BookTrib’s Bites: Stock Up on Some Great Summer Reading Choices


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Iris in the Dark“Iris in the Dark”
by Elissa Grossell Dickey       

A single mother faces her worst fear -- the past -- in a provocative novel of suspense by the author of “The Speed of Light.” Iris Jenkins knows that bad things happen. She’s tried to escape these things for years.  So when she is entrusted to house-sit at a lodge on the South Dakota prairie, she thinks she’s prepared for anything.  

But one surprise is Sawyer Jones, the property’s neighbor and caretaker, and a caring, reassuring presence. Then late one night, Iris hears a chilling cry for help coming from a walkie-talkie buried in a box of toys. As the calls get more desperate, personal and menacing, Iris realizes the person on the other end isn’t reaching out for help, but to terrorize her. Purchase at

Monkey Business“Monkey Business”
by Carleton Eastlake  

When TV writer William Fox is dragged by his show’s toxic producers to a “gentleman’s club,” he meets Nicole, a mysterious dancer who claims to be an anthropologist searching for signs of rational life on Earth.   Enchanted by her playful and serious ideas, Will falls in love -- and his ever-more troubled, love-struck behavior and the acidly destructive battles during the production of his show begin to illustrate Nicole’s theories.  

Nothing about Nicole seems authentic. After she warns she’ll soon leave and his producers are humbled by an uncanny encounter with the police, Will begins to wonder whether Nicole is staging real world events with him and the producers as her experimental subjects? And if so, can he learn the lessons she’s trying to teach and earn her love? Purchase at

Crazy to Leave You“Crazy to Leave You”
by Marilyn Simon Rothstein  

From the author of “Husbands and Other Sharp Objects” comes a witty, big-hearted novel about the happy accidents that lead to love and second chances.  

Forty-one years old, the last of her friends to marry, and down to a size 12, Lauren Leo is in her gown and about to tie the knot. There’s just one thing missing: the groom. With one blindsiding text, Lauren is unceremoniously dumped at the altar.  

Picking her heart up off the floor, Lauren turns to her work and plans her next step, finding a second chance in the most unexpected place. “A heartfelt, delicious story,” says Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Magnolia Palace. Purchase at

A Letter in the Wall“A Letter in the Wall”
by Eileen Brill  

It’s 1971, and Joan Dumann fears her former business partner wants her dead. As she constructs a letter about her predicament, she revisits her past.   Born into a prominent Philadelphia Quaker family in 1915 and raised with privilege, Joan wrestles with her turbulent thoughts and unfulfilled desires. When she attempts to push against the norms for women of her time to forge her own identity, she is met with resistance.  

Inspired by a letter written by the real Joan, found hidden in the wall of a Pennsylvania home more than half a century later, this is a fictionalized imagining of who she was and what motivated her. Moving through several decades, the book examines the factors that influence one woman’s journey toward independence and empowerment.

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