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It's nearly summer, relax and read a book

By Jessica Hopper

Publication: The Times

Published May 29. 2014 4:00AM   Updated May 29. 2014 11:56AM

As spring and summer bring the return of warm weather - beaches, parks and backyards welcome visitors, who for months have been driven indoors by the persistent cold. And while busy schedules thaw, the sense of summertime relaxation and opportunities to lounge around drive many to return to lost reading habits, say local librarians.

"Summertime is a time you may find to read in a relaxed way that you may not during the busy, non-summer months," said Marilyn Barr, a librarian in adult services at Mystic & Noank Library. "You have the gift of time."

To make the best of the relaxing free time that the summer months bring, we asked librarians around the region to suggest summer reading books for all ages. While many libraries offered a wide and diverse range of books, some common summer reading themes stood out.

A book on many regional recommendation lists is "The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food and Love" by Kristin Kimball, which is this year's One Book, One Region reading choice. The biography follows thirty-something Kimball as she leaves her city life to move to a 500-acre farm in upstate New York. For the past 13 years, One Book, One Region has chosen one book to recommend to the 500,000 people who live east of the Connecticut River, according to the program's website.

Past recommendations have included "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" by Jonathan Safran Foer and "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini.

For a younger set of new readers, some children's books that feature large font and colorful pictures are making summer reading lists. Books like "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus" by Mo Willems, "Everyone can Learn to Ride a Bicycle" by Chris Raschak and "An Extraordinary Egg" by Leo Lionni, are easy for new readers.

"I think its very important just for children to keep reading all the time, especially children who are just learning to read," said Barbara Carlson, children's librarian at the Lyme Public Library. "During the summer, they can read anything they like, which can be fun for them."

For young adult readers, it can be hard to keep up with the newest "it book" before it becomes the newest "it movie." Two books that achieved widespread popularity that will be making their way to the big screens this year are "The Fault in our Stars" by John Green and "Divergent" by Veronica Roth, both popular with fans of "The Hunger Games" series and young romance novels. Both movie adaptations are set to be released this year. The lead characters of both movies are played by the same actress, Shailene Woodley.

For readers interested in stories based on historical events and characters, some popular recommendations for this summer are historical fiction novels, including "Invention of Wings" by Sue Monk Kidd and "Orphan Train" by Christina Baker Kline. Also appearing on many lists is "My Beloved World," the memoir of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Sotomayor describes the obstacles she faced in her life along the way to becoming the first Hispanic woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court.

Check the lists of recommended reading books from libraries near you for more summer reading recommendations.


Groton Public Library

“The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry” by Gabrielle Zevin

“The Fever” by Megan Abbott

“The Matchmaker” by Elin Hilderbrand

“The Last Kind Words Saloon” by Larry McMurtry

“Lisette’s List” by Susan Vreeland

Bill Memorial Library, Groton

“Unbroken: A WWII Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption” by Laura Hillenbrand

“Dr. Sleep” by Stephen King

“The Son” by Jo Nesbo

“What Should We Be Worried About? Real Scenarios That Keep Scientists Up at Night” by John Brockman, ed.

“The Dirty Life : A Memoir of Farming, Food and Love” by Kristin Kimball

Raymond Library, Montville

“The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love” by Kristin Kimball.

“The Yellow Birds” by Kevin Powers

“And The Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini.

“Divergent” by Veronica Roth

“Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever” by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard.

Bill Library, Ledyard

“The Dirty Life” by Kristin Kimball

“Queen’s Gambit” by Elizabeth Fremantle

“Missing You” by Harlan Coben

“The Testing” by Joelle Charbonneau

“Beyond the basics: Mosaics” by Elizabeth DuVal

Preston Public Library

“Orphan Train” by Christina Baker Kline

“I’ve Got You Under My Skin” by Mary Higgins Clark

“The Silkworm” by Robert Galbraith

“Lives of the Scientists: Experiments, Explosions (And What The Neighbors Thought)” by Kathleen Krull

“Keep Quiet” by Lisa Scottoline

Gales Ferry Library

“The Feast Nearby” by Robin Mather

“The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green

“Everybody’s Got Something” by Robin Roberts and Veronica Chambers

“A Trail of Fire” by Diana Gabaldon

“The Last Original Wife” by Dorothea Benton Frank

New London Public Library

“My Beloved World” by Sonia Sotomayor

“Invention of Wings” by Sue Monk Kidd

“I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban” by Malala Yousafzai

“A Trick of the Light” by Louise Penny

“The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck

Waterford Public Library

“The Unwanteds” by Lisa McMann

“Insignia” by S.J. Kincaid

“Pearl that Broke Its Shell” by Nadia Hashimi

“Think like a Freak” by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner

“Bird Box” by Josh Malerman

East Lyme Public Library

“Amsterdam” by Russell Shorto

“Spymistress” by Jennifer Chiaverini

“Invention of Wings” by Sue Monk Kidd

“Locomotive” by Brian Floca

“The Lions of Little Rock” by Kristin Levine

Salem Free Public Library

“The Fault in our Stars” by John Green

“My Life Next Door” by Huntley Fitzpatrick

“Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment” by James Patterson

“Orphan Train” by Christina Baker Kline

“Speak” by Laurie Halse Anderson

Lyme Public Library

“The Coal Black Asphalt Tomb” by David Handler.

“The Invention of Wings” by Sue Monk Kidd

“Blossom Street Brides” by Debbie Macomber

“Everyone Can Learn to Ride a Bicycle” by Chris Raschka

“See You at Harry’s” by Jo Knowles

Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library

“The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt

“The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown

“Where’d You Go, Bernadette” by Maria Semple

“The Light Between Oceans” by M.L. Stedman

“Weekends with Daisy” by Sharron Kahn Luttrell

Mystic & Noank Library

“Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs.

“Takedown Twenty” by Janet Evanovich.

“Field of Prey” by John Sandford

“A Month By the Sea: Encounters in Gaza” by Dervla Murphy

“My Beloved World” by Sonia Sotomayor

Stonington Free Library

“We Were Liars” by E. Lockhart

“Annihilation” by Jeff Vandermeer

“Hotel Florida: Truth, Love, and Death in the Spanish Civil War” by Amanda Vaill

“Delicious!” By Ruth Reichl

“Dispute over a very Italian Piglet” by Amara Lakhous

Wheeler Library, North Stonington

“An Extraordinary Egg” by Leo Lionni

“Don’t let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” by Mo Willems

The Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder

“Sudden Sea - The Great Hurricane of 1938” by R.A. Scotti

“The Shell Seekers” by Rosamunde Pilcher



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