Archive: Jul 2016

Summer Reading List 2016

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As summer approaches, here are some of our favorite reads – from thrillers to literary fiction, memoir, science and politics. And 10 novels we’re looking forward to.

History, Current Event & Pop Culture

The Caped Crusade

By Glen Weldon

How does one comic-book character remain so consistently intriguing to so many people over eight decades? A look at the history of Batman.

Simon & Schuster

Mysteries & Thrillers

Fixers

By Michael M. Thomas

Thomas, a former partner at Lehman Brothers, spins an audacious financial thriller based on real-life events — the 2008 financial crisis — that features cameos by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. The novel juxtaposes the ideals of loyalty, service, patriotism and noblesse oblige against the venality of contemporary Wall Street.

Melville

History, Current Event & Pop Culture

The Gene: An Intimate History

By Siddhartha Mukherjee

A thorough and thought-provoking biography of the gene: its science, the scientists who study it and the controversies that have spun from our understanding of it.

Simon & Schuster

Memoir

Knitlandia

By Clara Parkes

Parkes, who fled a job in high tech and launched an online magazine, Knitter’s Review, here she shares her travels through the world of knitting, from Iceland to Paris and Portland.

Stewart, Tabori and Chang

History, Current Event & Pop Culture

Lab Girl

By Hope Jahren

The story of a girl who becomes a scientist, the book is also the story of a career and the endless struggles over funding, recognition and politics that get in the way. It is also really the story of two lab partners and their uncommon bond.

Knopf

Fiction

Modern Lovers

By Emma Straub

Like her 2014 novel “The Vacationers,” Straub’s witty book has a warm-weather vibe, even if it is set in the less idyllic, if beautifully gentrified, Brooklyn. Here a group of friends from college, now nearing 50, are forced to take a hard look at their relationships.

Riverhead

Fiction

My Name is Lucy Barton

By Elizabeth Strout

Lucy Barton wakes in the hospital to find her estranged mother at the foot of her bed. For the next five nights, she sits in a chair and tells Lucy stories about her past.

Random House

Fiction

The Nest

By Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

Just before the Plumb siblings are about to cash in the trust fund that will solve all their problems, they discover it’s been almost completely depleted. A comic novel about familiar greed and affection.

Ecco

History, Current Event & Pop Culture

One in a Billion

By Mark Johnson and Kathleen Gallagher

A riveting account of a medical team’s frantic search for the genetic error threatening a little boy’s life. What they found proved that it was possible to use a person’s genes to diagnose and treat a previously unknown disease and helped usher in the use of genome sequencing for people with unusual disorders.

Simon & Schuster

History, Current Event & Pop Culture

The Romanovs

By Simon Sebag Montefiore

Drawing on a wide array of Russian sources, Sebag Montefiore paints an unforgettable portrait of characters fascinating and charismatic, odd and odious.

Knopf

Fiction

The Summer Before the War

By Helen Simonson

Anglophiles mourning the end of “Downton Abbey” will find solace in this novel that begins in pre-World War I England and deftly observes the effect of war on the staid Edwardian sensibilities of the coastal village of Rye.

Random House

History, Current Event & Pop Culture

The Sun & the Moon & the Rolling Stones

By Rich Cohen

Rich Cohen approaches the Stones from two perspectives — as the kid discovering the group from glorious sounds emerging from his older brother’s room and a young magazine writer, backstage as he works his way into the good graces of the aging rockers.

Spiegel & Grau

Memoir

Switched On

By John Elder Robison

Robison, who has Asperger’s syndrome, chronicles his rich emotional life following a scientific experiment on his brain. Exhilarated but chastened, Robison delivers an account that is both poignant and scientifically important.

Spiegel & Grau

Fiction

What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours

By Helen Oyeyemi

A series of loosely connected, magically tinged tales about personal and social justice. Built around the idea of keys, locks and magic doors, the stories cover a wide territory — from mythology and fairy tales to smartphones and YouTube stars.

Riverhead

Memoir

When Breath Becomes Air

By Paul Kalanithi

Written by a young neurosurgeon as he faced a terminal cancer diagnosis, this memoir is inherently sad. Still, this moving and thoughtful tale of family, medicine and literature is well worth the emotional investment.

Random House

Mysteries & Thrillers

Wilde Lake

By Laura Lippman

A new case dredges up painful memories for Luisa (Lu) Brant, the new state’s attorney of Howard County, Maryland. In what feels like Lippman’s most personal novel, the book is as much a legal drama as it is tale of childhood and family life.

Morrow

Fiction

The Year of the Runaways

By Sunjeev Sahota

“The Year of the Runaways” is essentially “The Grapes of Wrath” for the 21st century. By following a handful of young Indian men in England, Sahota has captured the plight of millions of desperate people struggling to find work, to eke out some semblance of a decent life in a world increasingly closed-fisted and mean.

Knopf