Local Summer Reading Recommendations

Looking for a fun vacation read or something to relax with on the front porch? Overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices and not sure where to start? Twin Cities booksellers have got you covered. We asked some local independent booksellers for a few ideas to bulk up your summer reading list. If you’re looking for a biting satire, a quintessential beach read, a comprehensive memoir, or even a genre-defying existential mystery, read on.

From David Enyeart at Common Good Books:

Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal: “Kitchens of the Great Midwest is a funny and moving novel that skewers foodies and non-foodies with equal abandon and equal affection. Stradal’s story of a reclusive super-chef and the family and friends in her orbit is a perfect summer book for anyone who likes their food and their satire served up spicy. Call it What’d You Eat, Bernadette?”


The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey by Rinker Buck: “Rinker Buck, a self-described “boozehound with a bad driving record,” had a scheme. He wanted to pilot a covered wagon down the length of the Oregon Trail–from Kansas to the Pacific coast. Enlisting his brother, a dog named Olive Oyl, and three stalwart mules, Buck sets out to ‘see America slowly.’ Along the way he find quicksand and kindness, frustration and hospitality in equal measure. Part travelogue, part family history, part national history, The Oregon Trail is a heartfelt ode to Middle America. Buckle up and enjoy the ride.”

The Dog by Joseph O’Neill: “The unnamed protagonist of Joseph O’Neill’s new novel The Dog just wants to disappear. After an ugly breakup from a fellow lawyer, he flees New York for the glitzy anonymity of Dubai. There he forges a deeply shallow life amid the tall buildings, explaining away his faults and failings with legalistic precision until not even hope remains. By turns comic, jaundiced, and philosophical, The Dog is an lyrical cautionary tale for a disconnected age.”

Common Good Books, 38 S. Snelling Avenue, St. Paul, 55105. 651-225-8989

From the staff at Magers & Quinn Booksellers:

I Take You by Eliza Kennedy: “Like most great summer reads, this novel is bright, sexy, and funny, but be careful of judging this one by its cover.” (Jessi Blackstock)




Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller: “A deliciously creepy tale with an unforgettable narrative voice and a shocking conclusion.” (Annie Metcalf)




Leaving Orbit by Margaret Lazarus Dean: “Whilst a relative nobody, Dean researches and writes Leaving Orbit, hoping to join the ranks of renowned new journalists Wolff, Mailer, and Fallaci—all of whom have written famous space books. She attends the final three shuttle launches, searching for an answer to what it means that we’ve gone to space for fifty years and we won’t be sending ourselves up there any longer—not any time soon.” (Derek Jackson)

The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle: “A fast paced, romantic thriller with a little of the supernatural mixed in.” (Available August 18) (Jessi Blackstock)




Magers & Quinn, 3038 Hennepin Avenue, Mpls, 55408. 612-822-4611

From Matt Kelliher at Subtext Books:

The Ghost Network by Catie Disabato: “I’m excited about Catie Disabato’s debut novel The Ghost Network. It’s a genre-busting philosophical mystery that deals with conspiracy theories and popular music in the underbelly of Chicago.”



The Familiar, Volume 1 by Mark Danielewski: “I’m also excited to dive nose-first into Mark Danielewski’s new book, The Familiar. His international best seller House of Leaves was terrifyingly spectacular and the first book in this new series looks innovative, exciting, colorful, and captivating. It’s a dazzling convergence of narratives that makes for a hard-to-set-down read.”


Subtext Books, 6 West 5th Street, St. Paul, 55102. 651-493-2791

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