Whether light or serious, these summer reads can be enjoyed outside in the sun or inside on a rainy day. All titles are available as ebooks or e-audiobooks through Libby, Axis360, or Hoopla.
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett (Libby and Axis360)
Fans of literary fiction will not want to miss Ann Patchetts’ latest, The Dutch House. Siblings Danny and Maeve grow up in a lavish mansion called The Dutch House in the suburbs of Philadelphia. The siblings’ close bond continues into adulthood, as their troubled childhood continues to haunt them. Exploring themes of loss, abandonment, wealth, and family, The Dutch House is a moving and sentimental read. This is also a great pick for book clubs. If you liked: The Nest by Cynthia D’aprix Sweeney or The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin.
The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson (Libby and Axis360)
Erik Larson is undoubtedly one of the kings of historical nonfiction. In The Splendid and the Vile, he takes on the day-to-day life of Winston Churchill during his first year as prime minister. Set against the backdrop of World War II, this fast-paced, fascinating, and extensively researched book is a must-read for all history buffs. If you liked: 1776 by David McCullough or Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond.
If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane (Hoopla)
If I Never Met You is one of the most enjoyable rom-coms of the year. When Laurie’s partner of 18 years dumps her unexpectedly, she is stunned and heartbroken. Everything is made worse by the fact that they work together. Laurie gets her revenge by starting a fake relationship with the office playboy – but then they start to fall for each other. For fans of strong women, sweet stories, and British charm. If you liked: The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary or The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory.
The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi (Hoopla)
The Henna Artist transports you to 1950s India through the story of Lakshmi. As a teenager, Lakshmi escapes an abusive marriage and creates a new, exciting life for herself in Jaipur. A highly respected henna artist, she caters to the wealthy women of the city. When her ex-husband tracks her down with Lakshmi’s long-lost sister, she is forced to face her past. For readers interested in vibrant descriptions of India, remarkable protagonists, and a glimpse into a different era. If you liked: Pachinko by Min Jin Lee or The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende.
Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family by Robert Kolker (Libby and Axis360)
Hidden Valley Road is a unique combination of medical history and an analysis of a broken family. The Galvins are raising twelve children in Colorado during the baby boom. Though seemingly perfect, behind closed doors, the Galvins live with extreme mental illness. When six of the twelve children are diagnosed with schizophrenia, they suddenly become part of a world of institutionalization, lobotomies, and genetic research. The DNA from the Galvin family has been used for decades of research on schizophrenia. This family biography is a fascinating look into the history of mental illness in America, as well as a heartbreaking story of one family’s struggle. If you liked: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot or Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb.