Summer is in full swing and whether you’re looking for a book to read poolside, at the park, or just staying indoors to get away from the heat, we’ve got you covered.
On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with three local book experts about what they’re recommending as the top summer reads. We also heard from listeners who shared their favorite summer reads so far.
Five suggestions from Kris Kleindienst, co-owner, Left Bank Books:
1. "A Spool of Blue Thread" by Anne Tyler
"She must be one of the most under-appreciated novelists writing today. She writes mainly about people, her settings are almost always in her home community of Baltimore. They seem like small, quiet stories, but there is so much in them. She has such a great sense of humor, someone once compared her to Mark Twain. That's not a stretch. She has her ear on the American family that so few writers do. You can't go wrong with her."
2. "Lab Girl" by Hope Jahren
3. "Grace" by Natashia Deon
"It is an amazing first novel. It centers on the life of a runaway slave and spans the Civil War Period. ... What really struck me about this book is that it felt mythic, it felt like a Greek tragedy. ... It leaves you thinking about things beyond the story."
4. "The Girls" by Emma Cline
5. "Everybody's Fool" by Richard Russo
"A lot of time passed between 'Nobody's Fool,' and he's revisted these characters, fast-forwarding to present-day. ... The characters are wonderful. ... It is an easy read, full of laughs."
Five suggestions from Jennifer Alexander, collection development specialist, St. Louis County Library:
1. "Before the Fall" by Noah Hawley
"It's a book that's been getting a lot of buzz this summer. ... It's basically about the stories we tell ourselves about other people and ourselves."
2. "St. Louis Noir" edited by Scott Phillips
"For local interest, this is a collection of 14 stories from St. Louis authors or those that have spent time here. Each story is set in a different neighborhood in St. Louis. It is a wide variety of bad behavior, murder, assault, more murder..."
3. "100 Years: Wisdom from Famous Writers on Every Year of Your Life" selections by Joshua Prager
5. "Bridge of San Luis Rey" by Thornton Wilder
"One of the things I like to do in the summer is to tackle a classic you've never read. This won the Pulitzer Prize in 1928 and it is beautiful, short book."
Five suggestions from Holland Saltsman, owner, The Novel Neighbor:
1. "The One-in-a-Million Boy" by Monica Wood
"This so far I would even say is my favorite of 2016, which I don't say lightly. ... It was one of the most captivating stories I've ever read. ... I had tears in my eyes when I closed the last page."
3. "The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper" by Phaedra Patrick
4. "Sweetbitter" by Stephanie Danler
"This was a fictionalized account of Stephanie's experience of working in the restaurant industry in New York City ... all the behind-the-scenes and all the stuff I didn't know I wanted to know about it. It is entertaining, it is a little racy, it was a fun read that I finished in two days. ... makes you look at the staff when you enter a restaurant in a whole new light."
5. "The Wild Robot" by Peter Brown
"This one is a [children's] chapter book but it is loosely a chapter book, so if you have early readers, it is great because there are a lot of pictures. It is about a robot that inadvertently lands on a dessert island it is about survival. ... it is a great read-aloud, so if you have time in the summer to read aloud with your kids and grandkids."
Five suggestions from listeners during the show:
1. "Fun Home" by Alison Bechdel
— Kelly Moffitt (@kmariemoffitt) July 5, 2016
2. "All the Light We Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr
Marilyn called to recommend the novel saying it is "beautifully written, wonderful metaphors and a heart-rending story."
3. The "Neapolitan Novels" by Elena Ferrante
Dennis called to recommend the books written by Elena Ferrante, which is a nom de plume.
"There are four books and I don't if I have ever yelled at a book. I had to read them and read them again because I knew I was going to miss things."
4. "Homegoing" by Yaa Gyasi
— (・・。)ゞ (@Dani_Lacey) July 5, 2016
5. "Wisdom of the Desert" by Thomas Merton
— Caitlin Zera (@catlinzera) July 5, 2016
What are you reading this summer? Tweet us your favorites:
— St. Louis on the Air (@STLonAir) July 5, 2016
St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary Edwards, Alex Heuer and Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.