Summer Reading, A Running Start | Wyatt’s World

One of the hottest reading seasons of the year is about to begin, and the delights are plentiful. From Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness and Roxane Gay’s Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body to several killer thrillers, readers have some prime choices, with plenty more are on the way. 

  • Perennials by Mandy Berman (Random).
    A full cast of well-drawn characters, a soup of issues and crossing storylines, and a setting right out of the Summer Reading Playbook—summer camp—are just some of the draws of this debut coming-of-age tale.
  • The Destroyers by Christopher Bollen (Harper).
    This simmering literary thriller includes all the features of a beach-read winner—great writing, a motely cast, and a plot that mixes money, deceit, and murder.
  • Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy (Riverhead).
    The nightmare of the story belies the title of this taut, suspenseful page-turner. Three couples and their six children go ashore during an idyllic Central American cruise only for things to go really wrong—the kids go missing.
  • October: The Story of the Russian Revolution by China Miéville (Verso).
    There is always room in the beach bag for nonfiction. For those tuned to current events, this history of the 1917 Russian Revolution offers parallel reading. Miéville’s novelistic skills well serve his accessible explanations of world-turning events and the repercussions that have echoed for 100 years.
  • According to a Source by Abby Stern (Macmillan).
    This debut by Hollywood reporter Stern dishes up an insider look at the glitzy world of celebrities and the journalists who write about their high-flying lives and misdeeds. Expect a quick pace, juicy details, and a lot of fun.
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Neal Wyatt About Neal Wyatt

Neal Wyatt compiles LJ's online feature Wyatt's World and is the author of The Readers' Advisory Guide to Nonfiction (ALA Editions, 2007). She is a collection development and readers' advisory librarian from Virginia. Those interested in contributing to The Reader's Shelf should contact her directly at

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