Staff Picks for Adult Summer Reading

We asked our staff for their suggestions for best summer reads for adults. Here are their picks!

“The taut novel Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones focuses on an interesting plot involving the daughters of a bigamist in 1980s Atlanta. What makes this book so exceptional is its infusion of suspenseful plot with pithy explanations of relatable themes. From almost page one, I was wondering about and fretting over what was going to happen next.”—Jill Anderson, Outreach Services Assistant

“Herman Wouk recently passed away at the age of 103. He was a World War II vet and a prolific writer. Herman Wouk’s The Winds of War (1971) and War and Remembrance (1978) tell the story of a Navy family from 1938 to 1945. There are Jewish characters trapped in Nazi-occupied territory, characters who serve in the war, and love interests.”—Matthew Allison, Community Library Manager, Peninsula

“My suggestion is Suspicious Minds by Gwenda Bond, a novel which I think is especially interesting for people who are fans of the Netflix series Stranger Things, as it is a prequel to the series.”—Christine Degyansky, Librarian, Laurelton

Howard Stern Comes Again is a kinder, gentler—and shall I say loveable?—Howard Stern. Howard is at his most vulnerable in 38 interviews with luminaries as diverse as Paul McCartney, Joan Rivers, Madonna, Jay-Z, and Anderson Cooper. No subjects are off limits, too intimate, or too painful, with a dive into relationships, love, religion, wealth, and celebrity. At 549 pages, this book will keep you thoroughly entertained on your flight or commuter train to your summer destination.”—Ms. Goldberg, Assistant Community Library Manager, Broadway

“If you’re looking for a quirky, original summer read, check out The Pisces by Melissa Broder. This story is set on a California beach and features a very intriguing mythological sea creature. Fans of the movie The Shape of Water will definitely want to pick up this strange yet semi-romantic tale!

Red Clocks by Leni Zumas is definitely worth the hype it received, and I hope its popularity continues to grow exponentially. Due to the subject matter, Red Clocks is reminiscent of The Handmaid’s Tale and other dystopian feminist works. Yet, Zumas succeeds at writing an original, thought-provoking story that deeply resonates with our current state of affairs. I personally loved the biographer’s frame story about the Faroese arctic explorer Eivør Mínervudottír (although it is fictional) and felt that it added an interesting layer of perspective to the novel.

I also couldn’t put down Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin. It’s a quick read, and the story draws you in from the first page. There’s so much going on, and Schweblin’s delivery is perfectly paced as the plot develops. There is an eerie, something’s-not-quite-right tone which presides over the story, and subtle reminders of this pop up every once in a while. If you like quick, off-the-beaten-path reads, I highly suggest this one."—all three picks by Shelby Schwartz, Librarian, Elmhurst

“For those who like fantasy, the Shades of Magic series (A Darker Shade of Magic, A Gathering of Shadows, and A Conjuring of Light) by V.E. Schwab builds an intricate and fascinating world where there are four Londons that overlap one another—their differences are based on the level of magic each London has. With a memorable cast of characters that traverse across the different Londons amidst adventure, romance, and swashbuckling, this is the perfect beach read for when you want to travel to a new world during a staycation!”—Jo-Ann Wong, Librarian, Floating Team