Local Bookstore Staff Share Top Picks for Summer Reads

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Take time to unwind and enjoy these summer selects from employees at our readers’ favorite bookstores

Compiled by Jessica Stringer and Martha Zaytoun

“The Rabbit Listened”
by Cori Doerrfeld

“This is a beautiful reminder that sometimes being there for people is as simple as sitting silently – a good lesson for anyone of any age.”

– Julia Hirschfield, Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews
in every life summer read

“In Every Life”
by Marla Frazee

“Marla is the illustrator of ‘Everywhere Babies’ (one of my personal favorites) and author/illustrator of the much-loved ‘All the World.’ ‘In Every Life’ is another beautiful celebration of how we spend our days. It’s full of so many scenes from all kinds of lives, with colorful double-page spreads. Buy a copy for your next baby shower gift, but get a copy for yourself right now, too.”

– Johanna Albrecht, McIntyre’s Books
cora cooks pancit summer read

“Cora Cooks Pancit”
by Dorina K. Lazo Gilmore

“A perfect, heartwarming story for learning about tradition and how recipes can connect us.”

– Caida Stanelle, Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews
all the sinners bleed summer read

“All the Sinners Bleed”
by S.A. Cosby

“Cosby writes of the real world; fistfights, car races and social injustice are par for the course. His thrillers are gritty, and you can’t help but care about his main characters.”

– Jamie Fiocco, Flyleaf Books
something bad wrong summer read

“Something Bad Wrong”
by Eryk Pruitt

“It got a little blurb in The New York Times! Eryk is the owner of Yonder, the bar across the street from us, and hosts Noir at the Bar events.”

– Sharon Wheeler, Purple Crow Books

“Eryk has a new novel out, and it’s a doozy! The story revolves around a sheriff in a small North Carolina town. You will dive into the soul of these characters and not come back up until the end of this terrific novel.”

– Pete Mock, McIntyre’s Books
you made a fool of death with your beauty summer read book.

“You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty”
by Akwaeke Emezi

“Steamy, literary, electric. I absolutely loved it.”

– Elese Stutts, Flyleaf Books
homebodies summer read book

by Tembe Denton-Hurst

“A searing yet quiet novel that succeeds as a commentary on the racism ingrained within media content, as a relationship drama and as a story of protagonist Mickey’s path to self-discovery and self-respect.”

– Sam Edge, Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews
bang bang crash summer read

“Bang Bang Crash”
by Nic Brown

“Thoughtful, funny and suffused with both melancholy and joy. It explores what happens when you achieve your dream of being a rock star and realize it’s not what you want. Nic Brown chronicles his transformation from a drummer into a writer, a husband, a father, a teacher and eventually, a drummer again.”

– Tony Peltier, Flyleaf Books
I keep my exoskeletons to myself summer read

“I Keep My Exoskeletons to Myself”
by Marisa Crane

“Captivating and original, this book is a stark reminder of the shadows we all live with, both visible and invisible.”

– Gaby Iori, Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews
this isn't going to end well summer read

“This Isn’t Going to End Well”
by Daniel Wallace

“Vulnerable and engrossing all in one, this is an intensely personal portrait of grief. Wallace reflects on his lifelong friendship with his late brother-in-law with intimate precision. His larger-than-life memories of William are interjected with the inevitability that things aren’t going to end well.”

– Kat Baltisberger, Flyleaf Books
romantic comedy summer read

“Romantic Comedy”
by Curtis Sittenfeld

“I want Sally to be a real person and also my best friend. SNL lovers will enjoy the behind-the-scenes peek into what making a show like that is like. Plus, it’s romantic with hilarious dialogue. A winner.”

– Maggie Robe, Flyleaf Books
silver alert summer read

“Silver Alert”
by Lee Smith

“Classic Lee Smith. The story takes place in Key West where we meet vivid characters who feel like friends. This book is full of hope, typical of Lee.”

– Sharon Wheeler, Purple Crow Books
a house with good bones summer read

“A House with Good Bones” by T. Kingfisher

“Exhibits a soft and creeping horror, making the reader comfortable before it devours them. When Sam moves back in with her mother in their grandmother’s old home, small signs of wrongness mount, harmless in isolation. The confluence of vultures, bloodthirsty roses, entomological oddities and uncovered genealogies make this book engaging and delightfully chilling.”

– Jordan April, Flyleaf Books
the covenant of water summer read

“The Covenant of Water”
by Abraham Verghese

“This is everything you could want in a summer read: rich, bighearted, spanning generations yet telling each character’s story in full. Erudite, epic, immersive and completely engrossing. Settle back in the hammock and lose your phone. By the time you finish, you may have forgotten that cell phones exist.”

– Sarah Goddin, McIntyre’s Books

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Chapel Hill Mag Intern

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