10 Summer Reads For Southern California Book Lovers

by Jessica on June 15, 2016

by Allison K. Hill (Vroman’s President & CEO) 
This article was originally posted on Los Angeles Daily News


Summertime, and the readin’ is easy. My summer 2016 reading list is comprised of some of my favorite books from the past year, now out in paperback just in time for your beach or backyard pleasure, and some new hardcover fiction that’s worth the overweight baggage fees. Think of them as mini-vacations. You deserve it.

KITCHENS OF THE GREAT MIDWEST

By J. Ryan Stradal

This series of charming chapters surrounding fictional food prodigy Eva Thorvald make up one of my favorite debuts. It’s perfect for foodies and those who love well-crafted stories. (June 7, paperback)

 

MOVIE STAR BY LIZZIE PEPPER: A NOVEL

By Hilary Liftin

Celebrity ghostwriter and L.A. author Liftin’s fictionalized account of imaginary celebrities who closely resemble Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise is better than tabloid gossip and deliciously decadent. (June 7, paperback)

THE CARTEL

By Don Winslow

Winslow’s drug war version of “The Godfather” may not be the easy, breezy summer read I promised, but Winslow is a SoCal treasure, and his newest book will captivate you. It’s a page-turner and a magnum opus. (out now, paperback)


BARBARIAN DAYS: A SURFING LIFE

By William Finnegan

In his beautiful, Pulitzer Prize-winning autobiography, Finnegan is your tour guide to beautiful beaches, the ’60s and his love affair with surfing. (out now, paperback)

 

THE WRIGHT BROTHERS

By David McCullough

My dad hasn’t stopped talking about this book. Recommended for history buffs who probably already know the talented McCullough’s gift for history and storytelling but who most likely don’t know the incredibly, fascinating details he reveals in this exciting read. (out now, paperback)

THE CROSSING

By Michael Connelly

If you’ve read Connelly before, then I’m preaching to the choir. If you haven’t, here’s a summer project for you — Connelly has over two dozen novels to his credit. Your prize for reading them all will be this book: the coming together, from two different series, of Connelly’s best characters: Detective Harry Bosch and “Lincoln Lawyer” Mickey Haller. (out now, paperback)

THE NEST

By Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

A rich, wonderful debut novel about four siblings in a dysfunctional New York family and their shared inheritance. Enjoyed for its heart as much as for its hilarity, it’s at once dark and poignant, light and entertaining. (out now, hardcover)

THE GENTLEMAN: A NOVEL

By Forrest Leo

This wild thing of a debut has been compared to P.G. Wodehouse and Monty Python, but Leo’s voice is very much his own in this story of a poet whose writer’s block drives him to inadvertently sell his wife to the devil, then frantically attempt to get her back. (Aug. 16, hardcover)

THE PORTABLE VEBLEN

By Elizabeth McKenzie

Quirky, charming, clever and set in Palo Alto, this is the humorous story of Veblen, her fiancé Paul, and … a charismatic squirrel. But Stanford M.A. and creative writing teacher McKenzie has produced a one-of-a-kind morality tale that takes on profound subjects both timely and timeless. (out now, hardcover)

THE DUDE AND THE ZEN MASTER

By Jeff Bridges and Bernie Glassman

And lastly, the book that I’m reading right now by Academy-Award winning actor and L.A. native Jeff Bridges and his teacher, the renowned American Zen Buddhist roshi, Bernie Glassman. This book’s been out a few years, but it’s a special one worth mentioning. A great introduction to Buddhism and mindfulness. A treat for fans of “The Big Lebowski.” An utterly entertaining conversation between two very interesting and insightful men. And ultimately a book about friendship and the goodness of life, which is what summer should be about. That, and catching up on your reading.