The Hippo


May 25, 2020








What’s your favorite summer read?

“The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd is a great summer read, and one that I definitely like to revisit, though not every year. It works well for summer because the book ends on a good note, and despite some difficult subject matter, the tone stays positive for most of the book.” — Ricky Sirois, Griffin Free Public Library director
Audio books and summer authors
“I recently read my first audiobook through the library’s downloadable audiobook program. I thoroughly enjoyed The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld! It’s a historical novel that takes place in the early 1900s in Brooklyn, N.Y. I loved that Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung were involved in this mystery. … I also just read Smokin’ Seventeen by Janet Evanovich, who is my favorite summer reading author since her work is always funny and light and just perfect for any summer leisure time.”
— Dee Santoso, Manchester City Library deputy director
What book can you read over and over again?
“The only book I reread every year is The Secret History by Donna Tartt, about Greek students at a college who get mixed up in murder. It’s an astounding first novel, and it’s just as magical every time I read it.” — Liberty Hardy
What book are you constantly rereading?
“The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I remember this book being assigned as summer reading to me about 25 years ago, and after reading it, it became one of my favorite books. The writing is so eloquent and being set in the ’20s, the imagery it evokes is masterful. The lavishness of the summer parties at the Gatsby residence as told by Nick Carraway takes you back in time to the 1920s on Long Island, and thrusts you into a life so different from your own.” — Debbie Leroux, Barnes & Noble, Nashua
What book can you read over and over again?
“When I can’t find a new book to hold my interest, I go back and pull any of Stephen Hunter’s Bob Lee Swagger novels off the shelf, open it at random, and fall right in. He can really tell a story, and I’m a sucker for those ‘lone wolf/hero’ adventures. His latest is The Third Bullet, a fascinating retelling of the Kennedy assassination.” —  Brian Woodbury, Milford Toadstool Bookshop
What books do you save for summer?
“I love reading series books in the summer because I can escape to another time or place altogether, for the entire summer if the series is long enough!  At the same time, once I find a series I love, I don’t always read the newest installment right away, but ‘save’ it for summer.” Some of those series include Charles Todd’s Ian Rutledge series, Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell series, Nevada Barr’s Anna Pigeon mystery series, Carolyn G. Hart’s Henrie O series and Patricia Wentworth’s Miss Silver mysteries. — Susan Brown, Derry Public Library
What is your favorite summer read?
“Shogun by James Clavell … A work of excellent, well-researched historical fiction that explores a society so foreign, it feels like fantasy, this thrilling adventure is teeming with rich, unforgettable characters, with a love story subplot. Political intrigue, suspense and compelling human drama combined makes this a superb story about Japan and the opening of its borders.”  — Cynthia Fosse, Nashua Barnes & Noble, Nashua
Will you be re-reading any books this summer?
“I rarely re-read books, but two summer choices that certainly qualify as being rich and character and setting have prompted a second read: Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese and The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett.” — Sandy Whipple, Goffstown Public Library
Top 2013 recommendation?
“I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t recommend The Widower’s Tale by Julia Glass, which is the 2013 Nashua Reads book. It’s the story of a retired widowed librarian whose world turns upside down when he allows his daughter to build a preschool in the barn on his quiet, idyllic piece of property in Massachusetts. Julia Glass is a master at weaving together multiple story lines and characters in a thoroughly engaging, beautifully written narrative.” — Carol Luers Eyman, Nashua Public Library
If you liked that, you’ll like this
• You read The Hunger Games. You’ll like The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau
“It’s about a select group of kids who must pass a series of tests to prove themselves worthy of going to college. There are many similarities between The Testing and The Hunger Games, but Charbonneau takes the ‘competing kid dystopia’ story and makes it her own.” — Liberty Hardy (also recommended by Heather Robicheau from Water Street Bookstore.)
• You read Gone Girl. You might also like The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes. 
“The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes. It’s about a time-traveling serial killer and one of his almost-victims, who decides to track him down and stop him. This one will keep you up at night,” said Liberty Hardy. Sarah Basbas, branch manager at the Manchester Community Library says that these readers might also like Flynn’s earlier book, Dark Places, or books by Tana French like Broken Harbor and In the Woods.
• You love Pride and Prejudice. You might like Pamela Aidan’s Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman trilogy, told from Darcy’s point of view, or even Seth Grahame-Smith’s parody, Pride & Prejudice and Zombies, said Derry Public Library Assistant Director Susan Brown. 
“I love Jane Austen’s books, and I’ve read all of them at least three times.  Even though I know how every plot ends, I never tire of Austen’s writing style and character development,” Brown wrote in an email. She’s sampled many Austen spin-offs throughout the years. Brown also recommends readers of Austen to try Mary Ann Shaffer’s The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, which, she said, also uses the “P&P” structure, telling the beautiful story about life on a small, German-occupied island during and after World War II.
• If you liked Shutter Island, you’ll like Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson, recommended by Sarah Basbas from the West Manchester Community Library, who says it’s a “psychological thriller that is almost impossible to put down.”
Traveling stories
“We’re in New Hampshire, so woodsy survival novels like Hatchet or My Side of the Mountain always work. The Westing Game by Ellen Rankin was way ahead of its time – it had people competing to be millionaires long before reality television. This book is one of my favorites. I still want to be Turtle Wexler. And you can’t go wrong with The Phantom Tollbooth or The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles.” — Liberty Hardy, RiverRun Bookstore
“I think Judy Blume’s Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing is one that continues to impact young readers but still has a good amount of fun for the parents. I would also include Holes by Louis Sachar in that category. The poetry of Shel Silverstein is another constant favorite, and his books are great for shared reading (if people can stop themselves from laughing long enough!).” — Ricky Sirois, Griffin Free Public Library director
What about on a plane trip?
“... If I’m flying anywhere, I try to read something by a novelist I’m familiar with whose books I know to be completely engrossing, like Anita Shreve. That way I know I’ll be distracted when the pilot announces we’re going to experience ‘a wee bit of turbulence.’” — Carol Luers Eyman, Nashua Public Library


Beach Reads


7/4/2013 - Reading boring books is the worst. Especially during the summertime. It’s summer! You’re on vacation! 

Vacation is supposed to be fun! Reading is supposed to be fun! As such, Hippo called up 
Southern New Hampshire’s book people for a few recommendations. 
New books: Dark tales, thrillers and mysteries
• The Insufferable Gaucho posthumous release by Roberto Bolaño and Wrath of Angels by John Connolly “John Connolly is an eloquent, thoughtful thriller writer who spends his time between Dublin and Portland, Maine. In this latest installment of his Charlie Parker mysteries, we are presented with a plane crash in rural Maine containing evidence of an escaped prisoner and a ledger holding the names of people who sold their souls to the devil.” — Nathan Robbins, Barnes & Noble, Manchester
• The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith and Inspector Montalbano mystery series by Andrea Camilleri — Liz Whaley, Water Street Bookstore, Exeter
• Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes  — Jessica Sheehan, Goffstown Public Library assistant
• Broken Harbor: A Novel by Tana French “Dublin detective investigates a triple homicide and his own complex history.” — Cynthia Fosse, Barnes & Noble, Nashua
New books: Young Adult fiction
• Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell “This young adult love story is a must-read. At first when Eleanor and Park meet on the school bus they aren't so sure about each other. Eleanor dresses crazy and doesn't seem to care what people think about her, [and] Park is one of those middle-of-the-road guys who never gets much attention, good or bad. When Eleanor start reading comic books over Park's shoulder though, a sweet love starts to blossom. Super sweet without being cheesy.”  — Heather Robicheau, Water Street Bookstore
• The Fault in Our Stars by John Green “A funny and moving story of teens surviving with cancer. It’s so well-written.” — Joanie Brassard, Barnes & Noble, Nashua
More new fiction to notice
• And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner, and Inferno by Dan Brown  — Nathan Robbins
• The Pink Hotel by Anna Stothard “A young girl travels from London to Los Angeles to learn about the mother who abandoned her.” — Liberty Hardy, RiverRun Bookstore
• Life After Life by Kate Atkinson “A woman is born and dies, over and over, with varying results each time. This is Atkinson’s best yet, which is saying something, because she’s amazing.” — Liberty Hardy
• Woke Up Lonely: A Novel by Fiona Maazel “A man starts an organization dedicated to the eradication of loneliness, which blossoms into a full-on cult.” — Liberty Hardy
• Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer “This was one of my favorite new books last year. It's the story of Sunny, a woman whose life seems practically perfect, until one day when she gets into a minor traffic accident and her wig is thrown off, revealing a totally bald head to her upper middle class Virginia neighborhood. This abrupt change causes her to start questioning everything in her life, from her husband, the scientist who is currently orbiting Earth in a space ship as part of a NASA mission, to her son, struggling with autism, to her mother, dying in nearby hospital. Though the subject matter is tough, this book is pure magic.” — Stef Kiper Schmidt,  Water Street Bookstore, Exeter
• The Year of the Gadfly by Jennifer Miller “This book is awesome, especially if you like private schools in small New England towns, secret societies, and major intrigue!”  — Stef Kiper Schmidt
• Wool by Hugh Howey “My favorite book of the year. A riveting science fiction-dystopian future novel.” — Mat Bose, Hooksett Library assistant director (also recommended by Brian Woodbury)
• The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman “A gripping story of a young couple who manage a lighthouse off the coast of Australia in the early 1900s and the consequences of a life-changing decision they make after a boat washes up on their beach with a tiny baby in it.” — Joanie Brassard (also recommended by Denise M. van Zanten, Manchester City Library, and Cynthia Fosse)
• The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye “In 1845, NYC starts its first police force.”  — Cynthia Fosse
• A Walk Across the Sun by Corban Addison “Orphaned by the tsunami, two sisters are thrown into the world of the modern sex slave industry. A story of conviction and the bonds of family.” — Cynthia Fosse
• The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult “What would you do if you found out that an old man you had befriended might actually be a former Nazi SS guard? Picoult does it again!” — Joanie Brassard
• Bloodfire Quest: The Dark Legacy of Shannara by Terry Brooks — Mat Bose
• Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger (“The best novel I’ve read in a couple of years”), The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winter, Catch Me by Lisa Gardner, The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen and Wool by Hugh Howey — Brian Woodbury, Milford Toadstool
• The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers, The Elephant Keepers’ Children by Peter Hoeg and Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt — Jessica Drouin, Derry Public Library
Books for people who eat
“Since joining a CSA (community supported agriculture) a few years ago, I have become a reader of cookbooks – especially focusing on vegetable (as opposed to vegetarian) recipes,” wrote Derry Public Library’s Susan Brown. “I have also generally become more interested in eating and living a healthier lifestyle, which seems much easier in the summer!” She recommends Betty Goes Vegan: 500 classic recipes for the modern family  by Dan and Annie Shannon, The Smitten Kitchen by Deb Perelman (about a food blogger in a “teeny, tiny NY City apartment) and VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health ... for Good by Mark Bittman.
More foodie-recommended books
• Salt, Sugar and Fat: How the Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss  “If you want to know why you can't stay away from your the drive-thru purveyor of your favorite salty, sugary goodness, this book has the answer.” — Nathan Robbins
• Barbecue Addiction by Bobby Flay “Books by celebrity chefs often seem like they're throwing together a bunch of obscure ingredients or worse, just daring us to eat some concoction they dreamt up. This book is a sincere collection of easy, interesting recipes by a man who sincerely loves the combination of heat and meat.” — Nathan Robbins
• American Way of Eating by Tracie McMillan “This is a fascinating account of one woman's journey with our food from farm to plate. She takes ‘undercover’ jobs as a fieldworker, in a Walmart grocery store, and as a cook in an Applebee's restaurant, all while writing this book, much like Barbara Ehrenreich did in Nickel and Dimed. What she discovers about the food we eat is fascinating.” — Stef Kiper Schmidt
Nonfiction picks
• Happier at Home by Gretchen Ruben “A nonfiction sequel to her best-selling The Happiness Project. Great ideas and easy, short chapters,” said Joanie Brassard, who also recommends  Wild by Cheryl Strayed, an “excellent chronicle of a woman’s solo trek along the Pacific Trail and how it helped her to grieve through her mother’s death.”
Love stories
• The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sendker “This is one of the most beautiful love stories I've ever read. Two people, doomed for a life in misery, find pure happiness in sharing their love even when time, distance and family keep them away from each other. While reading this novel … you will notice things you never did before, whether it is hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling, or even seeing.”  — Jean Paul Adriaansen, Water Street Bookstore, Exeter. (Sandy Whipple from Goffstown Library also recommended this book.)
• Outlander Series by Diane Gabaldon — Denise M. van Zanten, Manchester City Library director
• The Greatest Knight: The Unsung Story of the Queen’s Champion by Elizabeth Chadwick — Denise M. van Zanten
• The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks “A love story unfolds in the spring of 1984. Twenty-five years later, these two lovers are thrust back together at the funeral of a man who supported their romance years before. In true Sparks form, the ending to this novel will take your breath away. Have a tissue closeby.” — Debbie Leroux, Barnes & Noble, Nashua
• Beautiful Ruins: A Novel by Jess Walter “This book begins on a beautiful coastline in Italy in 1962 with an innkeeper who watches a beautiful dying woman getting off a boat. This sets up a sequence of events and a romance that spans five decades.” — Debbie Leroux
Funny books
• Insane City by Dave Barry “You don't have to be insane to read this book. Just be ready for a lot of absurd, nonsensical fun. For laughing out loud.” — Jean Paul Adriaansen, Water Street Bookstore, Exeter
• Where'd You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple “If you haven't read this hilarious novel yet, you are totally missing out! Bernadette is a former architect with some serious problems — she refuses to leave the house unless absolutely necessary, and now her precocious daughter wants a trip to Antarctica for doing well in school. Unfortunately, those problems are simply the beginning. Funny, poignant, with great characters and fantastic writing.” — Stef Kiper Schmidt
• The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid: A Memoir by Bill Bryson “A laugh-out-loud memoir about growing up in the 1950s by one of my favorite authors.” — Mat Bose, Hooksett Library 
• The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman “Laugh-out-loud zaniness in 1930s Berlin.” — Liberty Hardy
Mysteries and thrillers
• The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón “A great novel of adventure, intrigue, love and mystery, set in Barcelona; hard to put down.”  — Liz Whaley
• Defending Jacob by William Landay “A suspenseful page-turner with a heart.” — Jessica Sheehan 
• In the Tall Grass by Stephen King and Joe Hill “Stephen King pairs with his son, Joe Hill, to write a short story that will scare you long into the night. A brother and sister pull off the road when they hear a child calling for help. They follow the voice into the tall grass and encounter the unthinkable.” — Jessica Sheehan
• Tell No One: A Novel by Harlan Coben and Promise Not to Tell by Jennifer McMahon — Nathan Robbins
A little bit of everything: historical fiction, classics and fantasy and older trade
• The Alligators of Abraham by Robert Kloss “I love this book with the heat of a thousand suns. It’s about the Civil War, and there are alligators! The publisher actually went out of business recently, so it’s no longer available, but it’s way too good not to mention.” — Liberty Hardy
• Abide with Me by Elizabeth Strout and The Birth House by Ami McKay — Nathan Robbins
• Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway — “A classic novel featuring baseball, fishing and a man’s struggle against nature.” Mat Bose, Hooksett Library
• Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck “An account of Steinbeck’s trip across America in a truck/camper with his dog Charley. Someday I’d like to take a similar cross-country road trip with my dog Porter, a beagle. We’d listen to this book along the way.” — Mat Bose
• The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott “An aspiring seamstress is hired by a famous designer, and they set sail to America on the Titanic. We all know the outcome of the Titanic’s fatal voyage, but seeing it through the eyes of this young woman is enthralling. Her shipboard encounters and the people she meets shape decisions and actions, and makes for a passionate story.” — Debbie Leroux, Barnes & Noble, Nashua
• The Witch’s Daughter by Paula Brackston “It’s the story of a young woman named Bes and how she became a witch … The telling is partly through journal entries and partly through narrative, which makes this story very unique.” — Debbie Leroux
• King & Queens of Roam by Daniel Wallace “This is the same author who wrote Big Fish which was made into a movie starring Ewan McGregor. This is an imaginative tale of two sisters and their enthralling relationship and the magical town in which they live.” — Debbie Leroux
• The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach “A novel about a star shortstop on a small college baseball team. The author draws interesting characters and makes you feel like you’re back in dorm life. You don’t have to be a baseball fan to enjoy the book.” — Carol Luers Eyman, Nashua Public Library
• The Year We Left Home by Jean Thompson “The story of an Iowa family from the 1970s through the present. Each chapter is from the viewpoint of a different family member.” — Carol Luers Eyman
• The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson “I love the insight that this book gave me into the culture of North Korea.  Johnson did a wonderful job exploring not only an individual’s experience but the mien of an entire population. I was equally horrified and sympathetic.” — Jessica Drouin, Technical Services, Derry Public Library
• A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki “I loved the play on reader and writer in this book.  Ozeki effortlessly blends philosophy, science, folklore and the experience of another culture into a satisfying story of two characters you come to care for deeply.” — Jessica Drouin
• The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce “A wonderful tale about a man who decides to walk across England to see a dying friend.  Harold makes many friends, many blunders, and many discoveries along the way. Full of wonderful, introspective moments.” — Jessica Drouin
• Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey — Denise M. van Zanten, Manchester City Library
• Calico Joe by John Grisham “Good baseball story about the relationship between a pitcher and the batter he hits with a pitch.” — Joanie Brassard, Barnes & Noble, Nashua
More young adult fiction
• The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater “This was a great listen, and I’m looking forward to reading No. 2 over the summer. Since I liked it so much, I’m going to check out her other books.” — Tammy Gross, library assistant at the Goffstown Public Library
• The Maze Runner Series by James Dashner “This past year, my teens and I enjoyed the Maze Runner Series. The first two books in the series were great and had us questioning and discussing the storyline.” — Tammy Gross
• The Girl Who Threw Butterflies by Mick Cochran “An eighth grade girl joins the boy’s baseball team instead of the girl’s softball team to honor the memory of her dad, who taught her to throw a mean knuckleball.” — Joanie Brassard
• Unwind by Neal Shusterman “A gripping sci-fi in a dystopian America. A teen must-read that adults will also enjoy.”  — Cynthia Fosse
To read with your kids
“Any book by Roald Dahl is a read-aloud joy, especially The BFG,” said Brian Woodbury, manager of the Milford Toadstool Bookshop in an email. Want to engage the tweens and twenties? “Open the box of Hyertheticals: 50 Questions for Insane Conversations by Chuck Klosterman at the picnic table and get creative!” Woodbury said.
Middle-grade books, chapter books and read-aloud books
• Wonder by RJ Palacio “Breathtaking story about a boy who transcends his disfigurement. A real page-turner.” — Nathan Robbins
• One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate “Ivan is a gorilla trapped in the zoo. Get his take on things.” — Nathan Robbins (also recommended by Jessica Drouin from the Derry Public Library)
• The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall, Keeping Safe the Stars by Sheila O’Connor, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman and Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos — Sue Carita, Milford Toadstool 
• Toys Go Out by Emily Jenkins, The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo, Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies and The Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary — Ellen Tweedy, Hooksett Library children’s librarian
• The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (“All of them! They’re fun to read in chronological order or in the order in which they were written”),  The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy and Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton — Susan Brown, Derry Public Library
• Starry River of the Sky by Grace Lin “A great mix of traditional Chinese fable and coming into one’s own. Lin is a gifted storyteller who melds these with magical realism and fanciful characters.”  — Jessica Drouin, Technical Services, Derry Public Library
• One Year in Coal Harbor by Polly Horvath “I cannot say enough good things about this author!  I have read everything she has written, twice.  Horvath knows how to write a story that can be both affecting and hilarious.  She can appeal to both children and adults. There are truism scattered throughout every tale and her characters are some of the best I have encountered.  This is a sequel to her earlier novel, Everything on a Waffle, and succeeds in continuing the tale of Primrose with panache.” — Jessica Drouin
• The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherynne Valente “I love, love, loved this book! It was an absolute delight to read. There is playful language, lush description, adventure, battles of good and evil and quirky characters that you won’t soon forget. A sequel to The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, but can also be read as a stand-alone.” — Jessica Drouin
• Tracing Stars by Erin E. Moulton “In a small seaside town during the summer before sixth grade, Indie Lee Chickory tries to follow her older sister's popularity advice by working backstage on the upcoming community theater musical and by not revealing that she is looking for her beloved pet lobster and becoming friends with ‘loser’ Owen Stone.” — Susan Brown
• Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little by E.B. White, A Cricket in Times Square by George Selden, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and War Horse by Michael Morpurgo — Debbie Leroux
• James Herriot’s Treasury for Children “Do not underestimate your child’s ability to understand the vocabulary within these deeply-moving stories. They will be enthralled by the eight beautifully-illustrated animal stories inside, and so will you!” — Cynthia Fosse, Barnes and Noble, Nashua
Playful picture books
• The Amazing Hamweenie by Patty Bowman “A wonderfully illustrated story about a house cat with grand dreams of becoming a world famous illusionist.” — Liberty Hardy
• Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin, The Elephant and Piggie series by Mo Willems, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka — Ellen Tweedy
• He Came with the Couch by David Slonim “When a family acquires a new couch, they discover that something else comes along with it, and they gain a new friend in the process.” — Karyn Isleb, head of children’s services, Manchester City Library
• Bad Apple: A Tale of Friendship by Edward Hemingway “When Mac, an apple, meets Will, a worm, they become fast friends, teaching each other games and even finishing each other's sentences. But apples aren't supposed to like worms, and Mac gets called ‘rotten’ and ‘bad apple.’” — Karyn Isleb
• Memoirs of a Hamster by Devin Scillian “A pet hamster is enticed by the family cat to venture outside his well-equipped cage to the sunroom only to very quickly discover life outside his cage is not the best for him.” — Karyn Isleb
• A Big Guy Took My Ball! by Mo Willems “Piggie is upset because a whale took the ball she found, but Gerald finds a solution that pleases all of them.” — Karyn Isleb
• The Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen “My daughter and I love to listen to my wife's pouty reading of this playful children's book.” — Mat Bose, Hooksett Library
Yes! It’s in paperback!
Paperback novels are perfect for the beach, explained Michael Hermann, owner of Gibson’s bookstore in Concord. “You can take a hardcover to the beach, but there’s always this undercurrent of anxiety that you might get SPF-30 on the dust jacket.”
Hermann recommends: 
• Hologram for the King by Dave Egger “… captures the zeitgeist wonderfully in a 21st-century Death of a Salesman kind of way.” 
• Joyland by Stephen King (also recommended by Sean Johnson at Milford Toadstool). (It should also be noted that this book takes place at Canobie Lake Park.)
• Dog Stars by Peter Heller “An entertaining variation on a classic science fiction ‘end of the world’ theme.” 
• Live by Night by Dennis Lehane (also recommended by Regina Barnes, Milford Toadstool) “One of the best gangster novels ever written …  As people who read and sell books for a living, we envy readers who have not read these wonderful books and now have a chance to read them for the first time, in a format that is perfect for relaxing at the beach.” 
• Broken Harbor by Tana French (also recommended by Sarah Basbas, Manchester Library, West Branch) 
• Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver (also recommended by Prudence Wells, Milford Toadstool)

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