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Arts & Culture

Top Local Reads For Summer 2011

June 29, 2011 9:00 AM

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(credit:  Phran Novelli)

(credit: Phran Novelli)

Here are some pointers for summer reading with an eye toward local themes and authors. A tip of the hat to the Free Library of Philadelphia for help on this list. - John Ostapkovich, KYW Newsradio

Fiction out now:

Lorene Cary – If Sons, Then Heirs

A Philadelphia man returns to his Southern roots to take care of his great-grandmother in her old age. What he finds instead is a web of family secrets, racist inheritance laws and a hornet’s nest of violence.

Duane Swierczynski – Fun and Games

This pulp thriller (from an author whose day job is writing Marvel Comics!) follows an ex-cop still reeling from the murder of his former partner’s family who finds himself protecting a paranoid B-movie actress from hit-men. Is it paranoia when people really are out to get you?

Rachel Simon – Beautiful Girl

Set in 1968, this novel focuses on two people with disabilities who escape from a grim institution. The woman, who is white, gives birth to a child by her black lover, and hands the baby off to a kind woman just before she’s recaptured. The man eludes pursuit, thus establishing the beginning of a 40-year odyssey.

Jack McDevitt – Time Travelers Never Die

A Philadelphia man’s father disappears and he discovers the incredible reason why: palm-sized time machines. The characters pop around through the centuries, peeling back standard time-travel tropes in an attempt to not only find Dad, but to save themselves from their own mistakes.

Larry Kane – Death by Deadline

This e-book by the “dean” of Philadelphia TV anchormen takes you inside the tightly-wrapped world of local news where ambition, manipulation, budget cuts and arrogance push Philadelphia toward a trip-wire of panic and an avalanche of hurt.

Fiction out soon:

Jennifer Weiner – Then Came You – Out July 12, 2011

A tale of tenderness and humor that centers on four women begun when one, who is not who she claims to be, wants a baby with her new husband, and that man’s daughter smells a rat.

Non-fiction out now:

Michael Capuzzo – The Murder Room

New in paperback, this book profiles the Vidocq Society, a Philadelphia-based association of the world’s greatest criminal investigators, who take on and sometimes break some of the most-baffling cold cases. The Murder Room offers up uncanny insights into the nature of evil and the behavior of lawbreakers.

Gino Segre – Ordinary Geniuses: Max Delbruck, George Gamow, and the Origins of Genomics and Big Bang Cosmology

This is the story of two friends in the small world of genetics who were catalysts for the discovery and out-of-this-world study of the birth of the universe.

Non-fiction out soon:

Jerry Blavat – You Only Rock Once: My Life in Music - Out July 26, 2011

The “Geator with the Heater” and “The Boss with the Hot Sauce” retraces his entertainment roots from American Bandstand through a 50 year radio career, and how his friendships with top performers like Frank Sinatra led to a proximity to the Mob that put him in the FBI’s orbit.

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