List

Summer 2020: Fun Times and Great Titles

By Cecilia Cygnar

Find some interesting, entertaining, and fascinating summer (or anytime) reads.

  • Dark Matter: A Novel

    2016 by Crouch, Blake

    An ordinary man is kidnapped, knocked unconscious, and awakens in a world inexplicably different from the reality he thought he knew. This suspenseful book is set in the Logan Square area of Chicago and features a captivating "multiverse," or multiple universes. If you like this one, get Crouch's latest book, Recursion. Both titles are also available as an eBook and downloadable audiobook with Overdrive/Libby. Recommended by Tiffany

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  • Beach Read

    2020 by Henry, Emily

    Who doesn't love "books about books?* This contemporary romance is set in a small town in Michigan and both main characters are authors. One is a romance novelist and the other writes literary fiction. They are also frenemies. Let's guess: What might happen? This title is also available as an eBook and audiobook with Overdrive/Libby. Recommended by Becca

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  • March

    2016 by Lewis, John

    This autobiographical graphic novel by the late, great Civil Rights leader Rep. John Lewis details his lifelong struggle for civil and human rights. This a moving and inspiring look at the life and work of the hero, who passed away in July 2020 and will always be remembered for his work as one of the leaders of the 1963 March on Washington. This title is also available as an eBook with Overdrive/Libby (and Book 1 is available as an eBook on hoopla). Recommended by Tiffany

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  • Here for It: Or, How to Save Your Soul in America

    2020 by Thomas, R. Eric

    A humorist and playwright provides a heartfelt memoir-in-essays about coming of age as someone who sees the world differently than most. Thomas's first book was honest, poignant, and hilarious. This title is also available as an eBook and audiobook with Overdrive/Libby. Recommended by Becca

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  • The Grace Year

    2019 by Liggett, Kim

    Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life, a society that doesn't pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it's not just the brutal elements they must fear. If you enjoyed reading or watching The Handmaid's Tale, you might like this one, which is technically a young adult novel but will be of interest to adults as well. Like Atwood's novel, it's fast-paced and features strong female lead characters. Recommended by Tiffany

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  • We Used to Be Friends: A Novel

    2020 by Spalding, Amy

    At the start of their senior year in high school, James and Kat are inseparable, but by graduation, they're no longer friends. James prepares to head off to college as she reflects on the dissolution of her friendship with Kat. In alternating chapters, Kat thinks about being newly in love with her first girlfriend and having a future that feels wide open. Technically a young adult novel that will appeal to adults, the duel timelines the story is told through (one starts in the beginning, one in the end, and they meet in the middle) work well. It's a story of two best friends and the breakup of their friendship. Recommended by Becca

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  • Such a Fun Age

    2019 by Reid, Kiley

    A young Black babysitter is confronted by a store's security guard while walking the aisles of a local high-end supermarket and is accused of kidnapping the white child she's minding. There are characters to both love and hate in this popular debut novel about race and privilege. Discussed in many summer book clubs (including Reese Witherspoon's), this is one of the rare books that hits the mark of being both critically acclaimed and a bestseller. This title is also available as an eBook and audiobook with Overdrive/Libby. Recommended by Tiffany

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  • American Spy

    2019 by Wilkinson, Lauren

    A Cold War FBI intelligence agent's assignment requires her to seduce a revolutionary African Communist president, whom she comes to love. Another book that has blasted onto the critical and popular scenes with gusto! Inspired by true events, this pick is a true balance between awesome spy thriller and literary fiction masterpiece. This title is also available as an eBook and audiobook with Overdrive/Libby. Recommended by Becca

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  • Foul Is Fair

    2020 by Capin, Hannah

    Jade and her friends Jenny, Mads, and Summer rule their glittering LA circle. Untouchable, they have the kind of power other girls only dream of. That all ends on the night of Jade's Sweet 16. The book has a disturbing, yet very Mean Girls-esque vibe. It's a young adult novel that is a reimagining of Shakespeare's fierce Lady Macbeth character, a thriller revenge fantasy that's fast-paced noir at its finest. This title is also available as an audiobook with Overdrive/Libby and hoopla. Recommended by Tiffany

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  • Well Met

    2019 by DeLuca, Jen

    While in the small town of Willow Creek, Maryland to help her sister, Emily is roped into volunteering for a historical fair, where she meets an irritating stranger who just might be what she needs to settle down. A contemporary romance meets the Renaissance Faire! It's "super cute," and who doesn't need a little cuteness in the midst of 2020? This title is also available as an eBook and audiobook with Overdrive/Libby. Recommended by Becca

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  • Ghost

    2016 by Reynolds, Jason

    Ghost has a natural talent for running, but no formal training. If he can stay grounded, he could be the best sprinter in the city. But we find out that Ghost has been running for the wrong reasons. Targeted for ages 9-12, this book is loved by all ages because of its emotionally intense and raw storyline. It was a National Book Award Finalist for Young People’s Literature as well as a nominee for America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read. This title is also available as an eBook and audiobook with Overdrive/Libby. Recommended by Tiffany

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  • Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky

    2019 by Mbalia, Kwame

    Seventh-grader Tristan Strong feels anything but strong ever since he failed to save his best friend when they were in a bus accident. When a creature shows up and steals his notebook, Tristan delves into a world where he finds his true strength. This middle-grade book is perfect for anyone who loves mythology and folktales. Read this one now because the second in the series just came out. This title is also available as an eBook and audiobook with Overdrive/Libby and as an eBook on Hoopla. Recommended by Becca

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  • Rodham: A Novel

    2020 by Sittenfeld, Curtis

    An alternate history look at what would have happened in Hillary Rodham's life had she not married Bill Clinton. This amusing and interesting novel was great to listen to, since the narrator's vocal skills channeled Hillary in tone and reflection. This title is also available as an eBook and audiobook with Overdrive/Libby. Recommended by Tiffany

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  • Pizza Girl: A Novel

    2020 by Frazier, Jean Kyoung

    Eighteen years old, pregnant, and working as a pizza delivery person in suburban Los Angeles, Pizza Girl is floundering in life. When she becomes obsessed with stay-at-home mom Jenny, who's facing middle age begrudgingly, Pizza Girl finds an ally. This darkly humorous and slightly gut-wrenching debut novel is a great read-alike for Convenience Store Woman and Mostly Dead Things. Recommended by Becca

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  • The Final Empire: Mistborn Series, Book 1

    2010 by Sanderson, Brandon

    For 1,000 years, the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear; the Lord Ruler reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then a terribly scarred, heartbroken half-Skaa found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A high fantasy tale by an epic storytelling master, this is the first novel in the Mistborn trilogy, which excels in vivid and imaginative world building. This title is also available as an eBook and audiobook with Overdrive/Libby. Recommended by Tiffany

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  • Party of Two

    2020 by Guillory, Jasmine

    Going against her better judgement, attorney Olivia secretly starts dating a hotshot junior senator. When their romance is made public, her life falls under intense media scrutiny, jeopardizing both of their lives. Even in these times, this contemporary romance features politics with a happy ending! This book by the author of the phenomenally successful The Wedding Date, features more timely themes than just politics: the key relationship is interracial. This title is also available as an eBook and audiobook with Overdrive/Libby. Recommended by Becca

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  • The Right Swipe: A Novel

    by Rai, Alisha

    Rhiannon Hunter may have revolutionized romance in the digital world, but in real life, she only swipes right on her career, and the occasional hookup. The cynical dating app creator controls her love life with a few key rules, only there aren't any rules to govern her attraction to her newest match, a former pro-football player. This take on a contemporary romance explores modern dating with likable main characters and stories from multiple perspectives. This title is also available as an eBook and audiobook with Overdrive/Libby and Hoopla. Recommended by Tiffany

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  • Pumpkinheads

    2019 by Rowell, Rainbow

    Working at a pumpkin patch every autumn, two best friends organize ultimate Halloween plans to celebrate their last year of working together. This graphic novel is a great way to get ready for fall! Sweet and cozy, like the perfect sweater, this young adult romance between two friends is best read by a fireplace with a cup of cocoa. This title is also available as an eBook with Overdrive/Libby. Recommended by Becca

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  • Mexican Gothic

    2020 by Moreno-Garcia, Silvia

    A reimagining of the classic gothic suspense novel follows the experiences of a socialite in 1950s Mexico who is drawn into the hidden secrets of an isolated mansion where her cousin has been ill. This breakout gothic novel channels Du Maurier's Rebecca and the Brontes. This title is also available as an eBook and audiobook with Overdrive/Libby.

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