Whether on the beach, on the porch or on your couch in air-conditioned comfort, these are the biggest novels of the summer. Read on to find which one(s) you'll want to take home next.

Cari Mora by Thomas Harris

Twenty-five million dollars in cartel gold lies hidden beneath a mansion on the Miami Beach waterfront. Ruthless men have tracked it for years. Leading the pack is Hans-Peter Schneider. Driven by unspeakable appetites, he makes a living fleshing out the violent fantasies of other, richer men. Cari Mora, caretaker of the house, has escaped from the violence in her native country. She stays in Miami on a Temporary Protected Status, subject to the iron whim of ICE. Beautiful and marked by war, Cari catches the eye of Hans-Peter as he closes in on the treasure. But Cari Mora has surprising skills, and her will to survive has been tested before.

From the creator of Hannibal Lecter and The Silence of the Lambs comes a story of evil, greed, and the consequences of dark obsession.

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

In 1940, 19-year-old Vivian Morris has just been kicked out of Vassar College, owing to her lackluster freshman-year performance. Her affluent parents send her to Manhattan to live with her Aunt Peg, who owns a flamboyant, crumbling midtown theater called the Lily Playhouse. There Vivian is introduced to an entire cosmos of unconventional and charismatic characters, from the fun-chasing showgirls to a sexy male actor, a grand-dame actress, a lady-killer writer, and no-nonsense stage manager. When Vivian makes a personal mistake that results in professional scandal, it turns her new world upside down in ways that it will take her years to fully understand.

City of Girls is a love story like no other.

Chances Are… by Richard Russo

One beautiful September day, three 66-year old men convene on Martha's Vineyard, friends ever since meeting in college circa the sixties. They couldn't have been more different then, or even today--Lincoln's a commercial real estate broker, Teddy a tiny-press publisher, and Mickey a musician beyond his rockin' age. But each man holds his own secrets, in addition to the monumental mystery that none of them has ever stopped puzzling over since a Memorial Day weekend right here on the Vineyard in 1971.

In 2002, Russo received the Pulitzer Prize for Empire Falls, which like Nobody's Fool was adapted to film, in a multiple-award-winning HBO miniseries.

Dutch House by Ann Patchett

At the end of the Second World War, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to begin an enormous real estate empire, propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth. His first order of business is to buy the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves.

The Dutch House is the story of a paradise lost, a tour de force that digs deeply into questions of inheritance, love, and forgiveness, of how we want to see ourselves, and of who we really are. Filled with suspense, you may read it quickly to find out what happens, but what happens will stay with you for a very long time.

Fall, or Dodge in Hell by Neal Stephenson

In his youth, Richard "Dodge" Forthrast founded Corporation 9592, a gaming company that made him a multibillionaire. Now in his middle years, Dodge appreciates his comfortable, unencumbered life, managing his myriad business interests, and spending time with his beloved niece Zula and her young daughter, Sophia. One beautiful autumn day, while he undergoes a routine medical procedure, something goes irrevocably wrong. Dodge is pronounced brain dead and put on life support, leaving his stunned family and close friends with difficult decisions. Long ago, when a much younger Dodge drew up his will, he directed that his body be given to a cryonics company now owned by enigmatic tech entrepreneur Elmo Shepherd. Legally bound to follow the directive despite their misgivings, Dodge's family has his brain scanned and its data structures uploaded and stored in the cloud, until it can eventually be revived.

In the coming years, technology allows Dodge's brain to be turned back on. It is an achievement that is nothing less than the disruption of death itself. An eternal afterlife--the Bitworld--is created, in which humans continue to exist as digital souls. But this brave new immortal world is not the Utopia it might first seem ...

The Friends We Keep by Jane Green

Evvie, Maggie, and Topher have known one another since college. Their friendship was something they swore would last forever. Now years have passed, the friends have drifted apart, and they never found the lives they wanted.

Evvie starved herself to become a supermodel but derailed her career by sleeping with a married man. Maggie married Ben, the boy she fell in love with in college, never imagining the heartbreak his drinking would cause. Topher became a successful actor, but the shame of a childhood secret shut him off from real intimacy. By their 30th reunion, these old friends have lost touch with one another and with the people they dreamed of becoming. Together again, they have a second chance at happiness ... until a dark secret is revealed that changes everything.

The Friends We Keep is about how despite disappointments, it's never too late to find a place to call home.

Knife: A New Harry Hole Novel by Jo Nesbo

Harry Hole is not in a good place. Rakel--the only woman he's ever loved--has ended it with him, permanently. He's been given a chance for a new start with the Oslo Police, but it's in the cold case office, when what he really wants is to be investigating cases he suspects have ties to Svein Finne, the serial rapist and murderer who Harry helped put behind bars. And now, Finne is free after a decade-plus in prison--free, and Harry is certain, unreformed and ready to take up where he left off. But things will get worse. When Harry wakes up the morning after a blackout, drunken night with blood that's clearly not his own on his hands, it's only the very beginning of what will be a waking nightmare the likes of which even he could never have imagined.

Harry Hole from The Snowman and The Thirst, is back and once again hunting the murderer who has haunted his entire career.

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

As the Civil Rights movement begins to reach the black enclave of Frenchtown in segregated Tallahassee, Elwood Curtis takes the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to heart: He is "as good as anyone." Abandoned by his parents, but kept on the straight and narrow by his grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But for a black boy in the Jim Crow South of the early 1960s, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy the future. Elwood is sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, whose mission statement says it provides "physical, intellectual, and moral training" so the delinquent boys in their charge can become "honorable and honest men."

Based on the real story of a reform school in Florida that operated for 111 years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative that showcases a great American novelist writing at the height of his powers.

Recursion by Blake Crouch

Memory makes reality. That's what New York City cop Barry Sutton is learning as he investigates the devastating phenomenon the media has dubbed False Memory Syndrome--a mysterious affliction that drives its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived. Neuroscientist Helena Smith already understands the power of memory. It's why she's dedicated her life to creating a technology that will let us preserve our most precious moments of our pasts. If she succeeds, anyone will be able to re-experience a first kiss, the birth of a child, the final moment with a dying parent.

As Barry searches for the truth, he comes face-to-face with an opponent more terrifying than any disease--a force that attacks not just our minds but the very fabric of the past. And as its effects begin to unmake the world as we know it, only he and Helena, working together, will stand a chance at defeating it.

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Of course, these are just a few of the many great new books out this summer. Make sure you don't miss a single new title by your favorite authors, by signing up for the Favorite Authors Club at Willard Library or the Helen Warner Branch.

The Favorite Authors Club is the ultimate in convenience for avid readers and listeners. Simply choose books in regular print, audio books or books in large print and select your favorite authors from the list. You may choose up to 15 authors.

Your name will be automatically placed on the hold list when new titles by your authors are ordered. While we can't guarantee how near the top you'll be, we can guarantee that you will always be added to the list automatically and you won't miss a single one.

Happy Reading!

Susan is listening to "One Summer: America, 1927" by Bill Bryson and reading "Tidelands" by Philippa Gregory. "Tidelands" will be released on Aug. 20, but holds may be placed now.