1. The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green. A teen novel with a blockbuster movie and lots of appeal for adults. Despite a medical miracle buying her a few more years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal. But when Augustus Waters turns up in her Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's life changes in ways she'd never dreamed. Sweet and poignant.
2. All Fall Down, by Jennifer Weiner. A little heavier than your typical beach read, this packs an emotional punch--when Allison begins to struggle under the demands of her life (job, distant husband, spoiled child, ailing father), she starts to self medicate, ultimately winding up in rehab. Her battle to get her life back on track, even as she doubts the seriousness of her addiction. A major page-turner.
3. One Plus One, by Jojo Moyes. You have to know that any new book by Jojo Moyes is going to be a popular one. This is the ultimate light, beachy read. A single mom with a chaotic family meets a quirky stranger. Sparks fly in this tale of unlikely romance.
4. The Matchmaker, by Elin Hilderbrand. Hilderbrand is the undisputed queen of summer fiction. This year's story is a heartbreaking one of love lost and found.
5. The Vacationers, by Emma Straub. One of the summer's sleeper hits! Franny and Jim are on vacation in Mallorca, celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary and their daughter's high school graduation. But this is not your average vacation, as they spend their two weeks confronting long-buried hurts, secrets and rivalries that may change the rest of their lives forever.
6. Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty. Moriarty made a major impact with readers in The Husband's Secret, so it's no surprise to this librarian that her new novel (being released next Tuesday!) is already in high demand. Three very different women, each with her own secrets, are drawn together--each has a child in the same preschool. Someone winds up dead--but the who and the how? That's the heart of the novel. This will be some great pool-side reading.
7. All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr. A stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.
8. Wonder, by R.J. Palacio. Another teen novel with a huge adult readership as well. Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was initially not expected to survive. Now he is moving beyond home schooling and entering the fifth-grade in a private Manhattan middle school, which entails enduring the reactions and taunting of his classmates, even as Auggie struggles to be just another student. Read it with your kids. Read it if you don't have kids. Just read it.
9. The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt. Nine months after its release, The Goldfinch has won a Pulitzer and is still on the bestsellers' list. That should be enough to recommend it, but if it's not: At 13, Theo Decker miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his longing for his mother, he clings to the one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art. I'm reading it now and it is outstanding.
10. Invisible, by James Patterson and David Ellis. Everyone thinks that Emmy Dockery is crazy. She's convinced that there's a link among hundreds of unsolved cases--she's taken leave from her position at the FBI to prove her theory. Patterson's readership continues to be strong!
I'll be back on Thursday with a list of psychological thrillers guaranteed to keep you cool even as summer heats up. In the meantime, happy reading!