More Books of Summer

There’s two new Summer Books roundups to analyze.

Four regulars on  NPR choose their favorites; Summer Books 2009

Critic Maureen Corrigan picks five mystery titles, several that are already successes ( The Scarecrow, Michael Connelly; The Way Home, George Pelecanos and The Shanghai Moon, S.J. Rozan). She also includes  in a collection of  stories by African American writers:

Black Noir: Mystery, Crime, and Suspense Stories by African-American Writers
Price: $14.95
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Pegasus – (2009-03-03)
ISBN-10: 1605980579
ISBN-13: 9781605980577

…and a second novel:

S. J. Bolton
Price: $25.95
Hardcover: 400 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books – (2009-06-09)
ISBN-10: 031238114X
ISBN-13: 9780312381141

Despite being a “Book Slut,” Jessa Crispin, has no problem declaring which are the “The Five Best Novels Of Summer.” Her list includes Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, which has been getting a lot of attention and appeared on the NYT extended fiction bestseller list for one week (5/24).

Most of the rest of the titles on her list would be considered spring books, except for this original trade paperback:

The Scenic Route
Binnie Kirshenbaum
Price: $13.99
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Harper Perennial – (2009-05-01)
ISBN-10: 0060784741
ISBN-13: 9780060784744

Glen Weldon’s ‘Best Fiction For Every Kind Of Summer Day” selects titles for specific days, such as Elinor Lipman’s The Family Man for Father’s Day.

As for nonfiction, NPR only addresses one category; Susan Chang picks the “The 10 Best Summer Cookbooks of 2009.”

We often note how rarely these lists overlap, but this year, we have an extreme example. Real Simple‘s list of great summer reads (“Meet Your New Favorite Book) is compiled by the same person (Sara Nelson) who selected the Book Beast‘s “13 Hottest Summer Reads.” She manages to repeat herself with only one title — The Girl Who Played With Fire, the second in Stieg Larsson’s trilogy. The first in the series, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was a bestseller last summer and this one is considered a “superior follow-up.”

The list is mainly fiction and a few memoirs and mostly falls into the parameters of books being pubbed this summer. It includes the following debut novels:

April & Oliver
Tess Callahan
Price: $23.99
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing – (2009-06-03)
ISBN-10: 0446540595
ISBN-13: 9780446540599

“an emotional drama about sibling relationships”


The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane
Katherine Howe
Price: $25.99
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Voice – (2009-06-09)
ISBN-10: 1401340903
ISBN-13: 9781401340902

Also the #1 pick for the June Indie Next list, described by bookseller Annie Philbrick, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT:

Connie Goodwin should be writing her Ph.D. dissertation. Instead, her mother has asked her to handle the sale of Connie’s grandmother’s abandoned home near Salem, Massachusetts. While cleaning up the years of dust and cobwebs, Connie makes discoveries that lead her back to the world of the Salem witch trials. Howe does a superb job at combining modern day language with the 17th century voices, pulling you even deeper into a story of mystery and witches. Marvelous and terrifying at the same time. I loved it!

Also available from HarperAudio;

ISBN: 1401393055   $ 39.99


The Marriage Bureau for Rich People
Farahad Zama
Price: $24.95
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Putnam Adult – (2009-06-11)
ISBN-10: 0399155589
ISBN-13: 9780399155581

“If You Love Alexander McCall Smith and Jane Austen”

Also available as downloadable eBook from OverDrive


The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet
Reif Larsen
Price: $27.95
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The – (2009-05-05)
ISBN-10: 1594202176
ISBN-13: 9781594202179

Also available in audio:

  • Publisher: Penguin Audio; Unabridged edition (May 5, 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 0143144650
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143144656

Sold for a reported $900,000 advance, this is one of publishing’s big bets for the summer and is at #17 on the 5/31 NYT extended fiction bestseller list.


The Scenic Road Trip, one of Jessa Crispin’s  “The Five Best Novels Of Summer,” also makes this list and is described as a “relatively short but deep novel about a deliciously unconventional heroine who finds love on the kind of European road trip most of us only dream about.”

One that sounds like it will have appeal to many readers, Love is a Four-Letter Word,  is not owned by many libraries. This collection of stories about breakups is described as “funny, poignant―and short―essays by 23 writers”

Love Is a Four-Letter Word: True Stories of Breakups, Bad Relationships, and Broken Hearts
Price: $16.00
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Plume – (2009-07-28)
ISBN-10: 0452295505
ISBN-13: 9780452295506

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