Seasonal reads: South Lake Tahoe Library staff provides list of top books for summer |

Seasonal reads: South Lake Tahoe Library staff provides list of top books for summer

Autumn Whitney
Woman in a hammock with book on summer day
Getty Images/iStockphoto | iStockphoto

Summer is officially underway, marking the ideal time for outdoor reading. Whether you’re the type to get lost in a book at the top of a mountain, on the beach, or in the comfort of your backyard — these are the stories you should enjoy under the sun this season.


“The Crooked Staircase” by Dean Koontz — The newest installment in the collection of Jane Hawk novels follows the rogue FBI agent as she flees from ruthless pursuers across California, from the southern end of the state up to Lake Tahoe. This story will have readers on the edge of their seats as they travel alongside Hawk, who battles an epidemic of murder-suicides.

“There There” by Tommy Orange — Orange’s debut tells the story of 12 Urban Indians from Oakland, California, who all attend the Big Oakland Powwow for a different reason, but end up colliding. It’s a rarely seen portrait of America told in a poetic voice that covers a complex history.

“Family and Other Catastrophes” by Alexandra Borowitz — Neurotic Emily Glass reunites with her dysfunctional family the week of her wedding, but her therapist mother uses this homecoming as a chance to start up family therapy sessions. Will Glass and her soon-to-be husband survive the days leading up to their nuptials?

“The Escape Artist” by Brad Meltzer — Nola Brown is supposed to be dead. Her body was found on a plane that fell from the sky after departing from a secret military base in Alaska. But someone found out that Brown is still alive, and on the run — as an artist-in-residence with the Army, she saw something no one was supposed to see.

“The Perfect Couple” by Elin Hilderbrand — Hilderbrand is known for producing high-quality summer beach reads, and her newest novel is no exception: The Otis-Winbury wedding is expected to be an event like no other, but when a body turns up in the harbor merely hours before the ceremony, everyone in the wedding party becomes a suspect.

“The Outsider” by Stephen King — An 11-year-old boy’s corpse turns up in a park, and both eyewitness and fingerprint evidence point to popular Flint City citizen Terry Maitland, a Little League coach, English teacher and father of two girls. The investigation furthers, and the reader begins to wonder: Who exactly is Maitland?


“The Art of the Wasted Day” by Patricia Hampl — This book is a travelogue of leisure: Hampl visits the homes of historic figures who made relaxation an art. She travels from Wales to Moravia to Bordeaux, weaving her own life story throughout.

“North — Finding My Way While Running the Appalachian Trail” by Scott Jurek — Jurek is one of the most well-known ultrarunners in the world, marked by his endurance, speed and vegan diet. Throughout the years he’s finished first in almost all ultrarunning elite events, and in 2015 he set out to accomplish a spectacular feat: breaking the speed record for the Appalachian Trail. In order to succeed, he would need to run almost 50 miles each day for seven weeks. This story is sure to inspire.

“Moon Pacific Northwest Road Trip” by Allison Williams — Summer is the perfect time for a road trip, and Williams’ guide is filled with various itineraries, tips and more for navigating the Pacific Northwest. Study up and get packing: Adventure awaits!


“Calypso” by David Sedaris — Fans of Sedaris’ dark humor are sure to enjoy the comedian’s commentary on the impossible feat of taking a vacation from yourself. In this story, Sedaris observes middle age and mortality through his shocking statements.

“Alliances” by Timothy Zahn — With the recent release of “Solo,” this Star Wars-centered story is sure to be a hit. Lord Darth Vader and Grand Admiral Thrawn must put aside any differences they have in order to work together and defeat a threat against the Empire, while being challenged in more ways than one.

“The Restless Wave” by John McCain — McCain’s breakout memoir is inspiring, moving and personal, and was written while he was confronted by a mortal illness. He covers his years in the Senate, 2008 campaign for the presidency and crusades on behalf of human rights in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Anyone interested in today’s political climate will not want to pass up this read.

“The Washington Decree” by Jussi Adler-Olson — In this fictional story, Democratic Senator Bruce Jansen is elected president. Nearly two decades earlier, his campaign trail brought together five people who could not be more different. Flash forward to election night, and Jansen’s pregnant wife is assassinated — and the five Jansen-devoted citizens suddenly have many battles to fight.


“Aquarium” by Cynthia Alonso — This wordless picture book is perfect for children who love the water. A girl, dreaming of a new friend, is greeted by a red fish and the two are tasked with navigating a friendship. In her debut, Alonso covers nature’s beauty, the power of connection and importance of letting go.

“Summer Color” by Diana Murray — Murray’s book is a celebration of all things summer: the colors, the outdoors, and kids adventuring in the backyard. Woodland scenes come to life in this story, which is complemented by Zoe Persico’s illustrations and is fit for young children.

“The Cardboard Kingdom” by Chad Sell — Neighborhood kids transform cardboard into homemade costumes and a kingdom, encountering knights, rogues, robots and monsters. In the Cardboard Kingdom, you can be whatever you want to be.

“The Burning Maze” by Rick Riordan — In the third installment of Riordan’s The Trials of Apollo series, Lester Papadopoulos must restore five Oracles that have gone dark so he can reclaim his position on Mount Olympus. In order to claim an Oracle, Lester navigates the Labyrinth to find the third emperor in the American Southwest.

“Not So Normal Norbert” by James Patterson — Patterson’s latest novel for children comes out on Monday, July 2. “Not So Normal Norbert” is a journey into a futuristic world: Norbert Riddle is from Earth, but when he’s arrested and banished to foreign planet Zorquat 3 he’s tasked with finding his way home.


“Ink, Iron, and Glass” by Gwendolyn Clare — In Clare’s debut, scriptology is a branch of science that allows a person to craft new worlds with a certain pen and book. Elsa’s world was written into creation, and her scriptologist mother regularly alters their reality. When Elsa’s mom is kidnapped, she is forced into the real world and must use her own gifts to find her.

“Black Panther — A Nation Under Our Feet” by Ta-Nahesi Coates — “Black Panther” is arguably the hottest superhero of this day and age after its box office-busting film released earlier this year. This graphic novel inspired the movie, and follows T’Challa as he protects Wakanda against a violent uprising.

South Lake Tahoe Library staff provided this list of books. Each selection is available at the library, located at 1000 Rufus Allen Blvd.

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