Our State's Summer Reading List

The staff at McIntyre’s Books at Fearrington Village teamed up to provide our fourth summer reading list. Keebe Fitch, Pete Mock, Katherine Pinard, and Amy Allen share their own summer reading picks with you.

From the Staff

Stand Up That Mountain by Jay Leutze
I think we have a first this year! We have three staffers (Pete, Katherine and Keebe) who all heartily recommend Leutze’s memoir about trying to save a fragile, unique, and biologically diverse piece of land in the North Carolina mountains from a sketchy miner who plans to grind down the mountain to aid his paving business. A love of place infuses this story, which is suspenseful and told with a dose of deprecating humor. Hard to put down!

From Pete Mock, Book Buyer and Mystery Guru

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
I’ve always liked Gillian Flynn, from her first book, the creepy good Sharp Objects, to this one, the scintillating psychological thriller Gone Girl. No matter how smart I thought I was in attempting to solve this twisted tale of love and marriage, invariably my hypotheses were thrown out the window. She had me doubting myself all the way to the end, which is nothing new when reading Gillian Flynn. In her books, nothing is as it seems.
The Floor of Heaven: A True Tale of the Last Frontier and the Yukon Gold Rush by Howard Blum
When the dog days of summer hit, this is the perfect book to cool off with. An excellent narrative history in the vein of Erik Larson, this is the story of three men emblematic of the wild 1890’s; a Pinkerton detective sent to Alaska to solve a mysterious gold theft, a Denver crime boss kicked out of town, and, last but not least, an eccentric young American who kicked off the actual gold rush. There is a scene with a whale and the Pinkerton agent I will never forget. Plus, the descriptions of Alaskan winters, combined with a good imagination, make for a perfect read when the thermometer hits 100.

From Katherine Pinard, Bookseller

Accidental Birds of the Carolinas by Marjorie Hudson
This story collection marvelously captures “home” in “the Southern part of Heaven,” for so many of us who have migrated to North Carolina from afar. One feels the morning mist, smells the pungent woods, and hears the sweet birdsong. A love song sung by a variety of (human) birds – each story with its distinct, pure voice.
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (for grades 3-7)
I laughed. I cried. My stomach tensed with longing for a just resolution. Ivan the one & only is a silverback gorilla who radiates hope, fulfills his promise, and spectacularly saves the day. A brilliant mix of stunning friendship, heartbreaking cruelty, and a story of growing into who we are meant to be.
The Fault In Our Stars by John Green (for mature teens and adults)
Filled with humor and tragedy, Green tells a story of loving madly, dreaming deeply and living fully. Teenagers Hazel and Augustus meet in a cancer support group, fall in love and change one another’s lives in a profound way. John Green creates fantastic dialog and digs deep into universal themes with wit and honesty.

From Keebe Fitch, Shop Manager

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
Cheryl Strayed is falling apart after the death of her mother and starts dabbling in heroin when she decides to literally to take the walk of her life on the Pacific Crest Trail. She covers more than 1100 miles from the Mojave Desert to Washington State.
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
I couldn’t wait to (re)read this book with my 13-year-old this summer and loving this return to Holden Caulfield’s world. I’m delighted she seems to be as taken with the book as I was the first time I read it. I’m hoping to also read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.

From Amy Allen, Bookseller

Bossypants by Tina Fey
Tina Fey’s hilarious memoir is out in paperback! I laughed out loud on the very first page as Tina tells about a painfully awkward childhood, her days acting and writing on “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock,” and her experiences as a first time mother.

About McIntyre’s Books

McIntyre’s Books is an independent bookstore offering a wide selection with special emphasis on cooking, gardening and books by local authors – a collection that aptly reflects Fearrington itself. In addition to fiction and non-fiction works, it also holds an extensive mystery section. McIntyre’s offers an English library setting with a fireplace, upholstered chairs and cozy rooms perfect for browsing. It also plays to host one of the largest author and poet events programs in the South.

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

About Asheville School

Our State‘s summer reading list is proudly presented by Asheville School. Since its founding more than a century ago, Asheville School has been preparing high school students with an education for a lifetime. An academic experience for students in grades 9 through 12 focuses on a traditional core curriculum, and challenges young men and women, while giving them the foundation to become better thinkers and communicators. As one of the nation’s leading co-ed college preparatory boarding schools, Asheville School teaches students respect and responsibility to others and one’s self. The 275 students represent 24 states and 13 countries, and learn in a nurturing, close-knit community set on a campus of 300 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, N.C. Recent graduates are attending Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Cornell, Caltech, UNC-Chapel Hill, Davidson, Duke, University of Virginia, Furman, Emory, NC State, and Wake Forest, among others. For more information, visit ashevilleschool.org, call (828) 254-6345, or email admission@ashevilleschool.org.

Want email notification of new Summer Reading Lists?

Simply enter your email to subscribe to any of Our State‘s email newsletters, including our Summer Reading Lists. If you already receive emails from Our State, upon entering your email address below, you will receive a secure message allowing you edit your profile and change or add newsletters you’d like to receive.

Enter your email address to sign up for Our State Emails!

This story was published on

Since 1933, Our State has shared stories about North Carolina with readers both in state and around the world. We celebrate the people and places that make this state great. From the mountains to the coast, we feature North Carolina travel, history, food, and beautiful scenic photography.

Mail Pin Share