"But Adam," you might say, "It's already August!  Summer will be over soon!"  I know, my darlings.  However!  I thought you might appreciate some book choices that will keep you in a summery frame of mind.  Call them Summer Extension book recommendations.  Call them books to ease your transition into autumn.  Call them your secret trove of summer that you'll keep hidden in your room all through winter time.  Whatever you want to call them, read these books!   You won't regret it, I promise!

New books and books coming soon!

NOS4A2 NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

NOS4A2 is a spine-tingling novel of supernatural suspense from master of horror Joe Hill, the New York Times bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box and Horns.  Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.  Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an ast onishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”  Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.  –from The Book Smugglers

cuckscall The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (JK Rowling)

In a rare feat, the pseudonymous Galbraith combines a complex and compelling sleuth and an equally well-formed and unlikely assistant with a baffling crime in his stellar debut. When office temp Robin Ellacott reports for work, she’s unprepared for the shabby office or the rude greeting she receives from London PI Cormoran Strike. Soon after, John Bristow arrives and asks Strike to look into the putative suicide of his adopted, mixed-race sister, supermodel Lula Landry. Strike reluctantly agrees, even though the police have concluded a high-profile investigation. A decorated Afghan vet with an artificial lower leg, Strike begins a meticulous reinvestigation that leads him into a world of celebrities and wannabes, as well as deep into Landry’s sad rollercoaster life. The methodical Strike and the curious Ellacott work their way through a host of vividly drawn suspects and witnesses toward an elegant solution. Readers will hope to see a lot more of this memorable sleuthing team.  –from Publisher’s Weekly



Lexicon by Max Barry

In a world where a secret Organization trains “poets” to manipulate, or even outright control, people and governments through language, something has gone horribly wrong. It’s not immediately clear what has happened — but it centers on Broken Hill, a small and currently abandoned Australian mining town.  …Lexicon is an exciting, enjoyable book that looks closely at power and influence. It’s a summer thriller with something to say and some intellectual meat on its bones. If you liked any of Max Barry’s previous books, you should definitely check this one out. And if you haven’t read any of his stuff before, this one is a great place to start.  –from io9



The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafini

Thea Atwell has been banished from her home amid the orange groves of Florida to a riding camp for girls in North Carolina.  Her crime is the tragic result of 15-year-old Thea’s emerging sexuality. Debut novelist Anton Disclafani’s The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls (Riverhead, $27.95) unfolds with the same confidence Thea shows in the riding ring. “Yonahlossee” achingly captures the yearning and heightened self-awareness of a teenage girl discovering love and passion in the South of the 1930s.  –from The Chicago Sun-Times

interestings The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

Let's just go ahead and call Meg Wolitzer's fantastic. The Interestings, the book of the moment, the novel you should really read, if you haven't already. Following an early April release from Riverhead, it's gotten positive reviews from NPR ("juicy, perceptive and vividly written"), The New York Times ("warm, all-American and acutely perceptive"), and USA Today ("sprawling, ambitious and often wistful"), among others. It's a New York Times best seller. Amazon named it the best book of the month for April, and Entertainment Weekly called Wolitzer "every bit as literary as Franzen or Eugenides" (who provides a book blurb for the back cover).  And Judy Blume loves it, too! But perhaps the greatest endorsement of the novel comes from Wolitzer herself, no stranger to reviews in her 30 years of writing. "I do like this one best, and I guess it's a good thing."  --from The Atlantic Wire



Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple

Maria Semple's witty, engaging novel takes the form of a collage of documents, emails, transcripts, liveblogs, FBI reports and magazine articles, all strung together by Bee Branch, a smart and articulate 15-year-old girl, but beneath this surface playfulness is a fascinating story of one woman's retreat from the world. Where the novel is at its most interesting is in its exploration of the overlap between the creative and the parental impulse. Bernadette, Bee’s mother, even when viewed through the eyes of her doting daughter, can be a difficult character to like, she has a lot of sharp edges, but Semple's refusal to blame Bernadette's predicament completely on the external is part of the pleasure of this book. As a portrait of motherhood as something emotionally draining and frustrating, utterly consuming and ultimately wonderful, it's refreshing in its honesty and complexity.  –from The Guardian



The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

Borrow from Stephen King a house with a wormhole that somehow allows for time travel, re-create the monstrous chilliness of scenes between a serial killer and his female victims in The Silence of the Lambs, and you could easily end up with a pretty derivative thriller. But talented Cape Town writer Lauren Beukes has managed to turn such borrowing and theft into a triumph in her new novel, The Shining Girls. It's her third book, and a marvelous narrative feat that spans the history of Chicago from the 1930s to the 1990s.  …Beukes has done tremendous research about the long span of Chicago time in which her story occurs, and carefully constructed the eccentric and brilliant plot. She has done sturdy work, taking us on a frightening journey in time and punishment.  –from NPR



Dr. Sleep by Stephen King (coming in September!)

Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special twelve-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals. –from GoodReads




Sea Change by S. M. Wheeler

The unhappy child of two powerful parents who despise each other, young Lilly turns to the ocean to find solace, which she finds in the form of the eloquent and intelligent sea monster Octavius, a kraken. In Octavius’s many arms, Lilly learns of friendship, loyalty, and family. When Octavius, forbidden by Lilly to harm humans, is captured by seafaring traders and sold to a circus, Lilly becomes his only hope for salvation. Desperate to find him, she strikes a bargain with a witch that carries a shocking price. A powerfully written debut from a young fantasy author, S.M. Wheeler's Sea Change is an exhilarating tale of adventure, resilience, and selflessness in the name of friendship.  –from Amazon




Breed by Chase Novak

Breed is a foray into urbane horror, chicly ghoulish, with a malevolent emphasis on family values.  This is a gruesome book, a full-bore foray into the horror genre, so literary loveliness goes only so far. It is probably best avoided by anyone not wishing to know exactly what it’s like to eat a baby pigeon.  Above and beyond its fatality count Breed has originality on its side; the ending is a true shocker. The book sets out to convey what it is like to be “subject to the whip and rattle of unspeakable temptations.” And it does.  –from The New York Times




Andromeda Klein by Frank Portman

Andromeda Klein has a few problems.  Her tarot readings are beginning to predict events with bizarrely literal accuracy.   Omens are everywhere. Dreams; swords; fires; hidden cards; lost, broken, and dead cell phones . . . and what is her recently deceased best friend Daisy trying to tell her?  In the ensuing struggle of neutral versus evil, it's Andromeda Klein against the world, modern society, demonic forces, and the "friends" of the library.  From Frank Portman, author of King Dork, comes another unique literary experience. Andromeda Klein is dark, funny, smart, and entirely unforgettable.  –from GoodReads



Joyland by Stephen King

There’s not a lot more to Joyland than that, good fun.  It’s an exercise in mock-Gothic Americana whose tone is more important than its plot, mostly because it barely has a plot, only occasional drafts of chilly menace.  The novel is like a plump wad of cotton candy; it fills the mouth with fluffy sweetness that quickly dissolves when the reader starts to chew. That’s by design. King’s ambition this time around isn’t to snatch us and hold us in his grasp but to loft us up high, then briskly set us down the way a Ferris wheel does. Or a first love.  –from The New York Times


02chabon  /// "Telegraph Avenue" by Michael Chabon

Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon

“An amazingly rich, emotionally detailed story….[Chabon’s] people become so real to us, their problems so palpably netted in the author’s buoyant, expressionistic prose, that the novel gradually becomes a genuinely immersive experience - something increasingly rare in our ADD age.” (Michiko Kakutani, New York Times )


“Telegraph Avenue is so exuberant, it’s as if Michael Chabon has pulled joy from the air and squeezed it into the shape of words....His sentences spring, bounce, set off sparklers, even when dwelling in mundane details….Fantastic.” (Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times Book Review)


Written In Red

Written in Red by Anne Bishop

“A stunningly original yarn, deeply imagined, beautifully articulated and set forth in clean, limpid, sensual prose.”—Kirkus Reviews

“An amazing novel.”—Fresh Fiction

Written in Red isn’t just the best urban fantasy of the year, it may be one of the best ever.”—All Things Urban Fantasy

“A gripping novel from start until finish...In the end, Ms. Bishop leaves readers wanting more.”—Night Owl Reviews (Top Pick)

“Fast-paced action, well defined characters and an imaginative storyline make for a fine paranormal read.”—Monsters and Critics


New and Ongoing Young Adult Series as well as Timeless Classics that Everyone should know and love:

allegiantDivergent by Veronica Roth  (Divergent the movie comes out March 21st 2014!)


One of the most popular dystopian series out right now – and for good reason!  Divergent takes place in post-apocalyptic Chicago, where the city’s inhabitants are divided into five factions – based on personal attributes like strength and bravery, intelligence, and selflessness – and discouraged from associating with each other.  The second book in the series, Insurgent, was just as good and we’re excited for the third, Allegiant, which will wrap up this trilogy. While critics seem eager to compare it to The Hunger Games trilogy, Divergent goes far beyond your typical dystopian storyline, exploring that fine line between order and chaos and encouraging its readers to re-examine what it means to be loyal, to be obedient. To be truly afraid. – Staff Pick! Reviewed by Michael.



sky chasers

The Sky Chasers Series by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Glow (Book 1) “Ryan has created a fascinating and thrilling story that is sure to captivate teens. The themes of survival, morality, religion, and power are well developed, and the characters are equally complex. The author has also created a unique and vivid outer-space setting that is exciting and easy to imagine. This grippin

g first installment is difficult to put down, and successfully sets the stage for the rest of the series.” – School Library Journal (starred)

Spark (Book 2) "This swift-moving epic is filled with plot twists and enigmatic characters... Fans of the Hunger Games series will zip through and clamor for the next installment."  --Booklist

“The sequel to Glow delivers a page-turning plot while delving deeper into questions of leadership, trauma and violence….Readers hungry for the next installment will have plenty to ponder in the meantime.” – Kirkus Reviews on Spark


lookingglasswarsThe Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor (and sequels Seeing Redd, and ArchEnemy)

When Alyss Heart, heir to the Wonderland throne, must flee through the Pool of Tears to escape

the murderous aunt Redd, she finds herself lost and alone in Victorian London. Befriended by an aspiring author named Lewis Carrol, Alyss tells the violent, heartbreaking story of her young life. Alyss trusts this author to tell the truth so that someone, somewhere will find her and bring her home. But he gets the story all wrong. He even spells her name incorrectly!

Fortunately, Royal Bodyguard Hatter Madigan knows all too well the awful truth of Alyss' story and he is searching every corner of our world to find the lost princess and return her to Wonderland so she may eventually battle Redd for her rightful place as the Queen of Hearts.
The Looking Glass Wars unabashedly challenges our Wonderland assumptions surrounding mad tea parties, grinning Cheshire cats, and a curious little blond girl to reveal an epic battle in the endless war for Imagination.  –from GoodReads


The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

This series starts with City of Bones and it doesn’t look back!  The sequels are City of Ash

esCity of GlassCity of Fallen AngelsCity of Lost Souls, and the sixth book, City of Heavenly Firecomes out next March!


Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare’s fe

rociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end. –from Amazon



The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Not just another fairytale retelling. Each book in this four-part series stars a familiar fairytale character, presented here as a spunky, futuristic heroine. In Cinder, Cinderella fixes robots instead of dusting furniture. In Scarlet, Little Red Riding Hood is the quiet yet quick-tempered daughter of two military scientists, whose controversial work in biomechanical enhancement prompted their own assassinations. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Really. To be sure, there are some great parallels between these books and the well-loved stories they take their inspiration from (like the glass slipper and the pumpkin carriage from “Cinderella,” and the wolf with a taste for old lady flesh from “Little Red Riding Hood”).  But Meyer takes plenty of artistic liberty here, steering these classic tales in new and exciting directions, which makes The Lunar Chronicles a truly stand-out series. – Staff Pick! Reviewed by Michael.




Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride

Witty banter, sassy sidekicks, shambling zombie corpses. These are just a few of the reasons I love McBride’s Necromancer series. Sam is your average sweet ‘n’ sour teenager (a little bit annoying, but a whole lotta cute – you know the type) whose life changes after a run-in with the local necromancer, during which Sam learns that he too is a necromancer, albeit one whose powers are mysteriously bound under psychic lock and key. The first book in the series does a great job of introducing you to the supernatural world in Seattle and the different factions vying for power in its government. Its sequel, Necromancing the Stone, follows Sam’s budding romance with a fiery she-wolf and his attempts to get finally a handle on that whole “raising the dead” thing. – Staff Pick! Reviewed by Michael.




Inkheart Trilogy by Cornelia Funke

Who would you bring to life first if you could read books aloud and have the characters enter reality?  Mo, the protagonist of Inkheart can do just that, though the price for such a power is that figures from life must enter the book even as characters leave it.  Funke’s trilogy (Inkheart, Inkspell, and Inkdeath) takes the love of books and literature to new heights and is a fabulous read for book lovers of all ages!



A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

This book threw a bomb into everything I knew when I was young. At that time I only knew how to wrap my head around my backyard, and this book gave me the entire universe.  It was my introduction to infinity. No longer was it just something I drew in the margins of my homework. A Wrinkle in Time made infinity as tangible as I think it will ever be for me, folding it into something that I could fit in my pocket. Even after delving into the world of theoretic physics and theories about multiple dimensions, the ideas in this book still hold. However, I think the greatest lesson in this book dealt with the opposite of infinity, which to me is fate. A mysterious character named Mrs. Whatsit compares fate to a sonnet. A sonnet has a strict form. There are 14 lines, all in iambic pentameter, but within these lines you can write whatever you want. I think this is as hopeful an outlook on fate you will ever find in print. – Staff Pick! Reviewed by Henry.


Stand alone great reads:

black jewels

The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop

Don’t be intimidated by this book’s girth!  It’s large because it’s all three books of a trilogy in one volume and believe me, once you start the first one, you’ll be grateful that you have the other two because you will not want to put it down.  Seriously, this book is a little like drugs.  Featuring a power struggle that spans three Realms (one of which is Hell!), the story of a family overcoming external and internal threats to be together, and a thoroughly sensual exploration of love, romantic and otherwise, the fantasy and magic that form the base of Bishop’s universe are the best kind of icing on this cake.  Remember to come in to the store a week after buying this book so we can talk about the ending together and so I can tell you that you’re welcome.



twenty poems

Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda


In these twenty-one pieces Pablo Neruda does only two things: he is either whispering commands to nature into the nape of his lover’s neck or howling down a thousand-mile tunnel and being heard at the other end. These are love poems with a capital LOVE POEM. Neruda wrote them when he was nineteen years old, and I was sixteen when a girlfriend read them into my mouth. And yet these are not poems that curdle with age. They are as beautiful and inciting today as they were years ago. They bring memories of love and pain but the sensation only of love.

thorn birds


The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

"There is a legend about a bird which sings just once in it's life, more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth. From the moment it leaves the nest it searches for a thorn tree, and does not rest until it has found one. Then, singing among the savage branches, it impales itself upon the longest, sharpest spine. And, dying, it rises above it's own agony to outcarol the lark and the nightingale. One superlative song, existence the price. But the whole world stills to listen, and God in his heaven smiles. For the best is only brought at the cost of great pain...Or so says the legend."   This is THE epic love story. Fraught with desire, sacrifice and unrequited love. It gets inside your heart and then yanks on the strings just a little. This story has been around forever and rightfully so - it is a timeless classic.

goodomensGood Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch

From the wonderfully warped minds of best-selling authors, Neil Gaimen & Terry Pratchet, comes a collaboration for the ages. This comedic tale follows Adam Young, the Anti-Christ and son of Satan, who despite being the harbinger of the apocalypse, has a pretty normal eleven year old life, and the two supernatural beings, the angel, Aziraphale and the demon, Crowley, whom, having become accustomed to their comfortable situations in the human world, are attempting to avert the oncoming storm of the four horsemen (of the apocalypse, duh). It’s an addicting romp, with a host of hysterically original characters that will leave you smiling with delight and satisfaction.



The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

This is the story of what it's like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.   -Google Reviews

*If you’ve seen the movie (which was filmed in Pittsburgh, as I assume you know) but haven’t read the book, you need to.  In a big way.  No Emma Watson, but lots and lots of great writing!


The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

My heart exploded when I read The Fault in Our Stars.  And for someone with a Grinch-sized walnut in his chest, that’s quite an accomplishment. Seriously, though, this book is honest, funny, and so, so thoughtful.  Stars deals with some pretty heavy subject matter – cancer, depression, unrequited love – but it does it in such an earnest, humorous way that you can’t help but laugh through the tears.  It’s a quick, but no less profound read that asks people to think about what’s really important in life.  And, whereas similar books might be heavy-handed in their approach, Stars is warm and hopeful and never tries to beat the right answer out of you.  This is definitely one of my new favorites. – Staff Pick! Reviewed by Michael.


Writers we love (to death…but not in the creepy way):


P. G. Wodehouse

Wodehouse is the perfect summer reading author for a bunch of reasons.  The first is that he was very prolific.  If you like one of his books, there’s plenty more where that came from.  The second is that he is patently hilarious.  His writing is inundated both with funny situations and with equally amusing language that describes them.  Wodehouse used an iconic mixture of London clubroom slang and classical English drawing-room vernacular to inform his prose and the result is nothing short of hysterical.  The third (but by no means last) reason that Wodehouse makes great summer reading is that many of his stories (particularly those that feature Jeeves and Wooster) are about vacationing and visiting and holidays in the sun.  Perfect summer fare!  Come in and pick up a few, we have plenty.  For those just starting out, I recommend Carry on, Jeeves, which, among other things, relates the story of how Jeeves and Wooster met.



Neil Gaiman

There’s a lot of buzz surrounding Neil Gaiman and it’s for a lot of reasons.  He’s married to and madly in love with alt rock star Amanda Palmer, he’s written several episodes of the increasingly popular current iteration of Doctor Who, and he’s won about a million awards for his writing across various media.  None of this is why I love Neil Gaiman.  I love Neil Gaiman because he makes the idea that wonderful, magical things can happen to anyone at any time a reality.  He constructs worlds where extraordinary things are a part of life and the people who do them (and to whom they are done) had just better be ready.  Like so many writers, Gaiman makes the impossible possible.  What sets him apart, what makes him a must-read, is that the impossible is more than possible for Gaiman.  He makes it necessary.  If you’ve never read any Neil Gaiman, you should start with either American Gods, Good Omens, or Coraline.


Christopher Moore

Better known as “The Author Guy”, Christopher Moore is an international best-selling author, and for good reason! Moore’s novels, typically following conflicted everyman characters, whose human failings are always offset by surprising moral depths, through supernatural or extraordinary circumstances, are touchingly humanistic and comically absurd. All his books exhibit the same marvelous engaging; jet-propelled plots whose parts are intricately connected and whose endings offer genuine surprises.  If you’re looking for a fun, addicting, well told story, then Christopher Moore might be what the doctor ordered (That’s me, I’m the doctor in this scenario).  If you’re just starting out, try Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Friend.


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