So what will you read this summer? I asked some favorite Maine women authors what books they have on their summer to-read lists. Some great choices. Here’s what they said.
Maria Padian (“Wrecked”)
“For nonfiction, ‘Just Mercy’ by Brian Stevenson is at the top of my list. For kid lit, ‘Ghost’ and pretty much everything else that Jason Reynolds has published. For poetry, I’m going to treat myself to Mary Oliver every morning with my coffee as I consider ‘What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?’ For fiction, ‘The Wonder’ by Irish novelist Emma Donoghue tops the list.”
Melissa Senate (“The Love Goddess’ Cooking School”)
“‘A piece of the world’ by Christina Baker Kline. I love books set in Maine, and this novel is about the real-life inspiration behind the famous Andrew Wyeth painting Christina’s World—a young woman who lived on a remote farm in a small coastal Maine town. I can’t wait to read it on a lounge chair with the Casco Bay in front of me.”
Debra Spark (“Unknown Caller”)
“‘Bad Dreams and Other Stories’ by Tessa Hadley; ‘I Married You for Happiness’ by Lily Tuck; ‘Anything is Possible’ by Elizabeth Strout; ‘Loving Che’ byAna Menendez; ‘Ongoingness’ by Sarah Manguso; ‘The Last Painting of Sara de Vos’ by Dominic Smith, ’Being Mortal’ by Atul Gawnde; and ‘At Home’ by Bill Bryson. Now that I have written this list, I am challenging myself to actually do it!”
Tess Gerritsen (Rizzoli & Isles series)
“My reading will actually focus on a number of rather obscure research books on pigs, (we’re filming a documentary about pigs this year!), but I also plan to read ‘Into the Water’ by Paula Hawkins and ‘The Girls’ by Emma Cline.”
Monica Wood (“The One in a Million Boy”)
“I can’t wait to dig into ‘A piece of the world’ by Christina Baker Kline, a fictional treatment of the life of the subject of Wyeth’s Christina’s World. Also, Bill Roorbach has a new book of stories coming out, always cause for celebration. It’s called ‘The Girl of the Lake.’ Read it by a lake. And Paul Doiron has a new installment of his Mike Bowditch mystery series, which is always entertaining. This one’s called ‘Knife Creek.’ Suspenseful and well-written, the series is like eating candy that’s sorta good for you. Hmm. All Maine writers. Just a coincidence, but we do have a LOT of writers here.”
Mira Ptacin (“Poor My Soul”)
“My summer read (among several other books, as well as writing my next) is ‘The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley’ by Hannah Tinti.”
Elizabeth Strout (“Olive Kitteridge,” “Anything is Possible”)
“The Eastern” by Deborah Gould, about five families who settle on the Eastern River in Pittston.
I can attest to “A piece of the world,” “Into the Water,” “The Girls,” “Commonwealth” and “Another Brooklyn,” as all being more than worthy of your valuable summer time, especially “A piece of the world,” I can’t say enough good things about it. (And I am intrigued about the “obscure research” on pigs …)
Amy Canfield is an editor and, above all, a reader. She lives in South Portland.