Heidi’s Summer Picks – 2014

Some say Summer is a time for fluffy reading, but I’m not so sure I like that word. I prefer the term intriguing.

When the sun is out and the days are long, I want something gripping, invigorating, and substantial enough to measure up to my longer warm-weather runs and bike rides. Something I can really sink my teeth into.

If you feel the same way, here are a few suggestions:

BlackHourThe Black Hour, by Lori Rader-Day

A sociology professor who specializes in crime becomes a victim of violence in this debut mystery set in Chicago. Library Journal says: “While [Rader-Day] captivates from page one with her psychologically attuned debut, it is the sociological frames that work so well…. Alternating points of view, superb storytelling, and a pitch-perfect take on academia.” If you are a fan of mysteries that focus as much on character and setting as they do on plot, this one’s for you.

FourthOfJulyCreekFourth of July Creek, by Smith Henderson

 Entertainment Weekly gave this novel an A, saying “Like the body of water in the Montana wilderness that gives this novel its title, Fourth of July Creek wends its way through territory that’s treacherous and beautiful, often both at the same time. It’s not just the deep wooded scenery and mountain vistas that lend Smith Henderson’s stunning debut novel its power, it’s the slippery slopes of damaged human spirits that are breathtaking and heartbreaking.” The story follows social worker Pete Snow as he attempts to aid a young boy and his survivalist father in the wilds of Montana during the Reagan years.

FriendshipFriendship, by Emily Gould

From a former Gawker editor and new media provocateur comes this debut novel about being a 30-something woman, friends, and work. I’m not sure how much more relevant a book could be to my life. 🙂

RememberMeLikeThisRemember Me Like This, by Bret Anthony Johnston

 A few months ago, I came across Stephen Marche’s review of this thriller in Esquire Magazine‘s May 2014 issue. (I love Esquire and read it religiously, even though it’s my boyfriend’s subscription and he never even picks it up). Marche said: “I know the novel you’re looking for. It’s the thriller that also has interesting sentences. It’s the one with a driving plot but fully realized characters as well, the one that flows like it was plotted by Dennis Lehane but feels like it was written by Jonathan Franzen. The high-end potboiler. The literate page-turner. It’s a surprisingly rare breed even though it’s so obviously the novel we all want. Fortunately, there’s Bret Anthony Johnston’s Remember Me Like This.” It’s like he was reading my mind! This is the novel I’m looking for!

VacationersThe Vacationers, by Emma Straub

A seemingly perfect Summer read about a family vacation in Majorca, Spain, that the New York Times Book Review raves is “gorgeously written” with “characters that are smart, addictively charming, delightfully misanthropic and fun.” Sign me up!


What are you looking forward to reading this Summer?





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