Your Community: Sizzling summer reads at Johnson County Library

Book holds lists rise alongside the temperatures as Johnson Countians are looking for that perfect summer read to take to the pool, to the lake, on the road for vacation or just to grab a bit of reading time between summer activities. Whatever you need, Johnson County Library always has great recommendations for you. Here are some upcoming sizzling summer reads to add to your holds list.

Full of secrets, lies, and just-this-close-to-over-the-top drama, “The Sinful Lives of Trophy Wives” (7/20) by Kristin Miller is a “Real Housewives” style summer read that will fit perfectly in your beach bag. Centered around a group of wealthy Bay Area wives, each guarding their place in high society and in possession of secrets they would almost kill to keep, things spiral quickly out of control in this juicy, addictive domestic thriller that will leave you (and your book group) breathless.

If you prefer your summer reads to be grab-you-by-the-throat sort, be sure to check out “Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby. The story centers around two determined ex-cons who seek vengeance and absolution after their two sons, who are married to each other, are found murdered. Cosby’s deft blue-collar characterization and powerful, high-octane prose will thrill fans of Dennis Lehane, Walter Mosely and Don Winslow.

Readers can’t seem to get enough of World War II novels. If you love that era of historical fiction, place a hold on “Radar Girls” by Sara Ackerman. Based on the Women’s Air Raid Defense, a civilian group that helped the U.S. military monitor the skies over the Pacific after the war began, this novel is about a young woman who joins the WARD to contribute to the war effort, and must not only prove her worth but finds her calling amongst the smart, driven and courageous colleagues around her.

The Library frequently gets requests for “up lit” novels. A term for novels mostly about the unexpected connection that characters make to those around them and leave readers with a warm, fuzzy feeling that keeps them coming back for more. Be sure to keep your eye on “The Reading List” by Sara Nisha Adams. A heartwarming story about two isolated Londoners who make a connection based on a reading list tucked in the back of a library book.

If you’re the sort of reader who likes their novels as spicy and hot as barbecue on an August afternoon, be sure to grab “The Heart Principle” by Helen Hoang, a steamy and heartfelt romance from the author of “The Kiss Quotient”. Here, a violinist is suffering from career (and dating) burnout and swears off any sort of deep entanglements, until she meets a motorcyclist who offers a different perspective, especially when he’s there for her after a personal tragedy.

If your book group wants a sure-fire selection, try “Once There Were Wolves” by Charlotte McConaghy. The author of 2020’s word-of-mouth hit “Migrations” is back with a story about a team of scientists set on reintroducing wolves to the Scottish Highlands. However, when a farmer is found dead, the wolves are to blame and one woman must make a heartrending choice to save (or destroy) the animals she values so much. Ripe for discussion, this atmospheric and lyrical novel plumbs the depths of human experience and will be the talk of your book group.

For more recommendations, visit the We Recommend page on

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