"One benefit of summer
was that each day
we had more light to read by."
 ~ Jeanette Walls

As I said last week, it's been more of a "reading day summer" than a "beach day summer," but we are confident that more beach days are on the way in August.  (Yes, that's right, we begin August this week.)  June and July flew by so quickly, that it almost feels like they were both a week shorter this year!  Everything has been so fast and furious that we are worried there hasn't been enough focus on fun, relaxing, and lightening up for the summer.  Here's to a lazy August, full of beach days, beach reads, and most of all s.l.o.w.i.n.g. down and relaxing in the sun.  Here are some ideas to get you headed in that direction:

Staff Picks:
click any name below for more recommendations:
An irresistible, deftly observed novel about the secrets, joys, and jealousies that rise to the surface over the course of an American family's two-week stay in Mallorca.

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
An untested young princess must claim her throne, learn to become a queen, and combat a malevolent sorceress in an epic battle between light and darkness in this spectacular debut--the first novel in a trilogy.

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes
One single mom. One chaotic family. One quirky stranger. One irresistible love story from the New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You.

Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
"Full of endearing moments and sublime satire, Where'd You Go Bernadette, is 'divinely funny' literature."-The Week

Little Known Facts by Christine Sneed
Most of us can imagine the perks of celebrity, but if we could have anything on earth, would we choose correctly?

The One and Only by Emily Giffin
Thoughtful, funny, and brilliantly observed, The One & Only is a luminous novel about finding your passion, following your heart, and, most of all, believing in something bigger than yourself . . . the one and only thing that truly makes life worth living.

The Heist by Daniel Silva
Sometimes the best way to find a stolen masterpiece is to steal another one. . . .

The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness
The third and final book in the trilogy, where historian and witch, Diana Bishop, and vampire scientist, Matthew Clairmont, return to the present to face new crises and old enemies.

Eric Litwin: 
Wednesday, July 30, 3-5pm

Do you want to go Nuts this Wednesday?  We do!  You already know Eric Litwin from his Pete the Cat books, now it's time to GO NUTS!  RSVP for a spot at this musical performance from author and performer, Eric Litwin this Wednesday, at the Petoskey Fairgrounds.  Click here for more info.  Reservations are required for this free kids event. 

Mary Relindes Ellis:

Thursday, July 31, 6-7pm

Calling all fans of historical fiction!  If you remember The Turtle Warrior, this is the second novel from the incredibly talented Mary Relindes Ellis.  We have been waiting for over a decade for a new novel from her, and now we have The Bohemian Flats.  Here is a review from The Pioneer Press in Ellis' home grounds of Minneapolis; and another from the Star Tribune

Here's ours: 
Even if you don't have any connections to Minnesota, this book will feel like it could be your family's story.  When an author can bring the characters to you in a way that makes you feel their fears, dream their dreams, and rejoice in their triumphs, you know that you as a reader have found something truly special.  The landscapes are so rich you can smell the loam of the farms, the sweet burning of the mills, and feel the pulse of the Mississippi as it rushes through the gritty, lovely shacks of Little Bohemia.  Everyone works hard, everyone plays hard, and everyone has a dream in this picture of early 1900s America.  If you have a heart string, it will most certainly be tugged by one of this summer's best historical fiction novels.  Just read it.

Reservations are requested for this free wine and cheese event.  Click here for more info.  Trust us.  You don't want to miss this one.

2 days, 2 Roberts:

Robert Brown, Friday, August 1, 2-4pm signing, The War Chief's SonMore info. here.

Robert Wangard, Saturday, August 2, 2-4pm signing his fifth book, PaybackMore info. here. 

Fans of Jodi Picoult will devour this book. One of her most gripping novels with an ending so shocking it will leave readers looking for more. The story of a teenager Jenna Metcalf and her search for her mother after her mysterious disappearance over a decade ago. In her attempt to uncover the truth, Jenna teams up with an unlikely pair. Virgil, a hack detective who botched Jenna's mother's missing persons report ten years ago, and Serenity, a washed up TV psychic. The Story is told from four different Perspectives. Jenna, Virgil, Serenity, and Jenna's own mother Alice who studied elephants in Africa before moving to the States and disappearing. If you love mystery, suspense, a little romance, or even just love elephants than travel through the decades to solve the mystery of "Leaving Time" by Jodi Picoult, coming this October.

We Are Called to Rise by Laura McBride

It has been a long time since a book has held my attention like "We Are Called to Rise" by Laura McBride. This book is a gritty, no holds barred, real life look into the diverse lives, dreams, and realities of REAL Americans. Following the lives of Avis, a house wife who's life and marriage are imploding around her, Bashkim, and Armenian immigrant child who's family struggles working out of an ice cream truck and keep their heads above water so they can hold on to their American dream, Luis, a veteran just back from active duty over seas who finds himself in the hospital badly injured with no recollection of how he got there, and Roberta, a volunteer children's advocate from a well to do family. Set in Las Vegas, these lives are pulled together by incredible acts of providence. Through all the terrible things that happen in life; despair, war, divorce, death, these people are called to rise and meet these challenges with an amazing and unconventional love. McBride definitely scored a winner with this debut novel.