Quick Summer Reads

As summer settles into it’s mid-point, it’s time to plan your final summer reads! Maybe you’ve been putting off your beach/poolside/suntanning books because of class, but you only get one summer a year so make the most of it and give your brain a break with a great book.

Hopefully you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll argue with your friends over what makes a good summer read (this blogger has an opinion: pretty much anything except Tolstoy and the Brontes – deep, dark writing like that is best left for the depths of winter). Find your fave genre below!

Mysteries and Thrills:

book cover: ominous image of US White HouseThe Inner Circle – Brad Meltzer

In The Inner Circle, Meltzer whips up a tale of conspiracy, politics, history and intrigue. Beecher White, an archivist at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., isn’t used to being in any story, let alone at the center of a mystery much bigger than he ever expected. When the archivist stumbles upon a priceless historical document, hidden away for what seems like no good reason, he finds himself thrown into a powerful and puzzling plot of murder and cover-ups.


An American Spy – Olen Steinhauerbook cover: mysterious figure in fog on steps

Spy thrillers more your thing? Check out Steinhauer’s latest, the conclusion to his trilogy (The Tourist, The Nearest Exit), following CIA-agent Milo Weaver as he reluctantly plunges back into the trade to discover what happened to his boss after he disappeared while using one of Weaver’s aliases. The CIA’s “Department of Tourism,” as Weaver’s group is known, has enemies, and it’s up to Weaver to find out who they are before they destroy him and his work. If you like John LeCarre, this is must-read this summer!


book cover: crowded street scene in TurkeyThe Dervish House – Ian McDonald

Drawing on dystopian and sci-fi elements, but also firmly rooted in concerns of today’s world ride with terrorism, McDonald’s The Dervish House is a complex, winding tale. It takes you to the ancient city of Istanbul, Turkey, but the year is 2027 and all is not well. Population growth and draining resources, coupled with swelling unrest, bring the six central characters together in unexpected, mystical and powerful ways. It manages to be both fast-paced and literary, so will satisfy diverse tastes!


Drama and Quirkiness:

book cover: stylized image of people in Edwardian drawing roomThe Uninvited Guests – Sadie Jones

Travel back to 1912, the height of the Edwardian era in England, in this unusual comedy of manners. It is the eve of Emerald Torrington’s 20th birthday and all is planned, but goes unfortunately awry – okay, downright strange – when an accident near the Torrington manor house causes a group of uninvited guests to seek shelter there. It becomes a classic dark and stormy night and will have you riveted. Fans of Jane Austen, Downton Abbey, and Evelyn Waugh will wish this dinner party would never end.


book cover: brightly colored, collaged images of flowersThe Vanishers – Heidi Julavits

Ladies, we know the mother-daughter relationship can be tough. But Heidi Julavits explores just how deep that bond can go when Julia Severn, an up-and-coming psychic, is tormented relentlessly by her one-time mentor (Madame Ackermann), leading Severn to re-live her mother’s suicide. Just be prepared: the cattiness Ackermann radiates toward Severn makes Mean Girls look like a snuggle-fest…


Love and Loss:

book cover: young people holding inner tubes jumping off a dockThe Lost Saints of Tennessee – Amy Franklin-Willis

What happens when everything you’ve known changes? This is the question Zeke Cooper faces when his twin brother drowns and his wife leaves him and their two young daughters. Spanning more than 40 years and set in Tennessee and Virgina horse country, Amy Franklin-Willis documents the fissures that can turn to canyons between family members–and the bridges that can be built to bring them back together.


book cover: image of young child's pigtails from behindBeing Lara – Lola Jaye

When Lara is 8, she learns that she was adopted–no surprise to her considering she’s often wondered about her dark complexion compared to her fair-skinned parents. Then, on her 30th birthday, another woman shows up, claiming to be her birth mother. Lara, who thought she pretty much had life and her identity figured out, must now learn to grapple with two backgrounds, hoping to find a middle ground that truly reflects her.


These are just a few highly recommended selections new to the UGL! You can also look at what’s new by checking out the constantly updated¬†New Books and Media¬†feed on the UGL homepage, or browsing the New Books shelves on the upper level of the UGL.


Twitter Linkedin Digg Delicious Email Tumblr Reddit