A Dozen Not to Miss Paperbacks for Summer Reading

If you're looking for a book or two to pack into the beach bag this summer, look no further! Here are a dozen exceptional books that have already published in hardcover and ebook that will release in paperback in July and August (which also means that the ebook price will likely be reduced too).

Two Well-Known Authors

Sweet ToothSweet Tooth by Ian McEwan

Paperback: 2 Jul 2013,
400 pages

"Sweet Tooth is, in part, a fictionalized memoir of the literary scene in the 1970s (based quite heavily on McEwan's own experiences as a university student and as a young short story writer; the novel includes cameos by a handful of his friends and mentors) and a breathy piece of escapist spy fiction. McEwan is not John le Carre, however, and so the most intriguing aspects of McEwan's novel are not about espionage per se, but rather about the ways in which writers of realistic fiction, by mining their own lives and the lives of those around them, are, in themselves, the craftiest and most artful spies of all." - Norah Piehl
Full review, excerpt etc


Dear Life: StoriesDear Life: Stories by Alice Munro

Paperback: 30 Jul 2013,
336 pages

"Alice Munro writes with an almost invisible, crystalline style that rarely incorporates common literary devices like simile or metaphor. The height of Munro's flourish is a bit of repetition or delicate hints at vernacular language. This clarity allows for a closer proximity to the characters, who speak and act in the straightforward manner of a moment or memory rather than the formality of a performance." - Elizabeth Whitmore Funk.

Alice Munro recently announced that she plans to retire from writing. If you're new to her writing, this would be a great place to start; if you're already old friends, don't miss what will likely be her last book.
Full review, excerpt etc


Two Debuts

HomesickHomesick by Roshi Fernando

Paperback: 2 Jul 2013,
288 pages

"In the end, Homesick emerges as a moving and powerful novel about Sri Lankans in England. In showcasing her characters' everyday anxieties and triumphs, Fernando effectively portrays a slice of humanity we can all - immigrants or not - identify with readily. It is this empathy that Fernando manages to elicit from her readers and that makes Homesick such a compelling, triumphant debut." - Poornima Apte
Full review, excerpt etc


Battleborn: StoriesBattleborn: Stories by Claire Vaye Watkins

Paperback: 6 Aug 2013,
304 pages

"Throughout the collection, the stories and their characters convey feelings of loss and regret, for what has - or hasn't - happened to them and to the place where they live, whether globally or more locally. This fear - of smallness, of loss even to the point of extinction - pervades nearly all of the stories. Some are almost painful in their bitterness and brutal in their sparseness. But there's a bleak beauty here too, both in the landscapes Watkins portrays and in the restrained prose she uses to bring this stark place to life for the reader." - Norah Piehl
Full review, excerpt etc


Two Love Stories

Me Before YouMe Before You by Jojo Moyes

Paperback: 30 Jul 2013,
400 pages

"Me Before You is a story about personal redemption and self-worth, about finding courage, about knowing what to hold onto and what to let go. It's also a meditation on one of the most controversial and divisive issues of our times." - Norah Piehl


Full review, excerpt etc


Every DayEvery Day by David Levithan

Paperback: Early Sep 2013,
336 pages

"Although the premise of Levithan's novel might seem far-fetched, the concept is a deeply provocative starting point from which to explore a wide variety of topics and themes...Every Day also gets at the heart of what it means to be human and what it means to love. Both are, at best, elusive and, at worst, impossible for A. The profound loneliness of A's life - the lack of genuine connection, and the absence of the opportunity to know someone over time and have him know you – is, at times, nearly unbearable." - Norah Piehl
Full review, excerpt etc


Two Nonfiction

Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward CurtisShort Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis by Timothy Egan

Paperback: 6 Aug 2013,
384 pages


"Timothy Egan's robust biography of Edward Curtis is not only the record of a prophetic artist's life and work, it is a transfixing story of audacious achievement and massive commercial failure during a period of stunning cultural blindness and injustice. Edward Curtis was a passionate photographer who moved in society's high circles until he gave it all up to capture Native Americans on film. Egan's portrait of Curtis, who produced an historic twenty-volume photographic and cultural record of America's native peoples, is a masterful and ironic double-exposure: Curtis's life comes into sharpest focus against the backdrop of indigenous America's fading world. Egan's history of this bold and original man is masterful, moving and important - he does for Curtis what Curtis did for Native Americans: makes the man real." - Jo Perry
Full review, excerpt etc

 
Crazy Brave: A MemoirCrazy Brave: A Memoir by Joy Harjo

Paperback: 29 Jul 2013,
176 pages

"Harjo moves through her history in an admirably concise fashion. Memories, happy and painful, are related in spare, honest sentences; no words are wasted. Her deep love for and spiritual connection with the arts are obvious, though this book emphasizes language, story, and poetry above dance, music, and painting. It is clear that these creative pursuits and the "knowing" - her Native American subconscious connection to the spiritual/eternal - were her saviors during cycles of abuse, fear and panic." - Stacey Brownlie
Full review, excerpt etc


Two For Teens

Small DamagesSmall Damages by Beth Kephart

Paperback: 11 Jul 2013,
304 pages


"In fiction, a vividly drawn landscape can ground the reader. It can help the reader rest comfortably inside the story because she knows – by way of her senses – where she is. Beth Kephart is a master at this. She creates landscape in a glorious way. With lyrical prose that rings unique and familiar all at the same time, she opens the reader's ears, eyes, nose and skin – she transports the reader smack into the middle of the world she has created." - Tamara Smith 
Full review, excerpt etc


What's Left of Me: The Hybrid Chronicles, Book OneWhat's Left of Me: The Hybrid Chronicles, Book One by Kat Zhang

Paperback: 13 Aug 2013,
336 pages

"I believe readers 13 and up, will enjoy this book, which is more than just a tense, edge-of-your-seat adventure; it is also a moving and thought-provoking drama, with broad appeal. Its exploration about the meaning of identity and a focus on gender issues will bring many interesting discussion topics for the classroom or for a book club." - Cindy Anderson
Full review, excerpt etc


Two For Younger Readers

Liar & SpyLiar & Spy by Rebecca Stead

Paperback: 6 Aug 2013,
192 pages

"This contemporary mystery maintains Rebecca Stead's focus on exceptional characters, unique device, and tight, clever dialogue. There's much going on behind the scenes of Stead's book, and the Newbery Medal-winning author gives a nod to readers' intelligence as she deftly allows the plot to reveal. Whispered conversations and sideways glances add to the suspense, keeping readers riveted from the start." - Megan Shaffer
Full review, excerpt etc


See You at Harry'sSee You at Harry's by Jo Knowles

Paperback: 6 Aug 2013,
320 pages

"Even though Fern and her siblings are named after fictional characters, and they, in turn, are fictional characters, it's tough to remember that they aren't real... Knowles imagines each one with such resonant details and pitch-perfect emotions that they could easily be the family who lives next door. They're funny, messy, complicated, and loving. They're dealing with emerging sexuality, bullying, sibling rivalry, and all sorts of other typical family and growing-up issues... Because they are so believable, and because Knowles writes with careful attention to every word in this tight, clear novel, Fern and her family wiggle their way into the reader's heart from the very beginning." - Tamara Smith
Full review, excerpt etc

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Someone by Alice McDermott
Belle Cora