Jul 18, 2023 | From Nick Recommended Reads for Summer

Around this time of year, I seem to get more requests than usual for book recommendations and while there are some fantastic new releases out this year, I’ve put together a short list for this summer with six of my perennial favorites. Below you will find a wide range of recommendations including a nonfiction book, a book for all ages and a book that is considered all around the world to be the greatest novel of all time (and I agree!).

Sincerely Yours,

Nicholas Sparks

Dear Life by Alice Munro
If you don’t have long stretches of time to read this summer, short story collections are the perfect solution and I highly recommend this collection. Each story pinpoints the moment a person is forever altered by a chance encounter, an action not taken or a simple twist of fate. These are terrific stories by an amazing talent, a writer so good I learn something new with every story.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
If you have yet to read this wonderful novel, do yourself a favor and do so. It’s original and captivating, and I simply adored Enzo (the narrator … who also happens to be a dog). It tells the story of a particular family, with twists and turns that keep the pages turning. It’s a perfect read for a rainy afternoon or while laying in bed, the kind of novel that you’ll remember long after you’ve finished.

The Passage Trilogy by Justin Cronin
In his Passage trilogy, Cronin combines two classic and overused literary elements–vampires and the end of the world–and spins them into something entirely fresh and new. It’s an amazing accomplishment. These are nothing like the kind of novels I write and I can understand if some of my readers might not be immediately drawn to fiction with Sci-Fi and Dystopian elements but, the series is so well done, I promise you that it transcends any stereotypes you may have about the genres. 

Wonder by R.J. Palacio
If you’ve had this sitting in your to-be-read pile for years and still haven’t picked it up yet, I hope you will this summer. It is a wonderful read that can be enjoyed by all ages.

The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance by David Epstein
As a former college athlete, I found this investigation into what makes great athletes absolutely fascinating. David Epstein shows that there’s a lot of complicated middle ground to explore when it comes to the question of nature versus nurture. This is a great all-around nonfiction selection and you do not need to be an athlete or sports fan to enjoy it. 

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, translated by Edith Grossman
Originally published in two parts in the years 1605 and 1615, I could understand why many readers may be skeptical of enjoying Don Quixote today but the themes of this epic novel are truly timeless. With elements of adventure, satire, romance, drama, comedy, friendship and tragedy, it is widely thought of as the world’s first, modern novel and, in many opinions, the best novel of all time. Read it, and see if you agree!

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