Summer reading: 60 titles for 92 days

(For The Times)


Adventures of a Cat-Whiskered Girl
Daniel Pinkwater
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pinkwater brings a magical realist perspective to YA fiction in the third volume of the series that begins with “The Yggyssey” and “The Neddiad.”

The Clock Without a Face
Gus Twintig
This fable for kids includes riddles and a real-life treasure hunt: Nine of the 12 emerald-encrusted clock numbers buried across the U.S. remain to be found.

Hoover Dam and the Making of the American Century
Michael Hiltzik
Free Press

A history of Hoover Dam by The Times’ Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist.


Extra Lives
Why Video Games Matter
Tom Bissell

A look at video gaming from the inside — by the award-winning author of “The Father of All Things.”

Lost Souls
Dean Koontz

A spin on the gothic masterpiece has the scientist plotting to use stem cells and nanotechnology to create a superhuman race.

Freedom Summer
The Savage Season That Made Mississippi Burn and Made America a Democracy
Bruce Watson

A look back at the most violent time and place of the Civil Rights movement — Mississippi in the summer of 1964.

Furious Love
Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and the Marriage of the Century
Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger

Chronicle of the 50-megaton relationship of Burton and Taylor.

Go, Mutants!
A Novel
Larry Doyle

What happened to the offspring of all those aliens who invaded Earth in 1950s science fiction movies? They grew up on Earth and went to school, of course.

The Hour
A Cocktail Manifesto
Bernard DeVoto
Tin House

A reissue of a 1950 concoction — one part celebration, one part history, two parts manifesto.

How Did You Get This Number?
Sloane Crosley

A second volume of humorous essays by the author of “I Was Told There’d Be Cake.”

The Hundred Year Diet
America’s Voracious Appetite for Losing Weight
Susan Yager

Where did this nation’s caloric quest come from? The author wants to know.


I Know I Am, but What Are You?
Samantha Bee

Essays by “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” correspondent and comedian.

Imperial Bedrooms
A Novel
Bret Easton Ellis
Alfred A. Knopf

The characters of “Less Than Zero” are approaching middle age — and are just as disillusioned and tormented as they were 25 years ago.

In My Father’s House
A Novel
E. Lynn Harris
St. Martin’s

A hot Miami modeling agency is the scene of the late author’s final novel.

A Novel
Meg Cabot
William Morrow

Vampires take over more than the storyline for a New York City soap opera writer.


Jung the Mystic
Gary Lachman

How the Swiss psychologist lived a life rich in the paranormal.

A Novel
China Miéville
Del Rey

A prize squid specimen in London’s Natural History Museum disappears. Was it stolen, or is it a god?

The Lion
A Novel
Nelson DeMille
Grand Central

Asad Khalil — a.k.a. international terrorist the Lion — returns and federal agent John Corey is hot on his trail.

Nine Lives
In Search of the Sacred in Modern India
William Dalrymple
Alfred A. Knopf

Followers of the subcontinent’s many and varied religions together weave a portrait of the country.


The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
A Novel
Aimee Bender

Bender’s second novel involves a girl who cannot eat without tasting the emotions of whoever prepared the food.

Role Models
John Waters
Farrar, Straus & Giroux

The filmmaker offers his gallery of icons — and breaks a few taboos in the process.

Smothered in Hugs
Dennis Cooper

The first collection of essays and cultural criticism by Los Angeles’ own dark genius.

The Spot
David Means
Farrar, Straus & Giroux

New short stories from an L.A. Times Book Prize winner.


Telling Times
Writing and Living, 1954-2008
Nadine Gordimer
W.W. Norton

A collection of autobiography, travel pieces, dispatches on the horrors of apartheid and literary essays by the Nobel laureate.

This Is Where We Live
A Novel
Janelle Brown
Spiegel & Grau

The author of “All We Ever Wanted Was Everything” looks at a marriage under pressure in bohemian L.A.

You Never Give Me Your Money
The Beatles After the Breakup
Peter Doggett
The story of the aftermath of the greatest band in the history of rock ‘n’ roll.



The Cookbook Collector
A Novel
Allegra Goodman
Dial Press

Goodman’s new novel revolves around two sisters in their 20s, one practical and the other a romantic, as they come together and drift apart.

Dear Darkness
Kevin Young
Alfred A. Knopf

Not for the meek or indifferent: poetry (in a paperback reissue) full of attitude and brazen insights.

The Disappearing Spoon
And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World From the Periodic Table of the Elements
Sam Kean
Little, Brown

That mystifying chart on the wall in high school chem class, decoded.

Discord’s Apple
A Novel
Carrie Vaughn
Tom Doherty/Tor

Why is a dying man hiding wondrous objects from myth and legend in his basement?


The Four Fingers of Death
A Novel
Rick Moody
Little, Brown

Moody’s genre-bending story follows a down-and-out writer working on a novelization of a horror movie remake and, in the process, telling the story of his times.

Fur, Fortune, and Empire
The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America
Eric Jay Dolin
W.W. Norton

From Henry Hudson through Manifest Destiny, the story of the fur trade is the story of America.

Golden Gate
The Life and Times of America’s Greatest Bridge
Kevin Starr
Bloomsbury Press

A paean to an enduring symbol of California.


Memory Wall
Anthony Doerr

Six stories by an author whose work Dave Eggers has called “gloriously alive and absolutely indelible.”

Rickwood Field
A Century in America’s Oldest Ballpark
Allen Barra
W.W. Norton

Built in 1910 — two years before Boston’s Fenway Park — Rickwood Field is a lens onto both America’s future and its past.

Don Winslow
Simon & Schuster

Set in Laguna Beach, Winslow’s 12th novel involves a local pot-growing operation that goes up against the Mexican cartel.

Super Sad True Love Story
A Novel
Gary Shteyngart
Random House

An ingenious satire of America in decline: a nation obsessed with life extension and homeland security, betrayed by technology and utterly trivialized.


The Taken
A Novel
Inger Ash Wolfe
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

The second mystery, by the pseudononymous author, about detective inspector Hazel Micallef.

Talking to Girls About Duran Duran
One Young Man’s Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut
Rob Sheffield

A look at music, memory and what the songs of our youth mean to us.

The Thieves of Manhattan
A Novel
Adam Langer
Spiegel & Grau

An aspiring writer, jealous of his girlfriend’s literary success, decides to fake a memoir, only to see his simple plan become increasingly complex.

This Must Be the Place
A Novel
Kate Racculia
Henry Holt

A new tenant in a boarding house brings unexpected upheaval — and unexpected connections as well.


The Transformation of Batholomew Fortuno
A Novel
Ellen Bryson
Henry Holt

The world’s thinnest man finds success with P.T. Barnum, only to become bored, until a mysterious woman arrives.


Charlie Chan
The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous With American History
Yunte Huang
W.W. Norton

The story of the first Chinese American detective on the Honolulu Police Force (the model for the character of Charlie Chan) and an investigation into race and popular culture.

City of Veils
A Novel
Zoë Ferraris
Little, Brown

Set in Saudi Arabia, this mystery is a followup to “Finding Nouf,” which won the 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for first fiction.


Roseanne Cash

The first daughter of country music tells her story.

The Cross of Redemption
Uncollected Writings
James Baldwin
Edited and with an Introduction by Randall Kenan

Essays, letters and reviews — none of them ever previously collected — by America’s master chronicler of race and identity, who died in 1987.

Milan Kundera

Essays in which Kundera argues for the importance of art in giving us connections and context, which our world often wants us to set aside.

The Fall of the House of Walworth
A Tale of Murder and Madness in Saratoga’s Gilded Age
Geoffrey O’Brien
Henry Holt

O’Brien turns his acute eye onto a scandalous story of the 1870s, an act of patricide that destroyed a prominent family after the Civil War.


A Novel
Jonathan Franzen
Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Walter and Patty Berglund were once ideal parents, progressive thinkers and model citizens. So why, years later, have they had a 180-degree reversal? What happened?

Robert E. Wright

The title of this book, which looks at the U.S. economy’s poor health, really says it all, doesn’t it?

A Novel
Anne Fortier

A young woman searches for the history of her ancestor Giulietta, inspiration for Shakespeare’s play about star-crossed lovers.

Let’s Take the Long Way Home
Gail Caldwell
Random House

A former book critic for the Boston Globe, Caldwell here looks at her friendship with journalist Caroline Knapp, who died of lung cancer in 2002.


My Hollywood
A Novel
Mona Simpson
Alfred A. Knopf

A story of mothers and nannies on L.A.'s Westside — the first novel in 10 years by the author of “Anywhere but Here.”

Packing for Mars
The Curious Science of Life in the Void
Mary Roach
W.W. Norton

The author of “Stiff” and “Bonk” turns her gently ironic eye toward the mysteries of space travel.

The Red Queen
A Novel
Philippa Gregory

The Wars of the Roses from the p.o.v. of Henry VII’s mother, who shows her true colors in wanting to place her son on the English throne.

Taslima Nasrin, translated by Honor Moore
Feminist Press

A Bangaleshi tale of love, betrayal, lust and consequences.


Rich Boy
A Novel
Sharon Pomerantz

A working-class Philadelphia youth makes it to the highest circles of New York society, only to find you never really can leave home.

The Twilight of the Bombs
Recent Challenges, New Dangers, and the Prospects for a World Without Nuclear Weapons
Richard Rhodes
Alfred A. Knopf

From the author of “The Making of the Atomic Bomb,” an examination of nuclear challenges facing a post-Cold War world.

Washington Rules
Andrew J. Bacevich

The retired colonel asks: Is America’s armed global presence because of security needs or just to help feed our cheap consumer habits?

You Lost Me There
Rosecrans Baldwin

A thoughtful story of an Alzheimer’s researcher who discovers that his deceased wife’s perception of their marriage was greatly at odds with his memories.