Rockport Public Library and Toad Hall Bookstore
Summer Reading for Grown-Ups
Fiction Reading Suggestions
The List is divided into sections by type(genre) of book. There is also a list of” Previews of Coming Attractions”,
books that are not published yet but will be during the summer. The last list contains “Popular Series” which gives the most current title published in the series.
Genre Key: L – Literary H – History M&T – Mystery & Thriller P – Popular SF – Science Fiction Copies of all the titles listed are available at Rockport Public Library and Toad Hall Bookstore.
Additional selections by noted critics can be found in 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (ed. Peter Boxall, 011.73 ONE) with titles and summaries including graphics of authors’ original artwork and book covers.
Author Title Genre
Between Assassinations (prequel L, M&T (White Tiger - 2008 Adiga, Aravind to White Tiger) Booker Prize Winner) This is the prequel to “White Tiger”. It is a collection of stories that takes place in the fictional Indian town of Kittur
over the seven year period, 1984-1991, between the assassinations of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her son
Rajiv. The plot is loosely based on a tourist itinerary of the town. Wandering through the town we meet the
overlapping lives of some of the residents. The residents are mélange of Hindu, Muslim, and Christian and come
from all walks of life. We meet a variety of characters: an illiterate Muslim boy working at the train station finds himself tempted by an Islamic terrorist; a bookseller is arrested for selling a copy of "The Satanic Verses"; a rich,
spoiled, half-caste student decides to explode a bomb in school; a sexologist has to find a cure for a young boy who
may have AIDS. What emerge are the moral biography of a town and a group portrait of its people during a period of
transformation in India.
Ali, Monica In the Kitchen L
The author of “Brick Lane”, Ali’s latest book is about Gabriel Lightfoot who is the executive chef of the formerly posh Imperial Hotel. He dreams of owning his own restaurant but must first contend with kitchen crew who are made up of
people from every culture and class in London. His life becomes even more complicated when the body of a
Hungarian porter is found dead in a storeroom. Still, restaurant troubles are nothing when compared with his
personal life. His girlfriend is pressuring him about marriage, unaware that he's sleeping with a Russian kitchen girl,
and his ever-difficult father is dying of cancer. Gabe's two stories entwine, the pressure mounts, and, finally, he loses his bearings.
L Gourmet Rhapsody Prequel Barbery, Muriel Elegance of the Hedgehog Pub Aug 25 An international bestseller, a satire about life, art, literature, philosophy, culture, class, privilege, and power, seen
through the eyes of a 54-year old French concierge, Renee Michael, and a precocious but troubled 12-year-old girl, Paloma Josse. Having grasped life's futility early on, Paloma plans to commit suicide on her 13th birthday. The arrival of a new tenant, Kakuro Ozu, who befriends both the young pessimist and the concierge alike, brings them together to discover they are kindred spirits. A moving, funny, triumphant novel that exalts the quiet victories of the
inconspicuous among us.
Barry, Sebastian The Secret Scripture L
Set against an Ireland besieged by conflict, this is an epic story of love, betrayal, and unavoidable tragedy, and a
vivid reminder of the stranglehold that the Catholic Church had on individual lives for much of the 20th century.
Berg, Elizabeth Home Safe L
Helen is a novelist. Her husband, Dan, died a year ago and she’s been unable to write. She is troubled after a
disastrous performance at a public speaking engagement which leaves her wondering if her writing career will be another permanent loss. Her daughter, Tessa, longs for distance and some independence, but Helen is unable to
run her suburban Chicago home without continually calling on Tessa to perform the handyman chores that Dad did.
Then Helen discovers Dan had withdrawn a huge chunk of their retirement money and Helen's quest to find out
what happened turns into a journey of self-discovery and hard-won healing. Berg gracefully renders, in tragic and comic detail, the notions that every life-however blessed-has its share of awful loss, and that even crushed, defeated
hearts can be revived.
Bloom, Amy Away L This is the epic story of young Lillian Leys, an innocent and accidental heroine. When her family is destroyed in a
Russian pogrom, Lillian comes to America alone, determined to make her way in a new land. When word comes
that her daughter, Sophie, might still be alive, Lillian embarks on an odyssey that takes her from the world of the
Yiddish theater on New York’s Lower East Side, to Seattle’s Jazz District, and up to Alaska, along the fabled
Telegraph Trail toward Siberia.
Boyle, T.C. The Women L Having brought to life eccentric cereal king John Harvey Kellogg in "The Road to Wellville" and sex researcher
Alfred Kinsey in "The Inner Circle," Boyle now turns his fictional sights on an even more colorful character the great
American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. Boyle presents Wright’s story with the four distinct women that permeated his life, career, and heart. It is interesting to compare Boyle’s treatment of Wright and his loves with Nancy Horan’s
well researched and written “Loving Frank”.
Brennert, Alan Honolulu L From the bestselling author of the dazzling historical saga (Washington Post) "Moloka'i" comes the irresistible story
of a young immigrant bride in a ramshackle town that becomes a great modern city.
Brooks, Geraldine People of the Book L Late one night in the city of Sydney, Hanna Heath, a rare book conservator, gets a phone call. The Sarajevo
Haggadah, which disappeared during the siege in 1992, has been found, and Hanna has been invited by the U.N. to
report on its condition. Missing documents and art works are endlessly appealing, and from this inviting premise
Brooks spins her story in two directions. In the present, we follow the resolutely independent Hanna through her
thrilling first encounter with the beautifully illustrated codex and her discovery of its provenance. Along with the book
she also meets its savior, a Muslim librarian named Karaman. Their romance offers both predictable pleasures and
genuine surprises. The history of the book ranges from Seville in 1480 to Sarajevo in 1940 and the worlds, people
and intrigues it encompasses.
Caldwell, Joseph The Pig Did It L Unhappy in love, New York creative writing instructor Aaron McCloud, 32, arrives in Western Ireland's County Kerry
to suffer amid its natural beauty. Aaron's wallow in self-pity is interrupted by a lost pig that attaches itself to him.
When the pig digs up a human skeleton buried in the backyard, the remains are identified as the missing Declan
Tovey. The pig’s owner is tracked down. But the pig’s owner won't admit to owning the pig, let alone killing Declan.
The stage is set for an Irish country comedy of manners.
Canin, Ethan America America L A stunning novel, set in a small town during the Nixon era and today. It is an engaging story about America, family,
politics and tragedy, and the impact of fate on a young man's life. The central theme is the rupture of the American
dream and in that respect is reminiscent of “The Great Gatsby”.
An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’
Clarke, Brooke Homes in New England L, M&T It may not have been Sam Pulsifer's intention to torch the Emily Dickinson House, but he served ten years in prison
for his crime. After his release, the past comes crashing through his front door as the homes of Robert Frost, Edith
Wharton, Herman Melville, and Nathaniel Hawthorne go up in smoke.
L (Newest: The Winner Stands Coelho, Paul The Alchemist Alone)
This is the tale of Santiago, a shepherd boy, who dreams of seeing the world. The story is compelling in its own right, but gains resonance through the many lessons Santiago learns during his adventures. He journeys from Spain
to Morocco in search of worldly success, and eventually to Egypt, where a fateful encounter with an alchemist brings
him at last to self-understanding and spiritual enlightenment. The story is told with comic charm, dramatic tension,