The Sun’s Summer Reads

Posted on June 17, 2017 by Sonoma Valley Sun


Jude Sales, manager of Sonoma’s one and only bookstore, the wonderful Readers’ Books, talks about her favorites for summer reading.

Beach reads/fun reads/guilty pleasures:

816ZJjj-01LThe Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

An entertaining family story about the in-fighting that ensues when one brother has borrowed against a trust fund that would have come to all the siblings.

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

A mystery inside a mystery, the plot turns around a mystery manuscript delivered to the publisher missing its last chapter, and the writer is of course dead. “Very Christie-like, including a protagonist reminiscent of Poirot.” And “very compelling” says Jude.

The Nakano Thrift Shop by Hiromi Kawakami

A sweet, entertaining book with little plot, great characters.

Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy

Two couples – the wives are cousins – and their two kids each go on a cruise to avoid Christmas. One day onshore, the children disappear. The tale is told from two points of view: of the hysterical parents and of the kids.

Nutshell by Ian McEwan

“It’s crazy.” A Hamlet story told from the point of view of a fetus in utero who knows all the rotten things going on in the world he is about to enter.

Not “beach reads”

Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout.

“I really love this one,” affirms Jude. “Strout is at the top of her form. Smart. Insightful.” A small-town tale.

ows_146240858498601La Rose by Louise Erdrich

This intense tale about the accidental killing of an Ojibwa boy and the traditional tribal solution “takes your breath away.”

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Readers’ Thea Reynolds highly recommends this story of two half-sisters in 18th c. Ghana, one sold in to slavery and the other remaining.


Out in paperback now and still on the recommended list:

Dodgers by Bill Beverly

2017 Los Angeles Times Best Thriller. The somber and haunting story of East L.A. gang kids who do the bidding of older gang members.

Tuesday Nights in 1980 by Molly Prentiss

The intriguing story of an artist who was part of the real-life Manhattan art scene, and has a unique sensory relationship to color.


Non-fiction/Father’s Day gifts


Evicted by Matthew Desmond

The young author follows the lives of eight urban families who are evicted. “It’s brutal in its honesty.”

513+ONu-QCLTrespassing across America by Ken Ilgunas

The encounters of a young man who gets his finger on the pulse of America by walking the Dakota pipeline.

Last Hope Island by Lynne Olson

A narrative that “rolls” about Britain as the center of the Resistance during WWII.

American Eclipse by David Baron

A fascinating collection of eyewitness accounts and citizen-science drawings and renderings of the 1878 eclipse, which followed a path similar to this summer’s eclipse.

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