Summer Reads

Posted On July 2, 2022

Funny, mysterious, thrilling, gothic and romantic stories that are perfect for the beach, the mountains, or your own back porch

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

This heartwarming novel about loss and friendship features a brilliant English-comprehending Octopus named Marcellus who is trapped in an aquarium, a grieving elderly lady, and a shiftless young man in search of the father he’s never known. Tova takes a job cleaning at her local aquarium to combat the loneliness she feels after the death of her husband. She is also still mourning the unexpected death of her 18-year-old son thirty years earlier. When Tova unexpectedly finds Marcellus on the loose in the aquarium break room, the two become fast friends and Marcellus is determined to use his wily octopus skills to help Tova find peace. Remarkably Bright Creatures is a poignantly funny read with a hint of mystery, sure to keep you enthralled to the end.
—Review by Megan Mathis, Research & Readers’ Advisory, Richland Library Main

No Gods, No Monsters by Cadwell Turnbull

Monsters are real, and people are freaking out about it. Honestly, wouldn't you? This story follows several diverse characters who are all trying to deal with the revelation in their own ways, for their own reasons. A nebulous narrator feeds the story to you piece by piece and the reader starts to see the tendrils that connects the various characters. The novel starts with the shooting of Lincoln, which causes Rebecca's reveal, which causes the status quo for the rest of the book. There is a whirlwind of political intrigue, romance, grief, and more. Travel the globe while still feeling wholly grounded by your affinity with the narrator. The descriptive writing makes every interaction come to life and the reader will identify with the characters and their hardships and joys. Keep tissues handy, because emotion is going to come for you at least once during this read.
—Review by Mahogany Skillings, Research & Readers’ Advisory, Richland Library Main

The Homewreckers by Mary Kay Andrews

Don’t leave for vacay without slipping this beach read in your tote.  A frothy blend of mystery and romance that will have great appeal to HGTV fans.  Hattie Cavanaugh works for her father-in-law’s Savannah construction firm Cavanaugh and Son and does little else since the death of her husband.  Hattie gets in a spot of financial trouble while flipping a money pit of a house and is convinced by a Hollywood producer to star in a beach house renovation reality show called The Homewreckers.  While renovating the house they stumble across the remains of her favorite teacher who disappeared over a decade ago. In between helping to solve a murder and getting the house ready for its big reveal Hattie begins to slowly fall in love again. Good escapist fun that Mary Kay Andrews fans will revel in.
—Review by Chantal Wilson, Research & Readers’ Advisory, Richland Library Main

What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher

T. Kingfisher’s ultra-creepy expansion of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic story “The Fall of the House of Usher” will send a chill up your spine even in the bright summer sun.  When sworn soldier Alex Easton receives word that their dear friend Madeline Usher is desperately ill, they rush to the ancient Usher estate in the remote Ruritania countryside to aid Madeline’s brother, Roderick.  Upon arriving they discover a crumbling house bordered by an eerie lake that doesn’t seem to reflect light, and a resident drove of zombie-like hares.  Alex finds Roderick in a frenzied state of anxiety, Madeline speaking like a child and plagued by sleepwalking, and the doctor brought in to tend her completely baffled by her mysterious illness.  Now it’s up to Alex to root out the cause of the deathly rot that is slowly devouring the house and its inhabitants.  Kingfisher has fleshed out Poe’s original tale with fascinating characters, a little dose of humor, and truly horrifying details. Fans of gothic horror should not miss this one!
—Review by Sarah Cameron, Research & Readers’ Advisory, Richland Library Main