Arts & Culture

Summer Reading List from McIntyre’s Books

To kick off our Summer Reading List, enjoy these recommendations from McIntyre's Books in Fearrington Village.

Our State's Summer Reading List presented by Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

The staff at McIntyre’s Books in Fearrington Village teamed up to provide you with our first summer reading list of the year. Keebe, Pete, Katherine, Brooks, and even Keebe’s daughter, Hazel, share their own summer reading picks with you.

From Keebe

Life After Life by Jill McCorkleLife After Life by Jill McCorkle
Any time Jill McCorkle has a new book, it is a cause for celebration. Jill’s novel Life After Life was 17 years in the making, and the wait was worth every minute. This novel had me laughing and crying and stunned I was missing so much life around me. You will not be disappointed.
Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria SempleWhere’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
A humorous musing on motherhood and being an artist and how things can so horrible go wrong in an instant (and keep on plowing downhill!). Semple turned to fiction after writing for such shows as “Arrested Development.” This fresh novel was one of the few books in a long time that gave me separation anxiety when I had to put it down and go to work.
Smile at Strangers and Other Lessons in the Art of Living Fearlessly by Susan SchornSmile at Strangers and Other Lessons in the Art of Living Fearlessly by Susan Schorn
Susan Schorn holds two black belts AND writes for McSweeney’s. Growing up, fear ruled her life until she decided no more. As I age I wonder what it would like to be able to be a ninja or be able to completely kick some backside. Susan can get deep, but does so with humor. If only my joints could still take it …
Smoke & Pickles: Recipes and Stories from a New Southern Kitchen by Edward LeeSmoke & Pickles: Recipes and Stories from a New Southern Kitchen by Edward Lee
Let me make this simple for you. Even if you don’t cook, this book is so worth your time. Top Chef alum and James Beard nominee Ed Lee can write as well as he cooks. A fascinating look into Ed Lee’s life and the inspiration/parallels he draws between Southern and Korean cuisines. I confess I feel tempted to enter stalkerdom by this book. Kimchi and collards, y’all!

From Pete

Music of Ghosts by Sallie BissellMy list begins not with a title, but an author by the name of Sallie Bissell, a mystery writer who splits her time between Asheville and Nashville. The series features attorney Mary Crow and the breathtaking beauty of the N.C. Mountains, which play a part in the plots as much as any crime. Filled with Indian lore and local history this is a must series for any N.C. mystery fan. With 5 books in the series, the latest being Music of Ghosts, Ms. Bissell can keep a reader entertained all summer long.
Junius and Albert's Adventures in the Confederacy: A Civil War Odyssey by Peter CarlsonJunius and Albert’s Adventures in The Confederacy: A Civil War Odyssey by Peter Carlson
Junius Browne and Albert Richardson were reporters captured outside of Vicksburg who then spent most of the remaining years shuffling from prison to prison until finally escaping from the notorious Salisbury Prison in Salisbury, N.C. With the aid of Northern sympathizers, they made their way across the mountains in the dead of winter in a trek that was amazing in both suffering and fortitude until finally meeting up with the Union Army in Tennessee. This is a fascinating look at a slice of the Civil War that is rarely commented upon.
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth OzekiA Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
This is an amazing novel about a diary that washes up on an Island thousands of miles from home. It is written by a young Japanese woman directly to the one who finds it and is her story, as well as the story of her family. It is also the story of Ruth, the woman who finds the diary, and her quest to learn the truth behind the words that are seemingly being spoken to her and the power they have on her life. This is easily the best book I’ve read yet this year.

From Brooks

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa DiffenbaughThe Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
The mystery and secret meaning of flowers save Victoria Jones, a young woman coming out of a very difficult childhood. She gradually discovers her gift for matching special flowers to specific people. She becomes much sought after for this talent. From foster care to the hope of her own family, you will be cheering for each step forward Victoria makes. You will look at flowers in a new way, too.

Young adult titles

From Katherine

Countdown by Deborah WilesCountdown by Deborah Wiles
Countdown is a FANTASTIC documentary novel that gives us a real snapshot of 1962. Franny Chapman just wants some peace — her friend has ditched her, her Uncle is having WWII flashbacks, the Civil Rights movement is happening AND there is so much fear surrounding the Cuban Missile crisis. Told through story, music lyrics, documentary photos, speeches, political cartoons, and civil defense propaganda. Very cool!
The Language Inside by Holly ThompsonThe Language Inside by Holly Thompson
Emma and her family move from home (Japan) to Lowell, MA. for cancer treatments (her Mom has breast cancer). Homesick and stressed (she gets migraines), Emma’s story is one of many cultures and friends, and she expands her world through dance, poetry, and volunteerism. There is a lot to love in this book!

From Hazel

The Fault in Our Starts by John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green
The Fault in Our Stars is an amazing story about a girl named Hazel’s fight with cancer and young love — such a great book! All my friends have read it.

About McIntyre’s Books

McIntyre's BooksMcIntyre’s Books is a twenty-four-year-old independent bookstore offering a wide selection with special emphasis on cooking, gardening, and books by local authors. We pride ourselves in being champion handsellers. In addition to fiction and non-fiction works, we specialize in mysteries. We’re also pleased to host one of the largest author and poet events programs in the South. Located in Fearrington Village, our destination shop near Chapel Hill is surrounded by restaurants, a spa, inn, and gardens.

McIntyre’s Books
2000 Fearrington Village Center
Pittsboro NC, 27312
Just minutes from Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, N.C.
(919) 542-3030

Read an Our State story about McIntyre’s Books.

About Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

Great Smoky Mountains RailroadSit back, relax, and let us do the driving! Hop on board the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad and adventure through a remote corner of western North Carolina into river gorges, across fertile valleys and through carved tunnels. In the spring the mountains bloom with extravagant color and wildlife lasting throughout the summer. As the season fades into fall a dramatic display of fiery sugar maples, buttery poplars and crimson oak begin taking center stage. As the mountains burst with color the cool crisp winter air ushers in the quiet and calm season of restoration, all in preparation of the cycle of beauty to begin again! The Smokies are a great place to be, and the best way to see it is by train!

Choose from a variety of excursions; including a Raft & Rail or Zip & Rail combinations, BBQ & BREWS Dinner Train, or one of our Premier Special Events like the DINOSAUR TRAIN™ coming this July! Travel in comfort and style with our First Class service on a vintage restored dinning car! First Class passengers receive a delicious lunch served by the car’s private attendant, a souvenir tumbler with unlimited fountain sodas and a GSMR embroidered gift tote bag. Ride in the Open Air Gondolas and take it all in as you breathe the fresh mountain air!

It’s time to ride the rails, and we are saving you a seat! All Aboard!

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
226 Everett Street
Bryson City, N.C. 28713
(800) 872-4681

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One Response to Summer Reading List from McIntyre’s Books

  1. Susan Albers says:

    This is a great idea! I really enjoyed the reviews, especially the ones by Hazel.

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