More than a beach book: Our guide to summer reading -
Published Friday, June 21, 2013 at 1:00 am / Updated at 9:39 am
More than a beach book: Our guide to summer reading

As summer starts today, it's time to kick back and relax on your porch with a brand new book. But, which ones should you crack open first? We talked to some locals who know what's up in the literary world and may make your choice a little more simple.

Amanda Lynch, co-owner of Jackson Street Booksellers

“Kafka on the Shore” by Haruki Murakami. “It's a really well told fantastical story.”

“Ask the Dust” by John Fante. “It's a very fun, man-against-the-world story.”

"Little Big Man” by Thomas Berger. “It's historical fiction ... It's the colonization of the west from the Native American point of view and it's very funny. It was made into a really good movie.”

Beth Black, owner of The Bookworm

“Inferno” by Dan Brown. “He's not a formula writer, but it follows the same Indiana Jones kind of uncovering of art world — it's good fun reading.”

“And the Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini. “It's typical Hosseini. ... It's not just about love relationships, it's about family relationships and friend relationships. (He's) just a great writer.”

“Ladies' Night” by Mary Kay Andrews. “It's what we call good beach reading. You learn a little bit, but they don't tax your brain. There is a little element of romance, a little element of mystery.”

Kate Birkel, owner of The Mystery Bookstore — A Stitch in Crime

Birkel recommends that if you embark on a mystery series, you start at the very beginning, because otherwise it will be hard to keep up. “You won't know the players unless you have a score card,” she said.

“Instruments of Darkness” by Imogen Robertson. “There's a whole swarth of (books) coming out about the beginning of Forensics. ... I found the characters very interesting and I found the mystery very interesting. The background, she fleshed it out very well and she shot to the head of my 'must be read now' list.”

“Ender's Game” by Orson Scott Card. “It's very, very different. The movie is coming out this summer with Harrison Ford playing one of the characters. ... It's the ultimate us vs. them — I like the writing, it was not the usual bug-eyed monster book. “

"Foreigner" by C.J. Cherryh. “Her aliens are always alien — they're not gussied up humanoids.”

Teresa Shane, Omaha Public Library employee in Collection Development

“Visit Sunny Chernobyl” by Andrew Blackwell. “It's just hysterically funny, it deserves to be well-read. It's thought-provoking and it's eye-catching.”

“Tender: A Cook and his Vegetable Patch” by Nigel Slater. “It's not huge and it doesn't take itself really seriously, and the vegetables are easily acquired. There's nothing in there that requires a great deal of thought. The food is fresh and accessible and not scary to make.”

“Silver: Return to Treasure Island” by Andrew Motion. “I'm not always a fan of people who rewrite classics for a lot of reasons. They are using someone else's characters and basing it on somebody else's story. You're stealing from that person who has been dead for 100 years. But where (Motion) started with Jim Hawkins and Long John Silver was just a start off. These characters have developed all on their own.”

“The Dog Stars” by Peter Heller. “Truly one of the best books I read last year.”


Kendra Galante — “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg, “And the Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini and A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin

Justine Davis — “Inferno” by Dan Brown

Bill Kos — “The Emperor of all Maladies: A Biography of Cancer” by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Laura Simonon — “In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin” by Erik Larson and “Fault in Our Stars” by John Green

Contact the writer: Andrea Kszystyniak    |   402-444-1149    |  

Andrea writes about local entertainment and events for

Read more stories by Andrea

6 tips for preventing pink eye
Ladies Home Journal ceasing subscription service
Learn about the weather at momaha’s story time Friday
Archives: So many wonderful old Omaha photos
Quilt created by Karen refugees in Lincoln showcases memories of homeland, dreams for future
Annie, I ditched my sister and, for some reason, she's mad at me
Review: Many winners in premiere of artists’ battle tale
'Ramona' rings true for actor, drama teacher
Big weekend ahead for Nebraska Wind Symphony
One father's tale of overcoming infertility
Annie, My 12-year-old grandson insists on sleeping with Grammie
Omaha woman, 30, battling breast cancer for third time
For World Book Night, some Omahans prepare to hand out free reads
Earth Day: A change in habits can help the planet
‘Wonder Bread Years’: Tickets on sale now for salute to baby boomer generation
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium going greener
Annie Mailbox: My daughter will quit smoking if I lose weight
Win a Mommy Makeover!
Why two hotshots ditched six-figure salaries for a life of less
Jeff Corwin hopes to build connection with nature at Nebraska Science Festival
Annie, when that girl's hitting the bottle, look out
Blair High senior shows his love of pi by memorizing 1,381 digits
Jon Stewart might be real king of late night
'Tis soon Talk Like Shakespeare Day; hence be mirthful!
Can't find your pet? Social media is there to help
< >
Deadline Deal thumbnail
7M Grill
Half Off Delicious Comfort Fusion Food & Drinks!
Buy Now
Jump to a blog:
< >
We Love Weddings blog
W.E. Love Weddings is about everything Omaha and everything weddings by the editors of Wedding Essentials Magazine.
Weddings and engagements
Share your exciting news with your community by placing an announcement today.
Inspired Home Omaha magazine
Sign up today to get the latest edition of Omaha's best magazine for local living, home entertainment, fashion and travel!
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »