by Sheila Lence, Ripley Librarian
Everyone knows that summer – with its long, hot, drowsy days – may be the best season for reading. But have you ever found yourself in the library, about to enjoy your vacation, with no idea what books to read? There is no one definition of a summer book. It can be a 1,000-page biography, a critically acclaimed literary novel, a memoir everyone is talking about – or it might be your favorite guilty pleasure: romance, crime, science fiction. Whatever you choose, it should be able to sweep you away to another world, because there is nothing like getting totally lost in a book on summer day.
All available at Ripley Public Library, these books wowed the book critics at NPR (National Public Radio).
A Good American by Alex George
The Meisenheimer family struggles to find their place among the colorful residents of their new American hometown, including a giant teenage boy, a pretty schoolteacher whose lessons consist of more than music, and a spiteful, bicycle-riding dwarf.
A Land More Kind than Home by Wiley Cash
Jess Hall, growing up deep in the heart of an unassuming mountain town that believes in protecting its own, is plunged into an adulthood for which he is not prepared when his autistic older brother, Stump, sneaks a look at something he isn’t supposed to, which has catastrophic repercussions.
Arcadia by Lauren Groff
In a lush, haunting story of the American dream, Bit, born in a back-to-nature commune in 1970s New York State, must come to grips with the outside world when the commune eventually fails.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamine Alire Saenz
Fifteen-year-old Ari Mendoza is an angry loner with a brother in prison, but when he meets Dante and they become friends, Ari starts to ask questions about himself, his parents, and his family that he has never asked before.
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
Asked to be part of the Dallas Cowboys’ Halftime Show on Thanksgiving, Specialist William Billy Lynn, one of the eight surviving men of the Bravo Squad during America’s war in Iraq, finds his life forever changed by this all-American event that causes him to better understand difficult truths about himself and those around him.
Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
Though he battled for seven years to marry her, Henry is disenchanted with Anne Boleyn. At a word from Henry, Thomas Cromwell is ready to bring her down. But Anne and her powerful family will not yield without a ferocious struggle. Hilary Mantel’s book follows the dramatic trial of the queen and her suitors for adultery and treason. To defeat the Boleyns, Cromwell must ally with his natural enemies, the papist aristocracy. What price will he pay for Anne’s head?
Canada by Richard Ford
After his parents are arrested and imprisoned for robbing a bank, 15-year-old Dell Parsons is taken in by Arthur Remlinger who, unbeknownst to Dell, is hiding a dark and violent nature that interferes with Dell’s quest to find grace and peace on the prairie of Saskatchewan.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
When a beautiful woman goes missing on her fifth wedding anniversary, her diary reveals hidden turmoil in her marriage and a mysterious illness; while her husband, desperate to clear himself of suspicion, realizes that something more disturbing than murder may have occurred.
Home by Toni Morrison
Frank Money is an angry, broken veteran of the Korean War who, after traumatic experiences on the front lines, finds himself back in racist America with more than just physical scars. He is shocked out of his apathy by the need to rescue his medically abused younger sister and work through identity-shattering memories.
Lost by Michael Robotham
Detective Vincent Ruiz, battling amnesia and under investigation by suspicious colleagues within his own department following a brutal attack, turns to psychologist Joe O’Loughlin for help in piecing together the clues to unlock his memory.
Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
In Elizabethan London, Oxford scholar and reluctant witch Diana Bishop seeks a magical tutor, while vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont confronts elements from his past at the same time the mystery of the enchanted manuscript Ashmole 782 deepens.
The Healing by Jonathan Odell
Concerned about his wife’s extensive grief over the loss of their daughter and worrying about a mysterious illness that is afflicting his slaves, Master Satterfield purchases a slave woman known as a healer, only to be further unsettled by her troubling predictions and possible inauthenticity. 50,000 first printing.
The Stonecutter by Camilla Lackberg
The mysterious drowning of a little girl threatens to tear apart the resort town of Fjallbacka, as Patrik Hedstrom’s investigation begins to uncover dark secrets of past generations.
The Violinist’s Thumb by Sam Kean
An exploration of human DNA and the stories it can tell describes how genes can explain why JFK’s skin was bronze, Einstein was a genius, and why people with exceptional thumb flexibility can become world-class violinists.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
When her notorious, hilarious, volatile, talented, troubled, and agoraphobic mother goes missing, teenage Bee begins a trip that takes her to the ends of the earth to find her.
Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon
Baring her soul in an anonymous survey for a marital happiness study, Alice catalogues her stale marriage, unsatisfying job and unfavorable prospects and begins to question virtually every aspect of her life
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
A powerful, blazingly honest, inspiring memoir traces the personal crisis the author endured after the death of her mother and a painful divorce, which prompted her ambition to undertake a dangerous 1,100-mile solo hike that both drove her to rock bottom and helped her to heal.