Now that summer is clearly upon us and the weather is warming up, it is once again time to make reading an outside activity. In my opinion, there isn't anything more relaxing...assuming the mosquitos are in check!  Luckily, there are all kinds of great new and forthcoming releases to choose from. Here are a few books that are on my radar for summer reading. 

Dopesick is set to be the Hillbilly Elegy of 2018. Beth Macy, a New York Times bestselling author and journalist, takes readers into the epicenter of America's twenty-plus year struggle with opioid addiction. Through unsparing, yet deeply human portraits of the families and first responders struggling in the midst of this epidemic, she brings each facet of this crisis into sharp focus. If you like to read about timely social issues, Dopesick should be a good one to look out for. 

In a similar vein is the novel Ohio by Stephen Markley. It is literary fiction that is set in a small town in northeastern Ohio—a region ravaged by the Great Recession and the opioid crisis. It depicts one fateful summer night in 2013 when four former classmates converge on their downtrodden hometown, all haunted by the ghosts of their shared histories.

Conservational, reflective, sardonic, weird – these are the best words to describe David Sedaris. He’s not for everyone, but those who love him love him. I, for one, cannot wait to get my hands on the audiobook format of Calypso, his latest collection of personal essays. Apparently it is even more revealing than his previous books, filled with intimate memories from his bizarre upbringing and family life. If you enjoyed Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls and Me Talk Pretty One Day, note that Calypso is being hyped as a must-read.

The Donner Party was a group of American pioneers who set out for California in a wagon train in May 1846. They were delayed by a series of mishaps and mistakes, and spent the winter of 1846–47 snowbound in the Sierra Nevada. Some of the pioneers resorted to cannibalism to survive. The Hunger by Alma Katsu is a supernatural reimagining of this haunting true story. I can’t imagine anything creepier!

Every Single Secret is the latest psychological suspense novel on my radar. It is getting rave reviews from readers and, apparently, has a shocking twist that is nearly impossible to predict. The story follows Daphne and her fiancé Heath who go on a retreat for couples. Both of them have had troubled childhoods and are keeping secrets from one another. The house where the retreat is being held is old and creepy and the psychologist giving the therapy is not as he seems. Plenty of menacing twists are sure to ensue!

Another suspense novel (but one that also qualifies as women’s fiction) is Not Her Daughter by Rea Frey. It is about a kidnapping from the perspective of the mother of the stolen girl and the kidnapper herself. Which person is better: the biological mother who is abusive or the woman who believes she has the right to kidnap a child? Who is right in the end? It sounds like a good discussion for book clubs!

In Can-Lit, I have my eye on No Good Asking by Fran Kimmel. It will be released in October, but I have an advance reader copy ready to go. It is about a family that is grappling with their failed hopes and dreams. One day, they agree to take in a girl found wandering alone in their neighbourhood – and quickly find their lives transformed.

All of these titles are available to be reserved from your branch of the County of Lennox & Addington Libraries or online at

This article was originally published in the Napanee Guide.