Whether you are going on vacation, hanging out at the local beaches or just spending more time lounging outside, summer is the perfect opportunity to relax with a book. But no one wants to be carrying a heavy hardcover in their carry-on bag, and some of us just don’t want to make that switch to e-books. So instead, here are eight books — all new in paperback — to add to your summer reading list. They’re perfect to take along on any trip, even if it is just to your backyard.
Lo is a travel writer whose latest assignment is to head aboard the Aurora, a small luxury cruise ship, for a week. In the beginning, things go as planned, but soon gray skies and storms hit the ship. Then one night, Lo sees a woman being thrown overboard. However, when she reports what she saw, it turns out that everyone on the ship is present and accounted for. However, Lo is convinced that she saw something happen that night. This book is a slow burn, but filled with twists and an unreliable narrator that will have you guessing until the end.
“All the Light We Cannot See” takes place in France during World War II. Readers follow two characters — one is a blind French girl who lives in Paris and whose father works in a museum and the other is an orphaned German boy who learns how to build and fix radio instruments and is eventually recruited to help stop the resistance. When the Nazis occupy Germany, the girl and her father must flee and take some of the museum’s most valuable pieces. “All the Light We Cannot See” was one of the biggest books of 2014. It won the Pulitzer Prize, was a finalist for the National Book Award and spent more than two years at the top of the New York Times best-seller list. However, it wasn’t out in paperback until this year. So if you’ve been waiting on this one, wait no longer.
If you’ve read Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods” (or watched the recent television adaptation) and want more stories about gods dwelling in a modern day United States, then “The Library at Mount Char” should be on your summer reading list. Carolyn was kidnapped when she was 8 years old by the Father, who has taken a group of kids to the Library at Mount Char. The children have been trained in one of 12 categories with specific instructions not to share information on their category with any of the other kids. But suddenly the Father is missing, a war is coming and Carolyn and the others need to prepare to fight.
Terry McMillan is most known for her books “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” and “Waiting to Exhale,” and her latest novel also explores failures, regret, personal triumphs and life lessons. Dr. Georgia Young’s life seems to be perfect with two beautiful daughters and a life full of friends. But one day she finds out that a former love has passed away and she begins to feel restless and regrets never fully expressing how she felt about him in the past. As she continues to examine her life, she realizes that although she is successful on paper, she is not fulfilled. So she decides to quit her job as an optometrist, move and begin a new journey in her life that could give her a second chance at love.
Devon is a 15-year-old gymnastics prodigy who is on her way to becoming an Olympic hopeful. Her parents, Katie and Eric, have given up everything in order to give her what she needs to be the absolute best. But one day when a death rocks the gymnastics community weeks before a major competition, things head into a tailspin. Rumors and doubt creep into the family, secret alliances seem to be forming amongst parents, and Katie is trying to keep her family going while also discovering some of the dark secrets in their lives. Megan Abbott is a master at taking seemingly normal people and situations and heightening them to a dark level. This book will grab you from the beginning and you won’t want to stop until you find out what really happened.
If you’re looking for a nonfiction book that covers a little-known era of world history, “The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu” is exactly the book to pick up. In the 1980s, Abdel Kader Haidara traveled across Africa to find ancient Islamic and secular manuscripts that were falling into obscurity to place into archives. Fast forward to 2012 when Al Qaeda took over northwest Africa and threatened to destroy the manuscripts. So Haidara organized a dangerous operation to sneak 350,000 volumes out of the city to safety. Filled with history of the city, Haidara and these manuscripts, this book provides hope and a look at the value of art and literature.
During late summer in North Dakota, Landreaux Iron is out hunting deer. After taking a shot and seeing the targeted deer jump away, he realizes that he has hit something else — a five-year-old boy. Louise Erdrich is a masterful writer whose emotional and heartbreaking stories can expose you to a world you may not have seen before. In “LaRose,” you follow these two families as they deal with the grief after a tragic accident, demand for justice and seek atonement.
The Regional Office is a covert organization that is full of powerful female assassins who protect the world from annihilation from supernatural powers. But suddenly, the Regional Office is under attack and it seems that it’s spearheaded by someone inside the organization. Rose, a young assassin on her first assignment, is tasked with finding the culprit and stopping this attack. The writing in this book is light and fun and, if you are willing to suspend some disbelief, will take you on a fun and slightly bonkers journey.