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Keyword: reading list

Image of books on a beachBaltimore County Public Library’s Collection Development Staff Members

Baltimore County Public Library has recommendations for your summer vacation reads, no matter what your taste!

First are two novels set in traditional summer settings, the Jersey Shore and Summer camp:

“All the Summer Girls” by Meg Donohue
Travel to the Jersey Shore as three childhood friends who were supposed to be meeting in Vegas for a bachelorette weekend regroup when the bride-to-be is dumped by her fiancé. Instead, the three young women head to the familiar comfort of Avalon and its stretches of glorious beaches. The happy memories shared by Kate, Dani and Vanessa are overshadowed by the specter of Kate’s twin brother’s tragic drowning eight years earlier. What the three don’t know is that each harbors secrets that could impact the others’ lives, and each is at a crossroads in her life.

“Interestings” by Meg Wolitzer
This book follows a group of teenaged friends (who call themselves “Interestings”) from their 1974 meeting at an arty summer camp through to middle age. The novel skips back and forth over time, revealing more about the friends’ triumphs and tragedies over the years. Of course, there are secrets kept and long-harbored resentments over the years as their lives diverge and reconnect. “Interestings” is an ambitious, sprawling and insightful novel.

Like the summer destination, the amusement park, summer is a great time for thrills and chills. Below are some suggested books that range from thrilling to downright scary:

“Out of Range” by Hank Steinberg
Charlie Davis is a political reporter for the Los Angeles Times, but becomes an investigator in search of his wife, Julie, when she goes missing. This action-packed thriller by the creator of the television show “Without a Trace” leads Charlie and readers to Uzbekistan, the country where Charlie and Julie fell in love. As he frantically pursues his missing wife, he becomes embroiled in international intrigue and also finds disturbing clues pointing to his wife’s possible infidelity and secret life.

“Crime of Privilege” by Walter Walker
Twelve years earlier, when he was in college, George Becket sees his preppy friends rape a young woman at a Palm Beach party. Now an Assistant D.A., he risks everything investigating his powerful and connected friends in the unsolved murder of a girl in Cape Cod. Crime of Privilege is a page-turning, twisty adventure into the world of the rich and powerful.

“The Execution of Noa P. Singleton” by Elizabeth L. Silver
Six months before her execution date, death row inmate Noa is approached by attorney Marlene Dixon, who offers to petition the state for clemency on Noa’s behalf. Marlene is the mother of Noa’s victim, and she wants to know why Noa killed her daughter. This gripping debut novel will appeal to fans of legal thrillers, and the complexity of the characters and moral issues at stake also make it a perfect pick for book clubs.

“The Shining Girls” by Lauren Beukes
A time-travelling serial killer and the only survivor of his attacks are on a collision course toward each other in this grisly, pulse-pounding thriller.

There are no Olympics this summer, so let’s go back to one of the most famous Olympic events of all time:

“The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Olympics” by Daniel Brown
The 1936 Berlin Olympics are most memorable, due in large part to the tense international climate and the performance of Jesse Owens. However, another remarkable story from the same Games involved the rowing team from the University of Washington, who defeated elite rivals on Hitler’s big stage. These sons of farmers and loggers were able to first defeat the cream of the crop from Britain’s finest universities before triumphing over the team from Germany. Readers will enjoy this irresistible and inspirational story about the little guys beating the odds in dramatic fashion on the world stage.

Romance is great for summer reading for adults and teens:

“Just One Kiss” by Susan Mallery
When Justice Garrett moves back to Fool’s Gold, California, he gets a second chance at love with his childhood friend, Patience McGraw. This is the first of three new entries in Mallery’s popular Fool’s Gold series.

“The Moon and More” by Sarah Dessen
Emaline is in that awkward summer between the end of high school and beginning of college, waiting for the next stage of her life to begin, when young indie-filmmaker Theo arrives in her small North Carolina beach town. Reconsidering the options for her future, Emaline comes to a surprising decision.

Finally, a road trip is perfect for an engaging listen:

“Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls” by David Sedaris
NPR commentator and humorist Sedaris is back with a collection of essays steeped in his trademark dark humor and insights into our human condition. His slightly nerdy tone has always made these essays great on the page but even better as a listen.


Revised April 6, 2016