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8 Books to Read During Your Summer Vacation Skip to content

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What to Read on Your Summer Vacation

Booksellers and bibliophiles recommend 8 current favorites

The Revolution of Marina M., Red, White and Royal Blue and The Most Fun We Ever Had book covers

Little, Brown and Company; Griffin; Doubleday

Are you looking for a great escape, an intriguing history or a mystery to solve? Consider these tantalizing reads from four people who are big in the book biz.

Danny Feekes, Goodreads managing editor:

Recursion by Blake Crouch

"This one is escapist fun — a mind-bending thrill ride from the author of Dark Matter. In New York City, cop Barry Sutton and neuroscientist Helena Smith investigate false memory syndrome, an affliction that drives its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived.” (Crown)

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim

"A page-turner with a big heart, Miracle Creek is a deeply moving tale — part family drama, part courtroom mystery. A devastating murder trial exposes the secrets, fears and dreams of a small community. It's a debut novel that draws from the author's own life as a Korean immigrant and former lawyer.” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Jan Weissmiller, co-owner of Prairie Lights Books in Iowa City:

The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo

"A novel coming out on June 25, it's the warm, complex saga of Marilyn and David Sorenson — a couple in their 60s who are still deeply in love. The story moves through the 1970s, when they met, to the present. And they have four very different grown daughters, each with an interesting challenge. I absolutely loved it.” (Doubleday)

The Pioneers by David McCullough

"For nonfiction, our customers are loving The Pioneers. It tells the story of the first band of pioneers who set out from New England for the Northwest Territory in 1788. McCullough, author of excellent biographies of Presidents John Adams and Harry Truman and the Wright Brothers, is an incredible writer.” (Simon & Schuster)


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Consuelo Wilder, book buyer at BookPeople in Austin, Texas:

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

"This literary novel, by a poet, is in the form of a letter by a young man, known as Little Dog, to his mom, looking back on their past and his experience as a gay man and Vietnamese immigrant. It came out this month and our sales are already off the charts.” (Penguin Press)

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

"This is a great example of the new kind of romantic comedy, with a diverse range of characters. Alex, the gay son of the president of the United States, is called on to befriend Prince Henry of Wales to help ease tensions between the two countries. There's all kinds of shenanigans. It's delightful, with a heartwarming vibe and universal appeal.” (St. Martins Griffin)

Elaine Petrocelli founder and president of Book Passage in San Francisco:

Revolution of Marina M. by Janet Fitch

"An incredible 2017 book that's now in paperback, it's about Marina Makarova, a privileged young woman, who finds herself pregnant and gets kicked out by her family at the start of the Russian Revolution in St. Petersburg. We follow her as she gets swept up in the conflict. And on July 2 you can jump to the sequel, Chimes of a Lost Cathedral, which continues Marina's epic story as she returns to the war-torn city.” (Little Brown)

Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips

"There are a lot of books right now that are set in Russia and are truly wonderful. Disappearing Earth is about two girls who are kidnapped, and the people around them. It's a mystery but also about relationships and parents, and a whole lot of things that readers can relate to. I love that it's about a part of the world we don't really think about — an island off Russia's mainland. I think it's just wonderful.” (Alfred A. Knopf)

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