Favorite Authors Reading This Summer…


This series will most definitely morph into “what our favorite authors are reading this fall” but for now we’re still on summer. Luckily! Enjoy this latest installment.

Kate Manning author of My Notorious Life (0ut in paperback August 5th)

“…for your delirious celebration of books and writers and reading and literacy. It’s just contagious and inspiring, and may I say…crucial?” -K.M.

Reading now- “ Euphoria by Lily King, a drop-dead gorgeous novel, based on a real person. A complicated, extraordinary woman. It’s making me jealous, and also euphoric, because it’s so good. I hardly ever say that, because I’m the picky-eater of readers, so, coming from me, that’s a recommendation.”

Next up- “I want to re-read Martyr’s Crossing by my friend Amy Wilentz, set on the border between Israel and Palestine in the 90s. It’s a moving story that really pulls you in –and at the same time gives a context to the current conflict in Gaza. Also, here are two terrific novels I just finished:

What is Visible, by Kimberly Elkins. It’s based on the true story of Laura Bridgman, who was deaf, must and blind, but who gained the use of language–reading and writing –fifty years before Helen Keller. Rich history, amazing story, beautifully told. And then there’s In The Wolf’s Mouth, by a British writer, Adam Foulds, about World War Two. Foulds is a poet who’s been nominated for the Booker Award. He’s a beautiful stylist, and his old war stories have bearing on our own conflicts. I reviewed both of these for the Washington Post and am eager to recommend these writers and these two novels.”

Working on – “Lots of non-fiction, especially about the history of reproductive rights in the 19th century, some book reviews, bits of memoir. And…a new novel–but I am under orders from higher-ups (my boss/me/myself) not to talk about it or I will be forced to eat my words (and there are a lot of then, so, I’m really hoping not to do that).”


kate’s Facebook page

twitter- @KateManning10


Pamela Moses author of The Appetites Of Girls

Reading now- ” The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. Rereading sections of The Lowlands by Jhumpa Lahiri , whose stories and books I return to again and again.”

Up next- “Evergreen by Rebecca Rasmussen. Rebecca so very kindly wrote such a beautiful blurb for my book that I cried when I first read it; but will be reading Evergreen, not out of gratitude or a sense of obligation, but because I adored The Bird Sisters, her first book–it is just gorgeously written –and I have been waiting many months for Rebecca’s second novel!”

Working on- “At the moment, I am focusing on publicity for my first book, The Appetites Of Girls (published June 26th), though I though I have a fairly detailed outline for the second. I am one of those authors who prefers not to divulge much about a writing project in its earliest stages–not because I’m superstitious but because I find, in talking about it, I lose a bit of the magic that happens that happens when it’s still a secret. I can share that the book will be, in part, a love story. How’s that for vague!”




Amy Bloom author of Lucky Us ( on sale July 29th!)


“Am I having fits, between moving, unpacking and renovation on an old house and a book tour, so I will mostly be reading the backs of cereal boxes, when I can marshal my resources, all of the superb Val McDermid.”

(with permission from Amy to post )


Facebook page

twitter- @AmyBloomBooks 


Ellen Sussman author of A Wedding In Provence

Reading now- “Bobcat and Other Stories by Rebecca Lee . Best story collection I have read in a long while”

Up next- “A Replacement Life by Boris Fishman. I read this new novel in an early draft. It’s the literary hit of the season and I’m looking forward to a fresh read on it.”

Working on- “I have the first inkling of a new idea. I started a few months ago and trashed it –not big enough. Now I’ve taken a three month writing sabbatical to fill the well. And I’m getting eager to write again. This new idea feels deep and complicated and juicy. I can’t wait to dig in.”



twitter – @ellensussman


Jessica Anya Blau author of The Wonder Bread Summer

Reading now- “I’m always reading more than one book at once. I just finished Let Me See It by James Magruder which I blurbed, but I read it so long ago and it’s so fabulous that I wanted to reread it. I also just finished Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe, which is a completely charming story told in letters that Nina wrote home when she was a nanny. Last night I started and finished Nine Years Under by Sheri Booker, who is also charming. It’s about her tie working in a funeral home in Baltimore. I’m in the middle of Elizabeth Gilbert’s The Signature Of All Things and I expect to finish it any day now.”

Next up- “Susan Col’s new book, The Stager. It’s getting great reviews, so I can’t wait to dig into it.”

Working on- “I’m working on a novel that’s currently titled, The Problem With Lexie. The novel grew out of a short story that was published with Shebooks . The more I write, the more I veer away from the original ideas in the story. The central crisis is the same, however. When I was in the shower this morning, I thought of a way to make things even worse for Lexie, harder and more messed up. Poor Lexie, I’m really giving her a difficult time in this book: she’s about to lose her job, her lover and her self-respect. (Also, I plied her with enough tequila to knock out a gorilla!)”



twitter -@JessicaAnyaBlau


One of the best parts about doing this series has been learning about so many new (to me ) authors. And so the list grows…








What Our Favorite Authors Are Reading This Summer-Extended Play


In case you’ve read everything on your summer list, here are some more winners to keep you going all summer long.

Anthony Breznican author of Brutal Youth

Reading now- “ Kaui Hart Hemmings THE POSSIBILITIES. It’s about a mother trying to put her life back together after her 22-year-old son dies in a skiing accident. She meets a young woman who’s a stranger to her, but was intimately close with her son. The story is laugh-out-loud hilarious, because the mother is trying to deal with her heartache with the kind of bravado you reserve for quickly tearing off band-aids. She’s blunt and unsentimental about grief, and the story is about trying to bridge the past and the future when you don’t have much present.”

Next up- ” I’m going to dive into Steve Brezenoff’s GUY IN REAL LIFE, a YA book about the slippery way we shape our identities when we’re young. You’ve got to figure out who you are before anyone can love you, but often we want it the other way around. From what I can tell, this novel explores technology and the anonymity it provides to tell a story about being careful about what you pretend to be.”

Working on- “E-mails. My personal writing is on hold while I do everything possible to get the word out about BRUTAL YOUTH. I’m a first-time novelist, but everyone with that title has only one dream: becoming a second-time novelist. I’d love to make this novel into a series, but right now I’m writing mainly to critics and book page editors in the hope of getting some ink for this dark coming-of-age tale of mine. I hope it makes people laugh. I hope it breaks their hearts, too. I hope, I hope.”



twitter- @breznican

Juliette Fay author of The Shortest Way Home

Reading now- The Painted Girls by Cathy Marie Buchanan

Next up- “I’m enjoying The Painted Girls so much I might just move on to Buchanan’s
The Day the Falls Stood Still. It’s either that or Off the Leash by
Matthew Gilbert.

Working on- “…a historical novel about a family of acrobats.”



twitter- @juliettefay

Melissa Senate author of The Love Goddess’ Cooking School

Reading now- ” EVERGREEN by Rebecca Rasmussen. Gorgeously written historical novel set in the wilds of Minnesota, about siblings who were separated and what happens when one finds the other.”

Next up- “OWEN’S DAUGHTER by Jo-Ann Mapson. Mapson has long been an auto-buy author for me. She writes it, I read it.”

Working on- “I’m in the idea stage of a new novel . . . For me, this process is magical and frustrating at the same time–frustrating because I feel the stir of something evocative and yesssss!-ish just beyond my grasp, about three generations of women, family connections, a century old family business and old family secrets, and the Maine coast, where I live. Magical because I feel that stir in the first place. Waiting and reading and thinking and pondering.”



twitter- @MelissaSenate


Judith Frank author of All I Love And Know

Reading now- “Susan Stinson’s Spider in a Tree, a historical novel about Jonathan Edwards and the Great Awakening, in 18th-century Northampton, MA. The subject matter might sound forbidding, but wow, this is a beautiful, luxuriant, generous-hearted novel. The historical feel is rich, textured, and believable, and I’m incredibly impressed by how Stinson pulls that off without calling attention to it; she settles into the novel’s idiom so completely and comfortably that all of its poetry feels utterly organic and true. The narrator inhabits the consciousness of Edwards himself, but also of his wife; his young nephew, whose father committed suicide in a moment of radical doubt during the Great Awakening; and his slave, Leah. The conflicts Stinson sets up – Edwards’ ambition (and his jealousy of the more charismatic Methodist preacher Whitefield), the slaves’ longing yet angry relations to the church, Elisha and Joe’s relation to their father’s suicide, Sarah’s love for and rebellion against her husband – are moving and complex.”

Next up- “Another historical novel by another western Massachusetts writer, Brookland, by Emily Barton, about a young woman in eighteenth-century Brooklyn who dreams of building a bridge across the East River to Manhattan. We have a lot of talent in this little part of the world!”

Working on – ” This summer has been largely taken up with promoting All I love and Know, which  came out just a few days ago (on July 15). And meanwhile, I’m trusting that those murky, underwater places in my mind will take me somewhere new.”



What are you enjoying this summer?