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Rebroadcast: The 2019 Summer Book Show

Three local booksellers talk about the best new books for summer 2019, from historical fiction to humorous essays, first-time authors to well-established storytellers and journalists. Read on for our complete list of recommendations.

This show originally aired on June 26, 2019.


Top New Fiction Picks:

 These are books recommended by more than one of our booksellers.

  Cape May by Chip Creek

  • "A mesmerizing debut novel by Chip Cheek, Cape May explores the social and sexual mores of 1950s America through the eyes of a newly married couple from the genteel south corrupted by sophisticated New England urbanites." - Celadon Books

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

  • "A delicious novel of glamour, sex, and adventure, about a young woman discovering that you don’t have to be a good girl to be a good person." - Riverhead Books

 Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

  • "From the host of NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast comes a heartfelt debut about the unlikely relationship between a young woman who’s lost her husband and a major league pitcher who’s lost his game." - Ballantine Books.

Recursion by Blake Crouch

  • "From the bestselling author of Dark Matter and the Wayward Pines trilogy comes a relentless thriller about time, identity, and memory—his most ambitious, mind-boggling, irresistible work to date, and the inspiration for Shondaland’s upcoming Netflix film." - Crown

Top New Nonfiction Picks:

These are books recommended by more than one of our booksellers.

  The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life by David Brooks

  • "Everybody tells you to live for a cause larger than yourself, but how exactly do you do it? The author of The Road to Character explores what it takes to lead a meaningful life in a self-centered world." -Random House

Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee by Casey Cep

  • "Reverend Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher accused of murdering five of his family members for insurance money in the 1970s. With the help of a savvy lawyer, he escaped justice for years until a relative shot him dead at the funeral of his last victim. Despite hundreds of witnesses, Maxwell’s murderer was acquitted...

Sitting in the audience during the vigilante’s trial was Harper Lee, who had traveled from New York City to her native Alabama with the idea of writing her own In Cold Blood, the true-crime classic she had helped her friend Truman Capote research seventeen years earlier. Lee spent a year in town reporting, and many more years working on her own version of the case." - Knopf
Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl

  • "Trailblazing food writer and beloved restaurant critic Ruth Reichl took the job (and the risk) of a lifetime when she entered the high-stakes world of magazine publishing. Now, for the first time, she chronicles her groundbreaking tenure as editor in chief of Gourmet." - Random House


Fiction Recommendations from the Booksellers:

 Historical fiction:

  • The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs by Katherine Howe
  • Montauk by Nicola Harrison
  • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  • The Travelers by Regina Porter
  • The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

If You Like Science Fiction, Fantasy, Magical Realism or Dystopian Fiction:

  • Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton
  • The Farm by Joanne Ramos

A "Quirky Romcom:"

  • How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

If You Want A Thriller or Survival Story:

  • Pieces of Her by Karin Slaughter
  • The River by Peter Heller

Multigenerational family stories:

  • On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
  • The Guest Book by Sarah Blake

Even More Fiction:

  • Normal People by Sally Rooney
  • Patsy by Nicole Dennis-Benn
  • The Paper Wasp by Lauren Acampora
  • The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson
  • Women Talking by Miriam Toews
  • Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
  • Stay and Fight by Madeleine Ffitch 
  • Chances Are... by Richard Russo
Short Story Recommendations from the Booksellers:

  • Someone Who Will Love You in All Your Damaged Glory by Raphael Bob-Waksberg
  • Exhalation by Ted Chiang



Nonfiction Recommendations from the Booksellers:

For Lovers of History:

  • The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777; Volume One of the Revolution Trilogy by Rick Atkinson
  • The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West by David McCullough
  • Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century by George Packer 
  • Spying on the South: An Odyssey Across the American Divide by Tony Horwitz

All About Baseball:

  • K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches by Tyler Kepner


  • Roughhouse Friday: A Memoir by Jaed Coffin
  • Rough Magic: Riding the World’s Loneliest Horse Race by Lara Prior-Palmer

Essays And Culture:

  • Southern Lady Code: Essays by Helen Ellis
  • Working: Researching, Interviewing, Writing by Robert A. Caro


Local Authors and New Hampshire Stories:

  • Continental Divide by Alex Myers
  • A Camouflage of Specimens and Garments by Jennifer Militello
  • Joan of Arc by Angela Bull
  • As Far As The Stars by Virginia Macgregor
  • Zenobia July by Lisa Bunker
  • The Golden Wolf Saga by Linnea Hartsuyker
  • KooKooLand by Gloria Norris
  • The Rationing by Charlie Wheelan
  • Old Man on a Bicycle: A Ride Across America and How to Realize a More Enjoyable Old Age by Donald Petterson


Recommendations from Listeners:


  • Magic For Liars by Sarah Gailey
  • Forever by Pete Hamill
  • The Leavers by Lisa Ko
  • The Island of Echoes by Roman Blair
  • Terrible Virtue by Ellen Feldman
  • The Last Bus to Wisdom by Ivan Doig
  • The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian


  • Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe
  • My Father Before Me by Chris Forhan (memoir)
  • The War on Normal People: The Truth About America’s Disappearing Jobs and Why Universal Basic Income is Our Future by Andrew Yang
  • Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration by Emily Bazelon
  • To Have and To Hold by Molly Millwood
  • Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow by Henry Louis Gates Jr.




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