Booksellers' Picks: 15 Soaring Summer Reads Susan Stamberg gathers recommendations from booksellers Rona Brinlee, Lucia Silva and Daniel Goldin. Their selections for summertime reading include books about small-town America, a polygamist father in over his head, and a postmistress in New England during World War II.

Booksellers' Picks: 15 Soaring Summer Reads

Booksellers' Picks: 15 Soaring Summer Reads

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Chris Silas Neal
summer books
Chris Silas Neal

As days get longer and the sun's rays get stronger, books that are lighter and brighter stand a better chance of squeezing into packed beach bags and suitcases. But that doesn't mean summer books need to be weightless. Finding the perfect balance in a single bound edition can seem impossible, but it's a challenge that's just right for independent booksellers like Rona Brinlee of The BookMark in Atlantic Beach, Fla., Daniel Goldin of Boswell Book Co. in Milwaukee, and Lucia Silva of Studio City, Calif.'s Portrait of a Bookstore. Among the three of them, they've managed to find 16 books that fit the bill. Showoffs!

This summer's rays of literary sunshine come from 15 authors whose topics range from loaves of bread to small-town life in the Texas Hill Country. There's fiction from Sarah Blake, Hilary Thayer Hamann and Brady Udall, whose 600-page novel, The Lonely Polygamist, about a man with four wives who finds himself drawn to a fifth woman, was picked by two of our booksellers. There's also poetry (and a memoir) from quadriplegic writer Paul Guest, the story behind the making of the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's, and a first-person, nonfiction book from Ander Monson that's definitely Not a Memoir. The title even says so.

The Postmistress
By Sarah Blake

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The Postmistress
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Sarah Blake

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The Kingdom of Ohio
By Matthew Flaming

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The Kingdom of Ohio
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Matthew Flaming

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Alice I Have Been
By Melanie Benjamin

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Alice I Have Been
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Melanie Benjamin

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52 Loaves
One Man's Relentless Pursuit of Truth, Meaning, and a Perfect Crust
By William Alexander

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52 Loaves
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William Alexander

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Welcome to Utopia
Notes from a Small Town
By Karen Valby

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Welcome to Utopia
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Karen Valby

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Vanishing Point
Not a Memoir
By Ander Monson

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Vanishing Point
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Ander Monson

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One More Theory About Happiness
A Memoir
By Paul Guest

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One More Theory About Happiness
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Paul Guest

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My Index of Slightly Horrifying Knowledge
By Paul Guest

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My Index of Slightly Horrifying Knowledge
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Paul Guest

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Big Machine
By Victor LaValle

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Big Machine
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Victor LaValle

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Anthropology of an American Girl
By Hilary Thayer Hamann

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Anthropology of an American Girl
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Hilary Thayer Hamann

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Yarn
Remembering the Way Home
By Kyoko Mori

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Yarn
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Kyoko Mori

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The Tortoise and the Hare
By Elizabeth Jenkins, Hilary Mantel, Carmen Callil

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The Tortoise and the Hare
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Elizabeth Jenkins, Hilary Mantel, Carmen Callil

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The Lonely Polygamist
A Novel
By Brady Udall

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The Lonely Polygamist
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Brady Udall

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Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.
Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and the Dawn of the Modern Woman
By Sam Wasson

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Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.
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Sam Wasson

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Day for Night
By Frederick Reiken

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Day for Night
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Frederick Reiken

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The Prince of Mist
By Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Lucia Graves

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The Prince of Mist
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Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Lucia Graves

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