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Summer Reading 2019: May Prize Books

Special Feature

Summer Reading 2019: May Prize Books

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 series of 24-hour contests for these titles on select days through August 23rd, so you will have to check the site each day to see the featured prize book and enter to win. We also will be sending a special newsletter to announce the day's title, which you can sign up for here.

See the prize books being awarded in JuneJuly and August.

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane - Fiction


Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope are two NYPD rookies assigned to the same Bronx precinct in 1973. They aren’t close friends on the job, but end up living next door to each other outside the city. What goes on behind closed doors in both houses --- the loneliness of Francis’s wife, Lena, and the instability of Brian’s wife, Anne, sets the stage for the stunning events to come. ASK AGAIN, YES is a beautifully moving exploration of the friendship and love that blossoms between Francis’s youngest daughter, Kate, and Brian’s son, Peter, who are born six months apart.

A Bend in the Stars by Rachel Barenbaum - Historical Fiction


In Russia, in the summer of 1914, as war with Germany looms and the Czar's army tightens its grip on the local Jewish community, Miri Abramov and her brilliant physicist brother, Vanya, are facing an impossible decision. With fierce, headstrong Miri on the verge of becoming one of Russia's only female surgeons, and Vanya hoping to solve the final puzzles of Einstein's elusive theory of relativity, can they bear to leave the homeland that has given them so much? Before they have time to make their choice, war is declared and Vanya goes missing, along with Miri's fiancé. Miri braves the firing squad to go looking for them both. Not only the safety of Miri's own family but the future of science itself hangs in the balance.

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate - Fiction


Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family's Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge --- until strangers arrive in force, and the children are thrown into an orphanage. Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all. But when she returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family's long-hidden history, on a path that ultimately will lead either to devastation or to redemption.

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson - Historical Fiction

The hardscrabble folks of Troublesome Creek have to scrap for everything --- everything except books, that is. Thanks to Roosevelt’s Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project, Troublesome has its very own traveling librarian, Cussy Mary Carter. Cussy's not only a book woman, however; she’s also the last of her kind, her skin a shade of blue unlike most anyone else. Not everyone is keen on Cussy’s family or the Library Project, and a Blue is often blamed for any whiff of trouble. If Cussy wants to bring the joy of books to the hill folks, she’s going to have to confront prejudice as old as the Appalachias and suspicion as deep as the holler.

Cape May by Chip Cheek - Historical Fiction


Late September 1957. Henry and Effie, very young newlyweds from Georgia, arrive in Cape May, New Jersey, for their honeymoon only to find the town is deserted. Feeling shy of each other and isolated, they decide to cut the trip short. But before they leave, they meet a glamorous set of people who sweep them up into their drama --- Clara, a beautiful socialite who feels her youth slipping away; Max, a wealthy playboy and Clara’s lover; and Alma, Max’s aloof and mysterious half-sister, to whom Henry is irresistibly drawn. The empty beach town becomes their playground, and as they sneak into abandoned summer homes, go sailing, walk naked under the stars, make love and drink a great deal of gin, Henry and Effie slip from innocence into betrayal, with irrevocable consequences.

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware - Psychological Thriller


On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person --- but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money. Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it.

The Guest Book by Sarah Blake - Fiction

While Kitty Milton and her husband, Ogden, summer on their island in Maine, anchored as they are to the way things have always been, the winds of change are beginning to stir. In 1959 New York City, two strangers enter the Miltons’ circle. One captures the attention of Kitty’s daughter, while the other makes each of them question what the family stands for. This new generation insists that the times are changing. And in one night, everything does. So much so that in the present day, the third generation of Miltons doesn’t have enough money to keep the island in Maine. Evie Milton’s mother has just died, and as Evie digs into her mother’s and grandparents’ history, what she finds is a story as unsettling as it is inescapable, the story that threatens the foundation of the Milton family myth.

Such a Perfect Wife by Kate White - Mystery/Thriller

On a sunny morning in late September, Shannon Blaine sets off for a jog along the rural roads near her home in Lake George, New York. It’s her usual a.m. routine, her “me time” after dropping the kids off at school…except on this day she never returns. Is her husband lying when he says he has no clue where she is? Could Shannon have split on her own, overwhelmed by the pressures of her life? Or is she the victim of a sexual predator who had been prowling the area and snatched her before she knew what was happening? True crime writer Bailey Weggins heads north from New York City to report on the mysterious disappearance. An anonymous tip soon leads her to a grisly, bone-chilling discovery.

The Summer I Met Jack by Michelle Gable - Historical Fiction

In 1950, a young, beautiful Polish refugee arrives in Hyannisport, Massachusetts, to work as a maid for one of the wealthiest families in America. Alicia is at once dazzled by the large and charismatic family, in particular the oldest son, a rising politician named Jack. Alicia and Jack are soon engaged, but his domineering father forbids the marriage. And so, Alicia trades Hyannisport for Hollywood, and eventually Rome. She dates famous actors and athletes and royalty, including Gary Cooper, Kirk Douglas and Katharine Hepburn, all the while staying close with Jack. A decade after they meet, on the eve of Jack’s inauguration as the 35th President of the United States, the two must confront what they mean to each other.

Sunset Beach by Mary Kay Andrews - Fiction


Out of a job and down on her luck, Drue Campbell’s life doesn’t seem to be getting any better when her estranged father, a flamboyant personal injury attorney, shows up at her mother’s funeral after a 20-year absence. Worse, he’s remarried --- to Drue’s eighth grade frenemy, Wendy, now his office manager. And they’re offering her a job. It seems like the job from hell, but the offer is sweetened by the news of her inheritance: her grandparents’ beach bungalow in the sleepy town of Sunset Beach. With no other prospects, Drue begrudgingly joins the firm. But when a suspicious death at an exclusive beach resort nearby exposes possible corruption at her father’s firm, she is drawn into a case that may --- or may not --- involve her father.