Looking for a great summer read? Ask an AAPLD staff member! We love books—reading them, talking about them, and recommending them! Since summer is prime reading season, members of the Adult Services staff would like to share some of our favorite recent reads, and audiobook listens.
I enjoyed The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James, It was an intriguing mix of psychological thriller and haunting mystery. The main character's interest in writing about true crime and cold cases leads her to a close, and uncomfortably chilling, involvement with a manipulative murder suspect. Recommended by Anne Kunzen, Information Services & Genealogy Librarian
Young Adult/Historical Fiction
The Silent Unseen by Amanda McCrina Poland, July 1944. Sixteen-year-old Maria is making her way home after years of forced labor in Nazi Germany, only to find her village destroyed and her parents killed in a war between the Polish Resistance and Ukrainian nationalists. To Maria’s shock, the local Resistance unit is commanded by her older brother, Tomek―who she thought was dead. He is now a “Silent Unseen,” a special-operations agent with an audacious plan to resist a new and even more dangerous enemy sweeping in from the East. When Tomek disappears, Maria is determined to find him, but the only person who might be able to help is a young Ukrainian prisoner and the last person Maria trusts―even as she feels a growing connection to him that she can’t resist. Recommended by Holly Eberle, Teen Librarian
Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell. With Gladwell, you can’t go wrong. This book is about the importance of both talking and listening, and how communication is a two way process, a really relevant lesson for our time. What’s more, the audiobook uses actual clips of the people being quoted, so you can hear why their words are so insightful. Recommended by Henry Sadowski, Adult Services Librarian
Beneath The Stairs by Jennifer Fawcett. In a small upstate New York town, teens dare one another to enter an abandoned house with a sinister history, hidden deep in the woods. In the summer of 1994, best friends Clare and Abby take the dare, and are never the same. Fawcett takes familiar horror elements--haunted houses, creepy dolls, dark basements-- and gives them a fresh twist, weaving a scary page-turner I couldn’t put down. Recommended by Elizabeth Harmon, Adult Services Library Associate
The Lioness by Chris Bohjalian Tanzania, 1964. When Katie Barstow, A-list actress, and her new husband, David Hill, decide to bring their Hollywood friends to the Serengeti for their honeymoon, they expect civilized adventure: Fresh ice from the kerosene-powered ice maker, dinners of cooked gazelle meat, and plenty of stories to tell over lunch back on Rodeo Drive.
What Katie and her glittering entourage do not expect is this: A kidnapping gone wrong, their guides bleeding out in the dirt, and a team of Russian mercenaries herding them into Land Rovers, guns to their heads. As the powerful sun gives way to night, the gunmen shove them into abandoned huts and Katie Barstow, Hollywood royalty, prays for a simple thing: To see the sun rise one more time. A fast paced, well written literary thriller with interesting characters and a strong sense of place. Recommended by Meghan O'Keefe, Adult Services Librarian
One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle - A perfect read for summer. Katy was supposed to go with her mom on a trip to spectacular Positano, Italy, where her mother lived as a young woman, but tragically, she passes away before they go. Katy decides to take the trip anyway, to heal and feel closer to her mom. While she is there enjoying the town -- Mom appears in the flesh as her 30 years old self, and the two become friends! The magical quality of this story is what I love the most -- the food, the view, and the ambiance of the coastal setting, all brought to life by the author's gorgeous writing. It sweeps you up and away to another world! Recommended by Wendy Theehs, Adult Services Library Associate
Glitterland by Alexis Hall. This British novel brings together two unlikely lovers; Ash, an upper class author, whose severe anxiety and depression have derailed his life and career, and Darian, a big-hearted male model from working-class Essex, England. Hall’s depictions of mental illness are gripping, and he wisely avoids an unrealistic “healed by love” trope. Yet the story is touching, funny and hopeful. Told with wit and tenderness, it’s a great read for Pride Month, or any month. Available in ebook on Hoopla. Recommended by Elizabeth Harmon, Adult Services Library Associate
The Newcomer by Mary Kay Andrews This author is my go to summer read. Her books are set in a sunny locale and they usually have a touch of whimsy. This book was all that and more. The main plot was a mystery that really keeps you guessing. I liked its emphasis on the power of trusting people and letting love come in to your heart. Recommended by Karin Litwin, Adult Services Library Associate
The Guncle by Steven Rowley - This is a funny, heartwarming story about a gay uncle who takes care of his niece and nephew for the summer, after they lose their mom to a long illness, and their dad goes to rehab for painkiller addiction. I listened to this audiobook as well. The author was the narrator and did an excellent job. Recommended by Lisa Mayoras, Adult Services Library Associate