Fiction Picks Perfect for a Beach Day

Long summer days are meant for reading! In between catching a wave or a quick dip in the pool, give a new book a try. Here’s a list of romantic comedies and suspenseful thrillers that are perfect for a summer day.

A Word for Love
By Emily Robbins

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Bird Box
By Josh Malerman

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder
By Joanne Fluke

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Cross Justice
By James Patterson

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Deep Storm
By Lincoln Child

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Every Breath
By Nicholas Sparks

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Good Luck With That
By Kristan Higgins

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Holiday in the Hamptons
By Sarah Morgan

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Leverage in Death
By J.D. Robb

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Look Behind You
By Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen

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Nine Women, One Dress
By Jane L. Rosen

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Once and for All
By Sarah Dessen

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Proof of Life
By J.A. Jance

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
By Stieg Larsson

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The Royal Runaway
By Lindsay Emory

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The Silent Corner
By Dean Koontz

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Stellar Reads, Part 4: Nonfiction Reviews from Adult Summer Challenge Participants

From biographies to how-to and self-help books, Nonfiction has something intriguing to offer so many readers. Here’s a look at Nonfiction books that our Adult Summer Challenge participants are enjoying.


Robert B. on The Ghosts of Johns Hopkins: The Life and Legacy That Shaped an American City by Antero Pietila:

The author introduces this well-researched volume by noting that Johns Hopkins destroyed his private papers so thoroughly that no credible biography exists.

He then continues by stating that the purpose of his book is to analyze how Hopkins’ legacy, the hospital, medical school, and university “became the defining factors that they are today, the largest private-sector employers in the city and the state, with a robust worldwide reach.” The Ghosts of Johns Hopkins definitely fulfills the author’s purpose but there is more.

As Pietila states, “a main goal of this book is to help the reader understand the idiosyncracies and complexities of Baltimore.” And here he succeeds magnificently. This is an essential book for anyone wanting to gain a better understanding of how Baltimore got to where it is today. Pietila creates an amazing mélange of politicians, crooks, police commissioners, and local characters in a historical tour de force.

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Kyla R. on Generation T: 108 Ways to Transform a T-Shirt by Megan Nicolay:

This is a cool and crafty book about turning T-shirts into one-of-a-kind styles. It’s my favorite DIY clothing book. Techniques feature cutting apart and reassembling shirts for beginners and more experienced crafters.

I must say that there are lots of casual, fun, and even insightful designs to make in this book. Great if you want to start making your own clothes.

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It’s not too late to join the fun! For a chance to win fabulous prizes in the Adult Summer Challenge, create a free Beanstack account and log each book you finish between June 12 and August 14.

Great All-American Classics

Happy 4th of July! In between celebrating with fireworks and a plate (or two) of barbecue, consider spending the day curled up with a great book to read. Here’s a list of All-American classics, some new and old, some traditional, others not so much, that you might want to add to your reading list.

Americanah
By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Beloved
By Toni Morrison

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Charlotte’s Web
By E.B. White

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Gone with the Wind
By Margaret Mitchell

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Invisible Man
By Ralph Ellison

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Monster
By Walter Dean Myers
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Of Mice and Men
By John Steinbeck

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The Coldest Winter Ever
By Sister Souljah

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The Color Purple
By Alice Walker

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The Great Gatsby
By F. Scott Fitzgerald

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The Handmaid’s Tale
By Margaret Atwood

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The Hunger Games
By Suzanne Collins

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The Lovely Bones
By Alice Sebold

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Their Eyes Were Watching God
By Zora Neale Hurston

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To Kill a Mockingbird
By Harper Lee

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The Twilight Saga
By Stephenie Meyer

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Stellar Reads, Part 3: More Reviews from Adult Summer Challenge Participants

What book have you enjoyed lately? Here are some favorites of our Adult Summer Challenge participants:

Melina T. on Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng:

I loved this book—it begins with fires and then works its way back to lead up to the event that opens the book. The author cleverly weaves in story elements slowly, building up and helping you understand the reason for the fires. It’s a slow build but done with such care and great writing.

She switches the point of view frequently, helping to develop the different characters and ultimately what assumptions you make at the beginning of the book are completely crushed by the end of the book. It’s a great read, totally engrossing, and you’ll love characters you thought you couldn’t, and find empathy lurking in every corner.

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Helen B. on When All Is Said by Anne Griffin:

Join 84-year-old Maurice Hannigan as he makes final toasts to each of the five people who mattered most in his life. By turns humorous, tender, and shocking, his reflections paint a vivid picture of a man acknowledging his mistakes and appreciating his blessings.

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Holly T. on The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman:

Neil Gaiman takes the “Sleeping Beauty” story and transforms it into something rich, sinister, and strange. The 66 pages of this novella feature intricate drawings by Chris Riddell that perfectly illustrate the chilling horror of this telling. Startling and unexpected, this is NOT the story you heard growing up.

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Jedidiah S. on Level Up by Grace Luen Yang:

Thien Pham’s artwork is lovely, and Gene Luen Yang’s writing is really powerful. It sneaks up on you—I wasn’t expecting to be moved, but I was.

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Aaron B. on You Know You Want This by Kristen Roupenian:

The viral hit “Cat Person” is only one of the stories in Roupenian’s debut collection. A fascinating series of examinations on evolving gender roles, one that’s funny and twisted, bizarre and honest.

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Join the fun! For a chance to win fabulous prizes in the Adult Summer Challenge, create a free Beanstack account and log each book you finish between June 12 and August 14.

Nonfiction Pride Month Picks

As Pride Month comes to a close, we wanted to highlight nonfiction works from those in the LGBTQ + community. From history books to memoirs, we’re sure that they will not only inspire and educate but also be engaging reads!

Gentleman Jack: The Real Anne Lister
By Anne Choma

Anne Lister was extraordinary. Fearless, charismatic and determined to explore her lesbian sexuality by forging her own path in a society. In 1834, she made history by celebrating and recording the first ever known marriage to another woman. Now the basis for the HBO series Gentleman Jack, this is her remarkable, true story.

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No Ashes in the Fire: Coming of Age Black and Free in America
By Darnell L. Moore

The award-winning writer, Black Lives Matter activist, and advocate shares his journey of a scared, bullied teenager who not only survived, but found his calling. Moore reminds us that liberation is possible if we commit ourselves to fighting for it, and if we dream and create futures where those who survive on society’s edges can thrive.

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Queer Threads: Crafting Identity and Community
By John Chaich and Todd Oldham

This book spotlights an international, intergenerational, intersectional mix of thirty artists who are remixing fiber craft traditions while reconsidering the binaries of art and craft, masculine and feminine, and gay and straight. To further examine how queerness informs their work, the artists are interviewed by makers and thinkers from the worlds of dance, design, fashion, media, music, museums, scholarship, and more―many members of the LGBTQ community themselves, and otherwise passionate allies.

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Becoming Dangerous: Witchy Femmes, Queen Conjurers, and Magical Rebels
By Katie West
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Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family
By Amy Ellis Nutt
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Karamo: My Story Of Embracing Purpose, Healing, and Hope
By Karamo Brown

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Outsiders: Why Difference Is The Future Of Civil Rights
By Zachary Kramer

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Paris On The Brink
By Mary McAuliffe
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Pride: Fifty Years or Parades and Protests from the Archives of the New York Times By New York Times Company
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Queer Eye: Love Yourself, Love Your Life
By Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Jonathan Van Ness, Bobby Berk, and Karamo Brown

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Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son
By Lori Duron

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Representing the Rainbow In Young Adult Literature: LGBTQ+ Content Since 1969
By Christine Jenkins

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The Tradition
By Jericho Brown

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Time Is The Thing A Body Moves Through: An Essay
By T. Fleischmann
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When We Rise: My Life in the Movement
By Cleve Jones

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