Theology, political theory, doorstop biographies ... those are the books of drizzly autumn nights. On lazy summer afternoons, what you want is to cuddle up with an escapist book, curl your toes in the lakeside sand and get lost.
Here are suggestions for recent and soon-to-be-released books in variety of summer-escape genres, along with a peek at the tottering piles of tomes on some local folks’ nightstands. (For upcoming books, publication dates are specified.)
SKYJACK: THE HUNT FOR D.B. COOPER, by Geoffrey Gray (Aug. 9)
It’s been 40 years since an as-yet-unidentified man jumped off the rear stairs of a Boeing 727 with $200,000 in cash and into a nighttime rainstorm somewhere near Mount St. Helens. Gray surveys the suspects and describes the many lives that Cooper contorted.
The Snowman, by
Norway’s answer to Stieg Larsson: A little boy’s mother has just died — and somebody just made a snowman in his front yard ... facing back at the house, and wearing his mother’s scarf.
Murder One, by
A Seattle lawyer defends a revenge-minded fellow attorney for murdering the Russian drug lord who done her wrong.
Daniel H. Wilson
In the near future, our cell phones, ATM machines, traffic lights and animatronic dolls will conspire to murder us all. Comparisons have been made to the likes of Asimov, Heinlein and Crichton; Wilson, who lives in Portland, has a doctorate in robotics; and Spielberg has optioned it with himself as director.
The Wake, Watch, Wonder trilogy,
by Robert J. Sawyer
After an eye operation, Caitlin Decter can visualize all the Internet’s connections. But is Webmind benevolent — or a worldwide threat?
The Steampunk Bible, by Jeff Vandermeer
From Jules Verne to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, an illustrated guide to mashups of 20th-century technology with a Victorian sensibility.
“Summer" Chick Lit
THE SUMMER OF US, by
(Three strangers — one’s rich, one’s engaged, one’s from a small town — wonder about finding Mr. Right over several weekends in a rented beach house on Martha’s Vineyard)
Summer Rental, by
Mary Kay Andrews
Three friends — one’s insecure, one’s been betrayed, one’s just been fired — interact with their landlord (so handsome!) and a woman on the run, this time on North Carolina’s Outer Banks
Summer Secrets, by
Dad and his three teen daughters won an around-the-world sailboat race, but now Dad’s drinking too much and a reporter’s prying.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs
George R.R. Martin is dominating the lists, with his fifth Ice and Fire novel, A Dance with Dragons, set to appear on July 12. But for another side of fantasy, try Riggs’ debut novel: Grandpa has died after a lifetime of telling occult stories, and now his grandson travels to a remote island in Wales, where things start to get creepy. (The accompanying photos may be even creepier.)
The Last Werewolf, by
Glen Duncan (July 12)
What if you thought your species, on the very brink of extinction, might be better off just vanishing? And then you find out about the powerful groups that will stop at nothing to keep you alive ....
THE JEFFERSON KEY, by Steve Berry
For Dan Brown and National Treasure fans: There’s a centuries-old conspiracy to assassinate more U.S. presidents than you may realize, with a major clue in the text of the Constitution! Oh, and the conspirators are pirates.
Caleb’s Crossing, by Geraldine Brooks
An American Indian attends Harvard in the 1660s while local Calvinists assume he’s still just a savage.
Doc, by Maria Doria Russell
Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday when they were just starting out in Dodge City