Summer will be here before you know it! At Bookreporter.com, this means it's time for us to share some great summer book picks with our Summer Reading Contests and Feature. We will be hosting a number of 24-hour contests for these titles on select days throughout the summer, so you will have to check the site each day to see the featured prize book and enter to win.
Greer Hennessy, a movie location scout, must find the perfect undiscovered beach town for a big budget movie. She zeroes in on a sleepy Florida panhandle town but finds a formidable obstacle in the town mayor, Eben Thibadeaux. A born-again environmentalist, he has seen massive damage done to the town by a huge paper company and has no intention of letting anybody screw with his town again. The only problem is that he finds Greer way too attractive for his own good, and knows that her motivation is in direct conflict with his.
To those who matter in 1950s Hollywood, Lena Scott is the hottest rising star to hit the silver screen since Marilyn Monroe. Few know her real name is Abra. Even fewer know the price she’s paid to finally feel like she’s somebody. Hollywood feels like a million miles from Haven, and naive Abra quickly learns what’s expected of an ambitious girl with stars in her eyes. But fame comes at an awful price. She has burned every bridge to get exactly what she thought she wanted.
At the outset of World War II, Denmark did not resist German occupation. Deeply ashamed of his nation's leaders, fifteen-year-old Knud Pedersen resolved with his brother and a handful of schoolmates to take action against the Nazis if the adults would not. Naming their secret club after the fiery British leader, the young patriots in the Churchill Club committed countless acts of sabotage, infuriating the Germans, who eventually had the boys tracked down and arrested. But their efforts were not in vain: the boys' exploits and eventual imprisonment helped spark a full-blown Danish resistance. Interweaving his own narrative with the recollections of Knud himself, here is Phillip Hoose's inspiring story of these young war heroes.
On June 18, 1815, the armies of France, Britain and Prussia descended upon a quiet valley south of Brussels. In the previous three days, the French army had beaten the Prussians at Ligny and fought the British to a standstill at Quatre-Bras. The Allies were in retreat. The little village north of where they turned to fight the French army was called Waterloo. The blood-soaked battle to which it gave its name would become a landmark in European history. In his first work of nonfiction, Bernard Cornwell offers a riveting chronicle of every dramatic moment.
With the outbreak of the Civil War, Washington, D.C. found itself caught between warring sides in a four-year battle that would determine the future of the United States. With their husbands, brothers and fathers marching off to war, the women of Washington, D.C. joined the cause as well. Cokie Roberts chronicles their increasing independence, their political empowerment, their indispensable role in keeping the Union unified through the war, and in helping heal it once the fighting was done.
When UC Santa Cruz roommates Anna and Kate find passed-out Georgiana Leoni on a lawn one night, they wheel her to their dorm in a shopping cart. Twenty years later, they gather around a campfire on the lawn of a New England mansion. What happens in between --- the web of wild adventures, unspoken jealousies, and sudden tragedies that alter the course of their lives --- is charted with sharp wit and aching sadness in this meticulously constructed novel.
NO BETTER FRIEND tells the remarkable story of Royal Air Force technician Frank Williams and Judy, a purebred pointer, who met in a World War II internment camp. Judy was fiercely loyal, with a keen sense for who was friend and who was foe, and the pair's relationship deepened throughout their captivity. When the prisoners suffered beatings, Judy would interrupt by barking. She survived bombings and other near-death experiences and became a beacon for the men, who saw in her survival a flicker of hope for their own.
When police rescue five-year-old Jenna Thompson from the dark closet where she's been held captive for days, they tell her she's a lucky girl. Even with her family's killer dead of an overdose, Jenna is still trying to find peace 25 years later. On leave from her forensic artist job, she returns to Nashville, the city where she lost so much. Detective Rick Morgan needs Jenna's expertise in identifying the skeletal remains of a young child. The case jogs hazy half-buried memories --- and a nagging dread that her ordeal hasn't ended.
THE LIFE OF SAUL BELLOW marks the centenary of Saul Bellow’s birth, as well as the 10th anniversary of his death. It draws on unprecedented access to Bellow’s papers, including much previously restricted material, as well as interviews with more than 150 of the novelist’s relatives, close friends, colleagues and lovers. Zachary Leader chronicles a singular life in letters, offering original and nuanced accounts not only of the novelist’s development and rise to eminence, but of his many identities --- as writer, polemicist, husband, father, Chicagoan, Jew, American.
Andrew J. Rush has achieved the kind of critical and commercial success most authors only dream about. He also has a loving wife, three grown children, and is a well-regarded philanthropist. But Rush is hiding a dark secret. Under the pseudonym “Jack of Spades,” he writes another string of novels --- dark potboilers that are violent, lurid, even masochistic. Eventually, Rush’s reputation, career and family life all come under threat --- and unbidden, in the back of his mind, the Jack of Spades starts thinking ever more evil thoughts.
Josh Levin is an aspiring screenwriter teaching ESL classes in Chicago. His laptop is full of ideas, but the only one to really take root is Zombie Wars. When Josh comes home to discover his landlord, an unhinged army vet, rifling through his dirty laundry, he decides to move in with his girlfriend, Kimmy. It's domestic bliss for a moment, but Josh becomes entangled with a student, a Bosnian woman named Ana, whose husband is jealous and violent. Disaster ensues.
Revered today for articulating America’s founding principles, the first 10 amendments was in fact a political stratagem executed by James Madison to preserve the Constitution, the Federal government, and the latter’s authority over the states. In the hands of award-winning historian Carol Berkin, the story of the Founders’ fight over the Bill of Rights comes alive in a gripping drama of partisan politics, acrimonious debate and manipulated procedure.
In a future America that feels increasingly familiar, you are your credit score. Extreme wealth inequality has created a class of have-nothings: Subprimes. Their bad credit ratings make them unemployable. Fugitives who must keep moving to avoid arrest, they wander the globally warmed American wasteland searching for day labor and a place to park their battered SUVs for the night. THE SUBPRIMES follows the fortunes of two families whose lives reflect this new dog-eat-dog, survival-of-the-financially-fittest America.
Since childhood, Wylie Rose has been drawn to the charming, close-knit Bonet siblings. But none affected him more than the enchanting Cesca, a girl blessed with incandescent beauty and a wild, irrepressible spirit. Growing up, Wylie’s friendship with her brother, Aurelio, a budding painter of singular talent, brings him near Cesca’s circle. A young woman confident in her charms, Cesca is amused by Wylie’s youthful sensuality and trusting innocence. Toying with his devotion, she draws him closer to her fire --- ultimately ruining him for any other woman.
Ken Kalfus’ latest collection of short fiction is a mix of experimental works and stories that borrow from recent news items. The piece that likely will receive the most attention is the title novella, in which a figure based on Dominique Strauss-Kahn has a sexual encounter with a housekeeper from Guinea at New York’s Sofitel hotel. Other stories in this provocative book touch upon topics like the Iraq War, the Large Hadron Collider, and execution by lethal injection.