Local authors share their favorite summer books 

What the Writers Read

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We tapped our favorite local authors to find out what they're reading this summer. From a book about human trafficking to classics like Franny and Zooey, their choices just might surprise you.

Bret Lott, author of Ancient Highway, Jewel

Lisbon: War in the Shadows of the City of Light, 1939-1945 by Neill Lochery

Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee by Charles J. Shield

Best American Travel Writing 2012

Band of Brothers by Steven Ambrose (second time)
"I don't really read a whole lot of fiction anymore, preferring instead to find out what really happened. I've also gotten to the age where I don't have to read new things all the time. I'm enjoying quite a great deal re-reading favorite books."

Brad Taylor, author of One Rough Man and All Necessary Force

Stolen Prey by John Sandford. "Sandford was as enjoyable as ever. Great twists and solid pacing. I'll read anything he writes."

Mary Alice Monroe, author of The Butterfly's Daughter and The Beach House

The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers. "[It] is a classic, but I've never read this one. I'd seen the movie many years ago, and thought it was time to read the source."

Jonathan Sanchez, author of the short story collection Bandit and owner of Blue Bicycle Books

Franny and Zooey by JD Salinger. "I'm about 10 pages away from ending Franny and Zooey. It's a good one to re-read because I recall the ending as a little trite (only because of hindsight — at the time the fusion of Buddhism and Christianity was very original, I suppose), and so you end your first reading and kind of forget how great it is."

Nicole Seitz, author of Beyond Molasses Creek and Inheritance of Beauty

Love is Two People Talking by Charles H. Banov. "A novel I devoured in one sitting ... When an 80-year-old widower with Parkinson's moves in with his 25-year-old granddaughter with Rett Syndrome, a severe form of autism, he finds that as his disease progresses, an unexpected blessing is found in the unusual bond he forms with her."

Passports Through Darkness by Kimberly L. Smith. "It's the true story of a regular American mom who answers God's call to fight human trafficking in Europe and Africa. Stunning and stirring."

Marjory Wentworth, South Carolina's poet laureate and author of The Endless Repetition of an Ordinary Miracle

Mirror's Fathom by Sheridan Hough. "Sheridan teaches philosophy at the College of Charleston, and this story is tied to Kierkegaard in fascinating ways. The novel moves back and forth between two different centuries, and I am completely swept up in it."

The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obrecht. "I'd read so much about the book and this very young writer that I was afraid it wouldn't meet my expectations. It was quite the opposite. What a fantastic novel."

Kwame Alexander, author of Acoustic Rooster and creator of the Bookinaday (BID) writing and publishing program

October Mourning by Leslea Newman. "[It] is about the Matthew Shepard tragedy. The different narrators blew me away. The fence even writes a poem. Grade: A+."

Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones. "[I'm reading] Tayari Jones' acclaimed novel Silver Sparrow for three reasons: 1. The first line is killer: "My father was a bigamist." 2. I've got to finish revisions on a young adult novel (a love story set in Charleston) by Aug. 1 and I like reading good novels when I'm trying to write one, and 3. I will be at a writing fellowship in Brazil this summer and Tayari is one of the other fellows and I'm gonna feel like a chump if I haven't read her book."

Josephine Humphreys, author of Rich in Love and Dreams of Sleep

The Impact of the Haitian Revolution in the Carolina Lowcountry and the Atlantic World by David Geggus. "My summer reading list consists mostly of books about colonial Haiti ... It's totally absorbing, an academic work but compelling and really relevant to our history."

Kami Garcia, co-author of the Beautiful Creatures novels

On Dark Heart by Holly Black. "Holly Black is a genius and one of the best writers in young adult, period. The Curse Workers series takes place in a world of supernatural organized crime, and there's plenty of romance too."

Quarantine by Lex Thomas. "What would happen if a high school full of kids were locked in their school with no adults? Quarantine answers that question, and then some. It's a cross between Lord of the Flies and The Breakfast Club, and it will blow you away."

Margaret Stohl, co-author of the Beautiful Creatures novels

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore. "I'm a huge fan of this author. She's so emotional I find myself almost crying the entire way through her books even when they aren't sad. I read this and loved it."

Serpent's Kiss by Melissa de la Cruz. "I loved this sequel — love witches, love the folklore, love Mel, and love the chic and breezy Hamptons vibe Mel is so famous for."


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