It’s hard to stay cool when the mercury rises. When it’s too hot outside, the only thing better than a tall glass of ice-cold lemonade is a breezy summer read—preferably inside in the air conditioning.

Now that the temperatures are rising all across the Midwest, it’s the perfect time to stock up on good books to read! Autumn is a long way away, so here’s a reading list that’ll help you chill out and beat the heat for the next few weeks. Good news: The catalogs for our local libraries are all online! You can easily borrow ebooks for your iPad or Kindle or put holds on physical books you want to read. The Johnson County Library offers curbside pickup, and Kansas City Public Library locations are still requiring masks, so a library visit is a safe activity for the whole family! If you’re looking for suggestions for what to check out, read on.

Spritz: Italy’s Most Iconic Aperitivo Cocktail, Talia Baiocchi and Leslie Pariseau. The spritz is the classic Italian cocktail, a little sweet, a little bitter. Trace the history of this classic summer drink and mix one up yourself!

The Terror, Dan Simmons. Did you see the hit AMC series about the search for the Northwest Passage? Here’s the novel that inspired it. Settle in for some ice-cold spookiness!

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas, Agatha Christie. Dreaming of snowy days? Originally published in the US as Murder for Christmas and then Holiday for Murder, this well-regarded Poirot novel will delight fans of the show or the movies.

The Japanese Grill, Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat.Grilling is one of summer’s pleasures. With travel still feeling a bit difficult, why not take a flavor vacation to Japan, and grill up some yakitori on your home grill?

Dead Space, Kali Wallace. A cozy mystery that isn’t so cozy…because it’s set in space! Enjoy a traditional locked-room mystery that’s anything but typical when company investigator Hester Marley sets out to find out why her former colleague has been murdered.

King of the Road: True Tales from a Legendary Ice Road Trucker, Alex Debogorski. Do you like the History channel show Ice Road Truckers? Here’s a book full of dangerous adventures sure to thrill (and chill!) you this summer.

The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. LeGuin. Another science fiction title, The Left Hand of Darkness is set on a planet where it is always winter. LeGuin’s classic novel may be over fifty years old, but it still feels relevant! 

I May Be Some Time, Francis Spufford. A classic pop history, this book documents the British enthusiasm for exploring the poles and its hold on the public imagination.

What are you reading this summer? Do you have a favorite local bookseller? Let us know in the comments!

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