Summer Reads

Six books to help you get away without going away.

Summer may be over, but these books will entertain you any time of the year.

lessons from lucy

Lessons from Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog

By Dave Barry (Simon & Schuster, $26)

Wanting his life to be as happy as that of his dog, Lucy, humorist Dave Barry studies the way she behaves then he applies her behavior to his own life.

In making new friends, he mimics the “trustful, open, unreservedly joyful way she approaches everybody.”

In following the way she gives her full attention to whomever she’s with, Barry stows his phone in his pocket and tries to do the same.

Riven through with wise-cracking humor, Lessons from Lucy is a fast, enjoyable read that drills home its important lesson of making the best of every situation.

Quantum

By Patricia Cornwell (Thomas & Mercer, $28.99)

International best-selling author Patricia Cornwell returns to her Virginia roots with a new series centered on Calli Chase, a cybersecurity expert who serves as a captain in NASA’s protective service. The mystery begins the night before a rocket launch is supposed to carry a top secret package to the International Space Station. In the tunnels beneath NASA’s Langley Research Center, a tripped alarm sends Chase scurrying to investigate.

She discovers blood. Complicating matters is a report from earlier in the day of a stolen security badge and Chase’s knowledge of the sensitive fiber-optic cables located within the supposedly secure tunnel. Soon Chase is racing the clock to prevent hackers from compromising not only the Langley facility but the entire U.S. communications network. 

Someday is Not a Day in the Week: 10 Hacks to Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life

By Sam Horn

(St. Martin’s Press, $27.99)

After opening with a heartbreaking example of what not to do—her father putting off his dreams until he retired and then having a stroke one week later—Sam Horn goes on to show readers how to make the most of their lives right now. In the “Just Say No to Naysayers” chapter, she describes several people belittling her desire to spend a “year by the water.”

Instead of heeding their warnings, she embraced positive responses from others and took the leap. Each of the other nine chapters also couples advice with specific examples, encouraging you to live life to the fullest.

The Last Book Party

By Karen Dukess

(Henry Holt, $27)

It is the summer of 1987 and Eve Rosen quits her job at a New York publishing house to become the research assistant of a famous writer, hoping it will reinvigorate her own creative juices. As she becomes entwined in the lives of the great writer, his wife, their son, and a debut novelist, her idealistic view of the literary elite erodes.

No one is who they seem, and as the façades come crumbling down during a lavish end-of-the-summer party, Rosen must confront her own pretenses and figure out her true desires. 

Wanderers

By Chuck Wendig

(Del Rey Books, $28.99)

In this compelling tale, an unknown phenomenon turns ordinary people into sleepwalkers. Unlike the brain-eating variety to which we’ve become accustomed, these are zombies in the truest sense. These vacuous somnambulists are unable to communicate with anyone else and possess inhuman strength that allows them to push through most obstacles in their way. As the walking horde roams through a fractured America, some “shepherds” try to protect the “flock” while fearful others try to kill them.

As a different disease of unknown origin spreads across the globe, the terrifying reason behind the Wanderers’ condition slowly unfolds. Wanderers creates a fascinating dystopia similar to Stephen King’s The Stand in its wide-reaching scope and in the way social fabric rips apart to reveal the heart of humankind.

Waiting for Eden

By Elliot Ackerman

(Vintage, $16)

Following the same premise as Alice Sebold’s The Lucky Bones, the narrator in this story is the spirit of someone who died a horrific death and then watches events unfold afterwards on Earth. But the decedent this time is a soldier killed by an IED in Iraq who feels tethered to a surviving squadmate who lingers on for years as a limbless and uncommunicative torso in a hospital bed.

Shifting back and forth in time, we learn how these two were connected to the wounded soldier’s wife and how all three feel an immense sense of guilt. Waiting for Eden is a darkly beautiful look at what binds everyone together. 

June 11, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum
July 9, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum
August 13, 2022

Star Gazing and Laser Nights

Virginia Living Museum