Month: June 2021

Check It Out Blog

Trending Summer Reads for Adults

reading colors your world

Summer Reading is ramping up and trending books have been spotted! Below are some of the titles trending so far. Anything read since June 1st counts towards Summer Reading, sign up or log into Beanstack to join this colorful reading journey.

You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey book cover

You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey by Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar

Now a writer and performer on Late Night with Seth Meyers and host of The Amber Ruffin Show, Amber Ruffin lives in New York, where she is no one’s First Black Friend and everyone is, as she puts it, “stark raving normal.” But Amber’s sister Lacey? She’s still living in their home state of Nebraska, and trust us, you’ll never believe what happened to Lacey. From racist donut shops to strangers putting their whole hand in her hair, from being mistaken for a prostitute to being mistaken for Harriet Tubman, Lacey is a lightning rod for hilariously ridiculous yet all-too-real anecdotes.

People we Meet on Vacation book cover

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

With one week to win back the best friend she might just be in love with, a travel writer plans the trip of a lifetime.

magic fish book cover

The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen

Real life isn’t a fairytale. But Tien still enjoys reading his favorite stories with his parents from the books he borrows from the local library. It’s hard enough trying to communicate with your parents as a kid, but for Tien, he doesn’t even have the right words because his parents are struggling with their English. Is there a Vietnamese word for what he’s going through? Is there a way to tell them he’s gay?

the midnight library book cover

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. Nora finds herself faced with the possibility of changing her life, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life.

The Guest List book cover

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

An expertly planned celebrity wedding between a rising television star and an ambitious magazine publisher is thrown into turmoil by petty jealousies, a college drinking game, the bride’s ruined dress and an untimely murder.

Anxious People book cover

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Taken hostage by a failed bank robber while attending an open house, eight anxiety-prone strangers—including a redemption-seeking bank director, two couples who would fix their marriages and a plucky octogenarian—discover their unexpected common traits.

House in the Cerulean Sea book cover

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

Linus Baker is a by-the-book case worker in the Department in Charge of Magical Youth. He’s tasked with determining whether six dangerous magical children are likely to bring about the end of the world. Arthur Parnassus is the master of the orphanage. He would do anything to keep the children safe, even if it means the world will burn. And his secrets will come to light. The House in the Cerulean Sea is an enchanting story about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place–and realizing that family is yours.

Becoming book cover

Becoming by Michelle Obama

An intimate memoir by the former First Lady chronicles the experiences that have shaped her remarkable life, from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago through her setbacks and achievements in the White House.

The Thursday Murder Club book cover

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

Meeting weekly in their retirement village’s Jigsaw Room to exchange theories about unsolved crimes, four savvy septuagenarians propose a daring but unorthodox plan to help a woman rookie cop solve her first big murder case.

Vanishing Half book cover

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Twin sisters, inseparable as children, ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white.


the wife upstairs book cover

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

Supplementing her modest income by stealing small valuables from her gated-community clients, a broke dog-walker endeavors to win the heart of a wealthy bachelor before learning his late wife’s own rags-to-riches story.

On the Way to the Wedding book cover

On The Way To The Wedding by Julia Quinn

Gregory Bridgerton has fallen head over heels for gorgeous Hermione Watson, despite the fact she is in love with another, and joins forces with Hermione’s best friend, Lady Lucinda Abernathy, to stop the disastrous alliance, but love has its own way of turning everything upside down.

malibu rising book cover

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Four famous siblings throw an epic end-of-summer party that goes dangerously out of control as secrets and loves that shaped this family’s generations come to light, changing their lives forever.

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Are Helene Wecker Books for You?

If You Liked These, Try Helene Wecker book collage

If you’ve enjoyed one or more of these titles, Helene Wecker’s imaginative storytelling may be a great match for your reading moods. She blends folklore, adventure, historical fiction, romance, and fantasy with lush worldbuilding and contemporary style. Learn even more by listening firsthand to a virtual conversation Tuesday, June 22, at 7pm. It’s the perfect opportunity to be enchanted!

The Golem and the Jinni series is for you if you liked….

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Why? Irresistible tales of real life infused with magic told in rich, lyrical style

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon

Why? Expansive, character-driven stories incorporating both mastery of craft and golem lore

Circe by Madeline Miller

Why? Atmospheric historical fantasy drawing from mythology but translated to innovative frame

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Why? Fantastical epics with mystical soul mates that draw readers in to worlds beyond ours

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

Why? Supernatural characters navigate adventures while discovering their place in our world

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

Why? Equal parts history and mind-bending fantasy presented in complex, rewarding style

The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman

Why? Full immersion in historical setting combined with thoughtful reimagining of Jewish folklore

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Why? Enchanted tales inspired by myth from parts of world other than Western Europe

Please join us for an inspiring book conversation:

Helene Wecker program

Stay tuned for more information on our Summer of Author Visits!

Summer Reading Bonus Category Spotlight: Choose Book by Cover

reading colors your world

Want to stretch your reading this summer? Adult Summer Reading offers bonus categories for this very goal, and one of the playful ways to start is to choose by book cover: Color your world by trying a Millennial Pink book. [Wondering what ‘millennial pink’ may be? Try here for a lighthearted explanation.] Following are a few of the eye-catching titles that have millennial pink covers. For more summer reading suggestions, email readers@mppl.org or find the links for each bonus category in Beanstack or in Lists & Suggestions.

severance book cover

Severance by Ling Ma

A survivor of an apocalyptic plague maintains a blog about a decimated Manhattan before joining a motley group of survivors to search for a place to rebuild, a goal that is complicated by an unscrupulous group leader.

Character-driven; Witty

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird book cover

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver

A woman grieving the loss of her fiancé finds herself swapping back and forth between parallel lives, including one in which her first love has survived and another involving a new person who is asking her to move on.

Engaging; Thoughtful

gingerbread book cover

Gingerbread by Helen Oyeyemi

Draws on the classic fairy-tale element of gingerbread in the story of a British family whose surprising legacy and secret past are tied to a favorite recipe.

Compelling; Lyrical

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me book cover

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki

Laura Dean, the most popular girl in high school, was Frederica Riley’s dream girl, but Freddy is learning she is not the best girlfriend, so she seeks help from a mysterious medium and advice columnists to help her through being a teenager in love.

Angst-filled; Character-driven

lovely war book cover

Lovely War by Julie Berry

Meeting in a World War II-era Manhattan hotel for a forbidden tryst, immortals Ares and Aphrodite are caught by the latter’s jealous husband before she defends her actions by imparting the tale of four young humans who became connected during World War I.

Moving; Romantic

city of margins book cover

City of Margins by William Boyle

The lives of several lost souls intersect in gritty 1990s south Brooklyn, from a disgraced ex-cop with blood on his hands to the grieving mother of a suicide victim.

Compelling; Gritty

New Fiction in June

New fiction in June

Summer has arrived! New summer titles have arrived as well! As added bonus, all books you read in June count towards adult Summer Reading fun. Below is a sampling of new fiction titles that have been released this month, and for more new June fiction: click here. For personalized suggestions and more information on Summer Reading, give us a call at 847/590-4070 or email us at readers@mppl.org. May the sun shine on all your summer reading adventures!

one last stop book cover

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

Cynical August starts to believe in the impossible when meets Jane on the subway, a mysterious punk rocker she forms a crush on, who is literally displaced in time from the 1970s and is trying to find her way back.

The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu book cover

The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu by Tom Lin

Reimagines the classic Western through the eyes of a Chinese American assassin on a quest to rescue his kidnapped wife and exact his revenge on her abductors.



The Secret Keeper of Jaipur book cover

The Secret Keeper of Jaipur by Alka Joshi

Back in the Pink City where he was once a wily street urchin, Malik, assigned to help Samir Singh’s feckless son Ravi build the new public cinema, finds his livelihood, reputation and the people he loves most threatened after Ravi implicates him in a ruthless scandal.

to sir, with love book cover

To Sir, With Love by Lauren Layne

Follows two thirty-somethings who meet on a blind dating app—only to realize that their online chemistry is nothing compared to their offline rivalry.

our woman in Moscow book cover

Our Woman in Moscow by Beatriz Williams

To save her sister, who, along with her American diplomat husband and children, is trapped behind the Iron Curtain, Ruth Macallister embarks on a dangerous mission, and as the sisters race toward safety, a dogged Soviet agent forces them to make a heartbreaking choice.

the eagles claw book cover

The Eagle’s Claw: A Novel of the Battle of Midway by Jeff Shaara

A New York Times best-selling author recounts the Battle of Midway, one of World War II’s most pivotal moments, sharing the stories of all ranks and the unique sacrifices each man is compelled to bravely make for the sake of country, freedom, and honor.

the other black girl book cover

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

Tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books, 26-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is thrilled when Harlem-born and bred Hazel is hired until she after a string uncomfortable events, is elevated to Office Darling, leaving Nella in the dust.