An Independent View of Summer Reading

Bookstore Owners Offer Lists of Literary Picks

Laura Hansen owns Bookin' It in Little Falls, Minn. MaryBeth Zea hide caption

Bookin' It
itoggle caption MaryBeth Zea

Rona Brinlee owns The Book Mark in Atlantic Beach, Fla. Jay Shoots hide caption

The Book Mark
itoggle caption Jay Shoots
Lucia Silva

Lucia Silva manages Portrait of a Bookstore in Studio City, Calif. Courtesy of Julie von Zerneck hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Julie von Zerneck

Before vacationers head to the beach to laze away their hot summer days, many will head to the bookstore to pick up some summer reading. NPR's Susan Stamberg talks to three independent booksellers about their suggestions for the leisurely months ahead.

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Laura Hansen, Bookin' It, Little Falls, Minn.

Heaven Lake by John Dalton (Scribner). Dalton's first novel, this is the story of a young Midwesterner who travels to Taiwan as a missionary but is forced to leave in shame after getting entangled with a local girl. Hansen admires Dalton's writing and says that her favorite books are often first novels. "They seem to have a story that the authors wanted to tell for a long time."

Hansen also suggests:

Tarnished Eye by Judith Guest (Scribner).

Hidden by Paul Jaskunas (Free Press).

Easter Island by Jennifer Vanderbes (Dell Publishing Company).

The Snack Thief by Andrea Camilleri (Penguin USA).

Rona Brinlee, The Book Mark, Atlantic Beach, Fla.

Mrs. Kimble by Jennifer Haigh (Perennial). "The book just sucks you in immediately," says Brinlee of Mrs. Kimble, another debut novel. It is the story of three women who all married the same man, a con-artist, at different times. Brinlee calls Mrs. Kimble a "great book club book" and says that everybody has known somebody like one of the three women.

Other picks from Brinlee include:

The Shadow of Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (The Penguin Press).

Plain Heathen Mischief by Martin Clark (Knopf).

Poe & Fanny by John May (Algonquin Books).

Cursed By a Happy Childhood: Tales of Growing up Then and Now by Carl Lennertz (Harmony Books).

Lucia Silva, Portrait of a Bookstore, Studio City, Calif.

Found - The Best Lost, Tossed and Forgotten Items From Around the World edited by Davy Rothbart (Simon and Schuster). A sneak-peeker's dream, this picture book is a collection of cast-off love-letters, hate-letters, photographs, to-do lists, doodles, and misdirected e-mail, all offering a glimpse into human life. "It's very voyeuristic, but totally thrilling," says Silva. "You kind of feel like you shouldn't keep reading it, but you can't stop."

More recommendations from Silva:

McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Issue #13 edited by Chris Ware (McSweeney's).

Poetry Daily - 366 Poems from the World's Most Popular Poetry Website edited by Rita Dove, Dana Giola, Diane Boller, Don Selby, Chryss Yost (Sourcebooks, Inc.).

Truth and Beauty by Ann Patchett (HarperCollins).

Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote (Vintage International) originally published in 1950.

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