Edmonds Booktalk: Beach- and travel-friendly ideas for summer reading

By Elaine Mattson

It’s not an urban myth: Summer really does start on July 5th! And if the 4th is decent weather, that’s a lovely bonus… so… welcome to Summer! School’s out, most of us will have at least a few days of vacation in the next couple of months… it’s the perfect time to start that series you’ve been wanting to read, but felt like you haven’t had time!

If you don’t have your own list, let me make a few suggestions, including notes about when the latest book in the series was — or will be — published. You have plenty of time to get caught up!

For early readers:

  • “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” by Jeff Kinney; book 7, “The Third Wheel” will be published Nov. 13, 2012.
  • “Ivy and Bean” by Annie Barrows; book 8 “Ivy and Bean No News Is Good News” was just published July 4.

For middle grade readers:

  • “The Kane Chronicles” by Rick Riordan. “The Serpent’s Shadow, Book Three” of, and the conclusion to, the Kane Chronicles was just published May 1.
  • “The Mysterious Benedict Society” by Trenton Lee Stewart. Book 4, “The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict” was published April 10.
  • “Artemis Fowl” by Eoin Colfer. The New York Times best-selling author, and comic genius, will leave Artemis Fowl fans gasping up to the very end of this thrilling finale to the blockbuster series with “The Last Guardian, Book 8” out July 10.

For teen readers:

  • “The Hunger Games Series” by Suzanne Collins – all three published and the first movie out already!
  • “The Maze Runner Series” by James Dashner – all three published, and a movie in the works.
  • “The Mortal Instruments Series” by Cassandra Clare. Book 5 of this compulsively readable series for young adults, “City of Lost Souls” was just published May 8.
  • “Insurgent (Divergent Book 2)” by Veronica Roth, just published May 1. New York Times-bestselling author Roth’s much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series for young adults is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.
  • “Maximum Ride Series” by James Patterson, “Nevermore,” the 8th and final book in the series is coming Aug. 6.

For adults:

  • “Song of Ice & Fire” by George R. R. Martin, which starts with “The Game of Thrones” [you may recognize the title from the hugely successful HBO series!] and he has finally written number 5!
  • “The Kate Shugak series” by Dana Stabenow featuring the Aleut private investigator, number 19 was published a few months ago.
  • Daniel Silva writes a great series of spy fiction starring art-restorer, and part-time spy, Gabriel Allon, the brand new one “The Fallen Angel” comes out July 17.
  • Lee Child’s hero is Jack Reacher, book number 17 is coming September 2012.
  • Gail Carriger’s “Parasol Protectorate Series” finishes with number 5 out in paperback this past March.
  • “The Dresden Files” by Jim Butcher stars wizard detective Harry Dresden, who cannot stay out of trouble, number 13 was published last fall.

Lots of great series that you can make a dent in, with many titles in beach-, and travel-friendly, paperback editions for your summer reading pleasure!

July Events at the Edmonds Bookshop.
Our Book Club book for July 18, 2012. “State of Wonder” by Ann Patchett.

In a narrative replete with poison arrows, devouring snakes, scientific miracles, and spiritual transformations, Patchett’s new novel presents a world of stunning surprise and danger, rich in emotional resonance and moral complexity. It is a gripping adventure story and a profound look at the difficult choices we make in the name of discovery and love.

July 14, Saturday, noon. The authors, KJ Larsen and Vanessa Hart, will join us to chat and sign copies of their brand new book, “Sticks & Stones: The Cat Deluca Mysteries, Book  2.” New in paperback Feb. 7.

Third Thursday Art Walk. July 19, 5-8 pm. Our artist will be author Jeanne Matthews who returns with her third Dinah Pellerin mystery, “Bonereapers.” Ms. Pelerin finds herself embroiled in Norwegian politics and must find the killer before she herself is imprisoned. Join us for light snacks and beverages and to chat with out artist about her new book!

July 28, 2012. Saturday, noon. Author Diana Renn will join us to chat about and sign her new book, “Tokyo Heist,” a YA mystery published June 14, 2012. It stars a teen girl who loves manga, and uses her visual skills to solve an international art crime. The novel takes place in Seattle and Japan. More information at Ms. Renn’s website.

Recent book releases of note:

“Shadow of Night: A Novel [Book 2 of the All Souls Trilogy]” by Deborah E. Harkness. Finally! The thrilling sequel to “A Discovery of Witches!” [now in paperback!] Our heroes are plunged into Elizabethan England, a world of spies, and subterfuge. Chosen for IndieBound.

“Zone One” by Colson Whitehead. Great/different story of zombies in NY City, although, the “Z” word is never actually used…fascinating take on the genre. Chosen for IndieBound. Now in paperback!

“The Last Policeman” by Ben H. Winters. What’s the point in solving murders if we’re all going to die soon, anyway? The first in a trilogy, this offers a mystery set on the brink of an apocalypse. Chosen for IndieBound. In paperback.

Age 10 and up “Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian, Book 8” by Eoin Colfer.

New York Times best-selling author and comic genius Eoin Colfer will leave Artemis Fowl fans gasping up to the very end of this thrilling finale to the blockbuster series.

“Seraphina” by Rachel Hartman. In this complex, intrigue-laden YA fantasy, readers are introduced to a world in which dragons and humans coexist in an uneasy truce. A 16-year-old hides a secret that could have her ostracized or even killed: she’s half-dragon, against all rules and social codes…

“Gold” by Chris Cleave. The author of “Little Bee” pens a thrilling and emotionally rewarding novel about the world of professional cycling. Chosen for IndieBound.

“The Next Best Thing” by Jennifer Weiner.

“The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern. Now in paperback! Chosen for IndieBound.

“Talulla Rising” by Glen Duncan. Without giving too much away [just in case you haven’t read The Last Werewolf yet!] [Why haven’t you?!], Duncan gives us a heroine like no other, harnessing the same audacious imagination and dark humor, the same depths of horror and sympathy, the same full-tilt narrative energy.

“The Receptionist: An Education at The New Yorker” by Jane Groth chronicles her 21 years behind a receptionist’s desk at America’s most prestigious literary magazine. Review in the Seattle Times.

“Wicked Business: A Lizzy and Diesel Novel #2” by Janet Evanovich. This is the second in the brand new series featuring heroine Elizabeth Tucker: Marblehead resident, bakery worker, unlucky in love, and descendant of witches. The series started with Wicked Appetite. [now in a perfect summer-reading-sized paperback!]

“Alif the Unseen” by G. Willow Wilson. A supernatural and sociopolitical thriller set in an unnamed Arab emirate where a computer “hacktivist” obtains an ancient book narrated by genies… see more in the great new review in the Seattle Times. Chosen for IndieBound.

“A Hologram for the King” by Dave Eggers. HIs new novel grounds itself as firmly in the real world as “Zeitoun” or “What is the What.” Both Eggers’s fans and those previously resistant to his work will find a spare but moving elegy for the American century.

“The Red House: A Novel” by Mark Haddon. This British writer’s new novel follows several members of a family as they try to live with, and love each other in our attention-deficit age. New review in the Seattle Times. Chosen for IndieBound.

“Mission to Paris” by Alan Furst. It is the late summer of 1938, Europe is about to explode, the Hollywood film star Fredric Stahl is on his way to Paris to make a movie for Paramount France. The Nazis know he’s coming… Pretty great new review [6/22/12] in the New York Times.

And coming later in July:

“The Fallen Angel: A Gabriel Allon Novel” by Daniel Silva. Allon has returned to his beloved Rome to restore a Caravaggio masterpiece for the Vatican. And then a body turns up. July 17.

“The Violinist’s Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code” by Sam Kean. From bestselling author of “The Disappearing Spoon.” July 17.

“Where We Belong” by Emily Giffin. July 24.

“Broken Harbor: A Novel” by Tana French. A new novel with her signature blend of police procedural and psychological thriller. July 24.

“The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” by Rachel Joyce. July 24.

“Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies” by Ben Macintyre. A new one from a staff favorite, author of “Agent Zigzag.” July 31.

“Odd Apocalypse: An Odd Thomas Novel” by Dean Koontz. July 31.

As always, check our website for all the latest in book news!

Happy reading!


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