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Authors’ summer reading lists


We asked our local authors for some summer reading ideas, either well-loved books or titles they’re excited to dive into. Here’s what on their lists, and why.

Nichole Bernier recommends

“The Light Between Oceans” by M.L. Stedman . “On a small Australian island in the 1920s, a lighthouse keeper and his wife . . . are shocked by the arrival of a rowboat with a dead man and a live baby.”

“The Engagements” by J. Courtney Sullivan . “Multiple interconnected profiles of couples spanning a hundred years.”

“Cutting for Stone” by Abraham Verghese . “Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon.”

Marjan Kamali recommends

“The View from Penthouse B” by Elinor Lipman . “Elinor Lipman is a national treasure — I love her humor and her witty style . . . one of those writers whose generosity of soul spills into every novel.”


“Cascade” by Maryanne O’Hara . “I love being transported to another period of time, and I look forward to experiencing small-town Massachusetts in the 1930s through this book.”

“The First Rule of Swimming” by Courtney Angela Brkic . “Years ago, Courtney and I were MFA classmates . . . I think we’re all in for a huge treat with this debut novel set in an isolated Croatian island and America.”

David Fleming recommends

“Twerp” by Mark Goldblatt . “Looks to be a great story with a very relatable protagonist and very real emotion, which, believe it or not, is pretty tough to get just right.”

“Doll Bones” by Holly Black . “Because I love a good adventure story, the creepier the better.”

“Stardust” by Neil Gaiman. “Pure escape, the way summer reading should be.”

Ben Coes recommends

“Damn Few” by Rorke Denver . “Memoir by a former US Navy SEAL who also happens to be a close friend and important source, and one of the toughest, smartest, and kindest guys I’ve ever known.”

“The Right Hand” by Derek Haas . “High-concept thriller by one of the rising stars of the spy thriller genre.”


“Anna Karenina” by Leo Tolstoy . “I read it every 10 years to remind me of what amazing things people are capable of — it’s the best work of literature ever written.”

Henriette Lazaridis Power recommends

“All This Talk of Love” by Christopher Castellani . “An incredibly eloquent and moving story of two generations of an immigrant Italian-American family.”

“Beautiful Ruins” by Jess Walter . “Set in Italy in the 1960s and in the Hollywood of today; beautifully written, and with characters vividly drawn.”

“Alexandria Quartet” by Lawrence Durrell . “Four novels . . . all of them set in Alexandria around the time of the Second World War.”

Cal Armistead recommends

“The Burgess Boys” by Elizabeth Strout . “I loved her linked short stories ‘Olive Kitteridge,’ and I’m also familiar with the area of Lewiston, Maine, which she writes about. Can’t wait to read it!”

“Outlander” by Diana Gabaldon . “I read this years ago and LOVED it, but I want to reread it (and all the others in the series) now that I hear Starz is making a TV show out of Gabaldon’s books.”

“The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak . “I’ve heard wonderful things about this book, narrated by Death. I’m always interested in young adult books that have a wide range across age groups.”

Juliette Fay recommends

“Alice Bliss” by Laura Harrington . “I loved feisty 15-year-old Alice as she struggles with her soldier father’s absence and the bumpy ride of adolescence.”

“The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D.” by Nichole Bernier . “This really made me think about friendships, and how well we know even our closest friends.”


The Comfort of Lies” by Randy Susan Meyers. “Three very different women, all connected to the same child — the tangles in this story are delicious.”

Julie Berry recommends

“Counting by 7s” by Holly Goldberg Sloan. “You’ll never forget the unvarnished, authentic, endearing cast of characters in this gorgeous middle-grade novel. A title to watch.”

“Wonder Show” by Hannah Barnaby. “A young-adult novel as engrossing as its Depression-era carnival freak show backdrop — Jane Eyre meets Ringling Brothers in the Dust Bowl — and gorgeously written.”

“Rose Under Fire” by Elizabeth Wein. “I’m incredibly excited to read this forthcoming companion book to Elizabeth Wein’s Printz Honor-winning, white-knuckle WWII sensation, ‘Code Name Verity.’”

Lisa Kocian can be reached at lkocian@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @GlobeLisaKocian.