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What to Read Now That It's (Finally) Summer!

Susan Vaufrey via Flickr CC

It's been a long time coming, but it's finally summer in New Hampshire!  If that means kicking back with a good book, we have some recommendations to share with you.  From political memoirs to historical novels and nonfiction, there's something for everyone, including the latest from favorite authors Michael Crichton, John Grisham, and Neil Gaiman.

This show originally broadcast on June 21, 2017. 



New Fiction

Into the Waterby Paula Hawkins

  •  From the author of Girl on the Train, a mystery thriller about a single mother who is found dead in a local river, forcing her sister to return to her hometown to investigate the death. 

Camino Islandby John Grisham

  • Thieves steal F. Scott Fitzgerald's handwritten manuscripts in this fast-paced heist book. 

In the Dark, Dark Woodby Ruth Ware

  • Suspenseful psychological thriller about a weekend in the English countryside. 

The Ministry of Utmost Happinessby Arundhati Roy

  • From the author of The God of Small Things comes a second novel that weaves together lives of characters throughout India. 

Norse Mythologyby Neil Gaiman 

  • An exploration of the most well-known and well-revered Nordic gods, including Odin, Thor, and Loki. 

Magpie Murdersby Anthony Horowitz

  • For Agatha Christie fans, a book within a book about a murder with many suspects and much intrigue. 

Salt Housesby Hala Alyan

  • A Palestinian family is separated and pulled on different paths during the Six-Day War of 1967. 

Behold the Dreamersby Imbolo Mbue

  • A Cameroonian family tries to make a new life in Harlem during the Great Recession. 

Beartownby Fredrik Backman

  • From the author of A Man Called Ove, the story of a small town trying to find glory through their junior hockey team. 

New Nonfiction

The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoirby Alexandria Marzano

  • A trial lawyer who is against the death penalty must rethink her principles once she comes upon the case of murderer and child molester Ricky Langley. 

TheRadium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Womenby Kate Moore 

  • The true story of the women and girls who were hired in the early 20th century to work in radium-dial factories, and subsequently became seriously ill from the then-unknown poison in radium. 

Cork Dorkby Bianca Bosker

  • An exploration of the wine industry through underground tastings, restaurant visits, and chats with wine makers and scientists. 

Papiby David Ortiz and Michael Holley

  • The memoir of a Bostonian favorite, and one of baseball's best. 

Al Franken: Giant of the Senate by Al Franken

  • The comedian reflects on his time as a lawmaker. 

Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes

  • For Clinton fans and opponents alike, a close examination of a campaign that transfixed and baffled the country. 

Never Caught: The Washington's Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judgeby Erica Armstrong Dunbar

  • Enslaved when she was young, Ona Judge traveled with the Washingtons to the Presidential Mansion in Philadelphia, and later escaped to New Hampshire, where she lived for the rest of her life. 

Check out our interview with the author here

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBIby David Grann 

  • A wide-sweeping investigation of the Osage Indian nation's (of Oklahoma) discovery of oil on their land, their subsequent rise, and eventual demise, as politicians swept in and one by one, people were murdered on their land. 

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Raceby Margot Lee Shetterly

  • Inspiration for the award-winning film of the same name, the story of the African American women who worked behind the scenes at NASA during some of the greatest American achievements in space.

Rise of the Rocket Girlsby Nathalia Holt

  • If you liked Hidden Figures, check out this book, which also chronicles the lives and achievements of the "human computers," as these master mathematicians were called at NASA. 

Hunger: A Memoir of My Bodyby Roxanne Gay

  • From the author of Bad Feminist, Hunger is a reflection on body, food, weight, self-image, and mental health. 

We Are Never Meeting in Real Lifeby Samantha Irby 

  • An essay collection from a comedian about the transition from childhood to adulthood, including navigating friendships, dating, drinking, and family. 

Priestdaddy: A Memoirby Patricia Lockwood

  • The author reflects on her life with an eccentric Catholic priest father, and her experience returning home to her parent's rectory. 

Ordinary Lightby Tracy K. Smith

  • The Pulitzer Prize-winning poet reflects on growing up as a black female, including through her relationship with her mother.  

Classics and Hits to Revisit

Classical authors that are popular in the summer:

Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina, War and Peace, L'Argent)

John Steinbeck (Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath) 

Edith Wharton (The Age of Innocence, The House of Mirth)

Norman Maclean (A River Runs Through It and Other Stories)

Anton Chekhov (short stories such as "The Seagull," "Three Sisters")

Sherwood Anderson (Winesburg, Ohio)

James Joyce (Ulysses)

Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita, Speak, Memory) 

Contemporary authors that are popular in summer:

Jodi Picoult (My Sister's Keeper, The Pact)

Stephen King (The Dark Tower Series, The Mist)

David McCullough (The American Spirit, The Path Between the Seas)

Hits to Revisit:

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisisby J.D. Vance

  • A bestseller from last summer about growing up in the Rust Belt in a working class white family. 

The Road to Camelot: Inside JFK's Five-Year Campaignby Thomas Oliphant and Curtis Wilkie

  • Beginning with the first attempt to win vice president in 1956 up to a successful presidential campaign years later. 


Lee Child(Jack Reacher novels)

Patrick O'Brian (Master and Commander)

Great Stone Face Book Awards (Local, for Kids and Young Adults)

Rick Riordan (The Trials of Apollo)

Local, New England Authors and Books

Ginny Moonby Benjamin Ludwig

  • Ginny, who has been adopted from years in foster care, enters high school and finds her way as a new kid, while also navigating adolescence and autism. 

Felix Yzby Lisa Bunker

  • A young boy's experience as a fourth-dimensional being thanks to his scientist-father's experiments.

The Wildcrafted Cocktail: Make Your Own Foraged Syrups, Bitters, Infusions, and Garnishesby Ellen Zachos

  • Learn how to make cocktails and other treats from things found in your New England backyard. 

For interviews with local authors, visit The Bookshelf program page, hosted by Peter Biello. 

Listener Recommendations

The Strangerin the Woodsby Michael Finkel

A Colony in a Nationby Chris Hayes

Angry White Man: American Masculinity at the End of an Eraby Michael Kimmel

A Nation of Nations: A Great American Immigration Storyby Tom Gjelten

The Life We Buryby Allen Eskens 

And If A Hot Kitchen Doesn't Stop You From Cooking...

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heatby Samin Nosrat and Wendy MacNaughton

  • A comprehensive cookbook that explains the four essential components of a well-cooked meal. 

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