harmless Great Thing by Brooke Bolander
"Early in the twentieth century, a group of female factory workers in Newark, New Jersey, slowly died of radiation poisoning. Around the same time an Indian elephant was deliberately and publicly put to death by electricity in Coney Island . . . Now these two tragedies are intertwined in a dark alternate history of rage, radioactivity, and wrongs crying out to be righted."

The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie
"Gods meddle in the fates of men, men play with the fates of gods, and a pretender must be cast down from the throne in this masterful first fantasy novel from Ann Leckie."

Something Like Gravity by Amber Smith
"For fans of Love, Simon and Eleanor & Park, a romantic and sweet novel about a transgender boy who falls in love for the first time – and how first love changes us all."

SuperMutant Magic Academy by Jillian Tamaki
"SuperMutant Magic Academy is a prep-school for mutants and witches but their paranormal abilities take a back seat to everyday teen concerns. Science experiments go awry, bake sales are upstaged, and the new kid at school is a cat who will determine the course of human destiny."

Why I Like This Story edited by Jackson R. Bryer
"Why I Like This Story presents brief essays by forty-eight leading American writers on their favorite American short stories, explaining why they like them. The essays, which are personal, not scholarly, not only tell us much about the story selected, they also tell us a good deal about the author of the essay, about what elements of fiction he or she values."

Quotes provided by the publisher.

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