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What are you reading this summer? Here are some top picks from around N.H.

Looking for a way to escape the heat this summer? Local bookstores across New Hampshire are often air conditioned, sometimes have coffee, and always have stacks of summer reads.

Here are some summer reading recommendations from booksellers around the state, NHPR listeners and NHPR staff.

Local Bookstore Picks

Laura Cummings has been the owner of White Birch Books in North Conway for nearly two decades. The spacious, two-story indoor space features craft greeting cards and a substantial kids section. The store’s floor-to-ceiling New England section offers books by local authors, hiking guides, maps and more. Cummings' picks:

  • “Dirtbag Massachusetts” by Isaac Fitzgerald (nominated for New England Book Award)
  • “Night of the Living Res” by Morgan Talty (nominated for New England Book Award)
  • “One Step Too Far” by Lisa Gardner (New Hampshire author)
  • “You Made A Fool of Death With Your Beauty” by Akwaeke Emezi

Skylar Miklus is the assistant manager of Still North Books and Bar in Hanover. Still North has a more lively scene with a café, music and the chatter of students and customers. Miklus' picks:

  • “A Slow Fire Burning” by Paula Hawkins (author of “The Girl on the Train”)
  • “Elsewhere” by Alexis Schaitkin
  • “Malibu Rising” by Taylor Jenkins
  • “One Last Stop” by Casie McQuiston (author of “Red, White and Royal Blue”)
  • “Our Wives Under the Sea” by Julia Armfield
  • “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow" by Gabrielle Zevin
Petunia the cat is specifically requested by Sheafe Street customers, especially kids.
Laura Bratton
Petunia the cat is popular with customers at Sheafe Street bookstore in Portsmouth.

Ken Kozick started Sheafe Street Books out of his house in downtown Portsmouth 12 years ago. The cozy store’s stock is 90 percent used and occupies his former living and dining rooms. He says many customers come not only for the books, but to see his cat and bookstore co-owner, Petunia. Kozick's picks:

  • “Happy Go Lucky” by David Sedaris
  • “Midcoast” by Adam Wright
  • “Persuasion” by Jane Austin
  • “The Twilight World” by Werner Herzog

Jules Pelarski is a bookseller at Bookery Manchester. They’re a writer, themselves, with a love for science fiction novels. Besides the books, Pelarski says Bookery has the best chai lattes in town. Perlarski's picks:

  • “Come Up” by Angie Thomas
  • “Concrete Rose” by Angie Thomas
  • “Dune” by Frank Herbert
  • “IQ84” by Haruki Murakami

Listener Picks

Arthur in Hampton, NH —“The Emigrants” by William Moberg

Bill in Hampton, NH —“Disappeared” by Bonnar Spring (NH author)

Ellen in Exeter, NH — “Shantaram” by Gregory Roberts

Jackie in Glen, NH —“Unlikely Animals” by Annie Hartnett

Karen in Wolfeboro, NH —“Wish You Were Here” by Jodi Picoult (NH author)

Neal in North Conway, NH — “Leaders Eat Last” by Simon Sinek; “The One Thing” by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan

Sandy in Whitefield, NH — “The Lincoln Highway” by Amor Towles

"Girl as Birch: Poems" by Rebecca Kaiser Gibson (NH author)

"The Spiral Shell" by Sandell Morse (NH author)

Staff Picks

Alli Fam — “The Book of Form and Emptiness” by Ruth Ozeki; “The Boy Kings of Texas: A Memoir” by Domingo Martinez

Daniella Allee — “Crónica de una muerta anunciada” by Gabriel García Márquez; “Indentured” by Joe Nocera

Dan Barrick — “Foster” by Claire Keegan

Dan Tuohy — “The Splendid and The Vile” by Erik Larsen

Julia Furukawa — “100 Years of Solitude” by Gabriel García Márquez; “The Body Keeps the Score” by Bessel van der Kolk

Laura Bratton — “All About Love” by bell hooks; “The Love Songs of W.E.B. Dubois” by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers

Mara Hoplamazian — “Braiding Sweetgrass” by Robin Wall Kimmerer; “Confessions of the Fox” by Jordy Rosenberg

Sarah Gibson — “Lot” by Bryan Washington

Sara Plourde — “The Daughter of Doctor Moreau” by Silvia Moreno-Garcia; “Rogues” by Patrick Radden Keefe

Zoey Knox — “Beach Read” by Emily Henry

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