Fun Summer Reads

July new releases are on the fun side of fiction. These reads would be great by a pool, at the lake, in a hammock, on a plane or at your favorite air-conditioned coffee shop. Wherever you’re hanging out this summer, take a good book!

1. Your Second Life Begins When You Realize You Only Have One by Raphaelle Giordano

At 38, Paris native Camille feels like happiness has eluded here even though she has a good job, a loving husband and a wonderful son. She searches for the path to joy and finds Claude, a routinologist, who offers unique advice. Camille embarks on a journey full of surprising escapades, creative capers and deep meaning.

A charming, feel-good and universal story of one woman’s journey from boredom and dissatisfaction to happiness and fulfilment–for fans of Hector and The Search for HappinessThe Little Paris Bookshop and Eat, Pray, Love.

“…Funny, sweet, and not without a few important happy-life tips.” —Good Housekeeping

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2. When We Found Home by Susan Mallery

It is difficult to savor life with no family, limited prospects and a past you’d rather not talk about. Callie Smith is confused when she discovers she has a brother and a sister. Her brother Malcolm grew up with affection, wealth and privilege. Her sister Keira is a streetwise 12-year-old. While Callie doesn’t love being alone, it’s safe. Warily she moves into the grand family home with her siblings and grandfather on the shores of Lake Washington, hoping for a whole new life.

Starting over is messy. Callie and Keira bond, but aren’t with their posh new lifestyle. Malcolm feels like the odd man out in his own home. He turned a sleepy Seattle mail-order food catalog into an online gourmet powerhouse, but he can’t figure out how to help his new sisters feel secure. Becoming a family will take patience, humor, a little bit of wine and a whole lot of love.

In this emotional, funny and heartfelt story, Susan Mallery masterfully explores the definition of a modern family—blended by surprise, not by choice—and how those complicated relationships can add unexpected richness to life.

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3. An Ocean of Minutes by Thea Lim

In the vein of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Station Eleven, a sweeping literary love story about two people who are at once mere weeks and many years apart. America is in the grip of a deadly flu pandemic. When Frank catches the virus, his girlfriend Polly will do whatever it takes to save him, even if it means risking everything. She agrees to a radical plan—time travel has been invented in the future to thwart the virus. If she signs up for a one-way-trip into the future to work as a bonded laborer, the company will pay for the life-saving treatment Frank needs. Polly promises to meet Frank again in Galveston, Texas, where she will arrive in 12 years. But when Polly is re-routed an extra five years into the future, Frank is nowhere to be found. Alone in a changed and divided America, with no status and no money, Polly must navigate a new life and find a way to locate Frank, to discover if he is alive, and if their love has endured.–Simon & Schuster

“A strikingly imaginative time-travel story unlike anything I’ve ever read, rich with pinpoint emotional insight and fierce, vivid observations about a future that’s already our past.” –Elan Mastai, author of the bestselling All Our Wrong Todays

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 4. The Lido by Libby Page

Rosemary Peterson has lived in Brixton, London, all her life but everything is changing. The library where she used to work has closed. The family grocery store has become a trendy bar. And now the lido, an outdoor pool where she’s swum daily since its opening, is threatened with closure. It was at the lido that Rosemary escaped the devastation of World War II; fell in love with her husband, George; and found community during her marriage and since George’s death.

Twentysomething Kate Matthews feels desperately alone as a new Brixton resident. A once promising writer, she now covers forgettable stories for her local paper. When she’s assigned to write about the lido’s closing Kate’s portrait of the pool focuses on Rosemary. Their friendship blossoms as Rosemary slowly opens up to Kate.

“A delicious debut about the endearing friendship between two women who join forces to save the town pool. Refreshing, funny and heartwarming, The Lido is must read.”—Laura Dave, national bestselling author of Eight Hundred Grapes and Hello, Sunshine

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 5. The Late Bloomers’ Club by Louise Miller

A delightful novel about two headstrong sisters, a small town’s efforts to do right by the community, and the power of a lost dog to summon true love. Nora, the owner of the Miss Guthrie Diner, is perfectly happy serving up apple cider donuts, coffee, and eggs-any-way-you-like-em to her regulars, and she takes great pleasure in knowing exactly what’s “the usual.” But her life is soon shaken when she discovers she and her free-spirited, younger sister Kit stand to inherit the home and land of the town’s beloved cake lady, Peggy Johnson. Kit, an aspiring–and broke–filmmaker thinks her problems are solved when she and Nora find out Peggy was in the process of selling the land to a big-box developer before her death. The people of Guthrie are divided–some want the opportunities the development will bring, while others are staunchly against any change–and they aren’t afraid to leave their opinions with their tips.—Penguin Group

“Heartwarming, charming and utterly fascinating, The Late Bloomers’ Club is a beautifully rendered peek behind the scenes of a small town, its community and its mysteries. I adored this novel.”—Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author of The Bookshop at Water’s End

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Jennifer Jones

I’m the library’s fiction selector and I’ve been suggesting new books to library and bookmobile customers for over 17 years. I keep up on all the new book reviews, and my favorite question is “What are you reading?” I love to talk about books and to read books. I like to tell library customers, “Try something new. If you don’t like it, at least the price is right!”