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The Dry

The Dry

"You lied. Luke lied. Be at the funeral." Federal Agent Aaron Falk is summoned home with these words after his best friend Luke dies in a heartbreaking murder-suicide, turning the gun on himself after killing his wife and 6-year-old son. Falk obeys—but he can't believe his best friend could have done such a thing, and so he starts digging, dragging long-buried secrets back to the surface. The setting is the drought-ravaged Australian Outback, and the brittleness and heat are almost palpable. I've recommended Summer Reading Guide greatest hit to pieces since it appeared in the 2017 guide. Of all Jane Harper's books, this debut continues to be my favorite. More info →
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Mr. Rochester

Mr. Rochester

Reader, many of you said you were skeptical of anyone messing with the classics ... but found this 2017 Summer Reading Guide pick really well done. In this work of historical fiction, Shoemaker imagines a backstory for Brontë's timeless hero, and it is not what I expected. She begins in his youth, with his education and increasingly complicated family history, then moves onto his troubled coming of age in Jamaica, his father's shady business dealings, and how he became entangled with Bertha Mason. This feels a little like Brontë, but even more like Dickens. More info →
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The Editor

The Editor

I loved Rowley's quirky debut Lily and the Octopus; this new novel turns that same charm to the world of publishing. In 1990s New York, a struggling writer gets his big break, selling his manuscript to a major publishing house—and the editor he'll be working with is none other than Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The publisher calls this "a poignant, insightful novel of young men and their mothers, authors and their editors, and the minefields of speaking the truth about those we love." More info →
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Dawn (The Xenogenesis Trilogy Book 1)

Dawn (The Xenogenesis Trilogy Book 1)

I talked about author Octavia Butler on a recent episode of One Great Book. From the publisher: "Featuring strong and compelling characters and exploring complex themes of gender and species, Octavia E. Butler presents a powerful, postapocalyptic interplanetary epic, as well as a ray of hope for humanity. Lilith Iyapo has just lost her husband and son when atomic fire consumes Earth—the last stage of the planet's final war. An alien race calls on one woman to revive mankind after Earth’s apocalypse in this science fiction classic from the award-winning author of Parable of the Sower. They have kept Lilith and other survivors asleep for centuries, as they learned whatever they could about Earth. For the first time since the nuclear holocaust, Earth will be inhabited. Grass will grow, animals will run, and people will learn to survive the planet’s untamed wilderness. But their children will not be human. Not exactly." This is the first in the series, but the whole trilogy is also at a great price. More info →
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On the Bright Side: Stories about Friendship, Love, and Being True to Yourself

On the Bright Side: Stories about Friendship, Love, and Being True to Yourself

Read this and then make sure you go watch the replay of our Stay at Home Book Tour with Melanie Shankle. We talked about everything from from comfort reads to facial serums, and if that's exactly the kind of relatable voice you're after these days, Shankle's laugh-out-loud memoir might be for you. From the publisher: "Melanie Shankle reminds us of the unchanging principles we can count on in a changing world. These are lessons that Melanie has learned along the way about how to find all the joy that life has to offer - and why encouragement is never something to keep to ourselves. Exploring topics such as dealing with comparisons, when life doesn't turn out like we expected, and how to find your people, Melanie invites us to lead with love in all areas of our lives." Whispersync narration available (read by the author). More info →
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The Collector’s Apprentice

The Collector’s Apprentice

From the publisher: "In this surprising, noirish page-turner, B. A. Shapiro once again takes readers into the world of art, glamour, and mystery. Accused of helping her fiancé steal her family’s fortune and her father's art collection, Paulien Mertens has fled to France. Paulien, aka Vivienne, takes a position working for an American art collector modeled after real-life eccentric museum founder Albert Barnes and quickly becomes caught up in the 1920s Paris of artists and expats, including post-Impressionist painter Henri Matisse and writer Gertrude Stein. From there, she sets out to recover her father's art collection, prove her innocence, and exact revenge on her ex-fiancé." More info →
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