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Paging All Readers: Let Us Help Pick A Good Book For The Summer

Around this time of year, many of us are looking for that perfect book to have handy next to the bottle of sunscreen. 

Summer is a great time to catch up on a book you’ve been meaning to get to, maybe revisit an old favorite or find something new altogether.  

But where to begin? 

Rebecca Colbert is the head of collection and bibliographic services for the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District, Andrew Cohen is the co-owner of the Writers Block and Scott Dickensheets is the deputy editor of Desert Companion Magazine and they've brought their top 3 choices for summer reads. 


Rebecca Colbert, head of collection and bibliographic services, Las Vegas-Clark County Library District 

1. Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country, by Pam Houston

"She bought a ranch at the age of 30 when she had no business buying a ranch in the high mountains of Colorado and she did this after meandering around the world the decade of her 20s. The book is really a love letter to the ranch and a year at the ranch." 

2. Wanderers, by Chuck Wendig 

"It is about what happens when the world ends. It is very reminiscent of Stephen King's "The Stand" in that something starts to inflict a tiny percentage of the populace. They wander. They sleepwalk. They're almost like zombies. They don't talk or respond and they never stop walking." 

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3. The Valedictorian of Being Dead: The True Story of Dying Ten Times to Live, by Heather B. Armstrong

"Most folks who know who Heather B. Armstrong is are familiar with her blog "Deuce," where she spent over a decade chronicling what it is like to raise two daughters and be a working woman. The last half of that decade she's been a single working mother. She is screamingly funny and irreverent and honest. She's ex-LDS Church and so there's a whole lot of - she lives in Utah but she deals with this culture. And those of us that know her blog, knew that she went through a period of depression in the last few years and sort of fell off the blog. This book is the story of her absolutely radical, experimental treatment for that depression."

Drew Cohen, co-owner, The Writers Block

1. Song for the Unraveling of the World, by Brian Evanson

"We shelf him under horror back at the Writer's Block but many of his stories could be called science fiction and many of them, perhaps most of them, defy categorization altogether. My favorite story in the collection is about two sisters, who are perhaps aliens or maybe monsters or malevolent ghosts - we never find out - who desperately want to participate in the Halloween celebration in the town they just moved to, but they're not human." 

2. The Dry Heart, by Natalia Ginzburg

"What I like most about it is the author's style. Ginzburg has what we call deceptive simplicity. Those short, declarative sentences. It's in the first person with the narrator addressing the reader directly. When I read it, I feel like I'm sitting beside an old phone, a rotary phone, maybe smoking a cigarette, listening to the narrator tell me her story."

3. A Primer for Forgetting, Getting Past the Past, by Lewis Hyde

"It has an unexpected thesis which is that there are, in Hyde's words, 'cases in which letting go the past proves to be at least as useful as preserving it.' He looks at situations when forgetting or being taken out of one's routine, thoughts, feelings and sensations can be, for example, artistically productive." 

Scott Dickensheets, deputy editor, Desert Companion Magazine 

1. Someone Who Will Love You In All Your Damaged Glory, stories by Raphael Bob-Waksburg

"I like this book in particular because, especially for the purposes of this segment, it really partakes of those summer reading idea. It's fun and frothy but also surreal. There are rich veins of melancholy and pure crazed oddity. They are very entertaining and easy to read. They don't give your brain a workout but they do give you something to think about."

2. Trick Mirror, essays by Jia Tolentino 

"It's a very terrific process she has where she looks at the social issues through the prism of her life. It's not a personal essay in the sense of, 'here's my sad experience.' It's about the parts of her life that represent larger realities."

3. Raised in Captivity, Fictional Nonfictions, by Chuck Klosterman 

"From what I can gather from reading about the book, which has not been published yet, it's fictions that proceed from something real and then he morphs in fictional scenarios. There is a definite quirkiness or oddity to them."


Rebecca Colbert, head of collection and bibliographic services, Las Vegas-Clark County Library District ; Drew Cohen, co-owner, The Writers Block; Scott Dickensheets, deputy editor, Desert Companion Magazine

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