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On a Waitlist for a Hot Summer Title? Check Out These Summer Hit Read-Alikes at NPL

August 9, 2022

And Earn Points for the Summer Reading Challenge While You Do It

Finishing a great book can be bittersweet.

On the one hand, you’ve just enjoyed something that potentially enriched your life and will stay with you for a long time to come. 

On the other, that experience is over, and you’re left to fill that void with something just as engaging; to answer the question that has plagued book lovers since the invention of the printed word: What comes next?

We’ve all been there, and at Nashville Public Library (NPL), we’re here to help you overcome those summertime reading blues! 

To that end, check out these read-alikes based on some of the biggest, most checked-out hits of the summer. Whether you’ve read any of these and want more, or just want something to read while you wait for them to become available, we’re confident you’ll find something to love.

And in case you missed it, there’s still time to read through these summer hits while earning points for NPL’s Summer Reading Challenge before we wrap up on August 20. 

This Time Tomorrow by Emma Staub

What if you could relieve your adolescence with an adult perspective? What if you could go back and fix your mistakes? What if you had a second chance to spend more time with the people closest to you before they’re gone?

What would you do?

Those are the questions that 40-year-old Alice finds herself faced with when she wakes up as her 16-year-old self in Emma Staub’s latest hit. Filled with her trademark humor, wit, and insight, This Time Tomorrow is one of the summer’s best books.

If you love stories filled with reliving one’s past, navigating relationships with fresh perspectives, and discovering love — albeit in ways you never expected — don’t miss This Time Tomorrow and these similar books in our catalog.

You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi

How do you move on when the love of your life has died? Feyi Adekola has nearly completed that healing process, with her love of painting and having her own studio sparking fresh joy in her life. And then there’s Nasir — a man desperately in love with Feyi, but ready to give her the space she needs to figure out what she really wants. 

But when Nasir whisks her off to her family’s home to help her budding art career take off, Feyi finds herself drawn to the one — the only — man she should not even consider: Nasir’s father.

Passionately written and packed with real emotion, You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty is one of the most original, compelling love stories of our time. 

If you love stories about women healing from grief, finding true love, and discovering who they really are (even if it’s not who they thought), you’ll love Akwaeke Emezi’s latest offering and these other selections.

Tracy Flick Can’t Win by Tom Perrotta

Tracy Flick has problems … a lot of problems. She’s middle-aged and stuck in a not-quite-but-might-as-well-be dead end job as a high school assistant principal. She’s also forced to juggle competing demands from her 10-year-old daughter, needy doctor boyfriend, and a never-ending cascade of parents, teachers, and faculty. Tracy just can’t seem to get ahead. 

But when her high school principal announces his retirement, Tracy knows her big shot has finally come. Determined to prove herself, she’ll navigate a complicated web of school board members, selection committees dominated by males, and the school board president’s wife who suddenly just has to be her friend to claim her spot at the top. Or will she?

Tom Perrotta’s second novel featuring Tracy Flick is a beautifully written satire filled with so many relatable truths that you’ll laugh to keep from crying. If you can’t get enough stories that take a funny, heartbreaking, and wonderfully written look at modern life, then check out Tracy Flick Can’t Win and these other titles.

Upgrade by Blake Crouch

What’s happening to Logan Ramsay isn’t that unusual. He’s a little bit sharper, needs a little less sleep, and multitasks just a little bit quicker. Nothing crazy. At first. But before long, he’s undergoing incredible biological changes that force him to see his friends, his family, and the world in a whole new way. He’s been Upgraded, and here’s what’s really scary: he’s just the first.

Now, before the mysterious forces that hacked Logan’s genome can turn their attention on the rest of humanity, Logan must use his newfound abilities to discover who they are and why they’re jumpstarting the next step in human evolution at terrible cost.

Sharp, action-packed, and brimming with questions about what the future of humanity holds — and the price we’re willing to pay to acquire it — Upgrade is a blistering read that sci-fi and thriller fans won’t want to miss. 

My Seven Black Fathers by Will Jawando

In his powerful memoir, Will Jawando inspires us all to see past stereotypes to discover how young Black men can find hope and inspiration all around them. Growing up as the child of an absent Black father and a single White mother, Jawando found himself subjected to discrimination and prejudice all of his life. But through the influence of seven men of color, Jawando rose above his circumstances — and the people who actively stood against him — to become the White House Associate Director of Public Engagement under President Obama.

Heartbreaking and inspiring, Jawando’s story shows us what can happen when young Black men are given great examples to follow, and that seeing past racial stereotypes can be as simple as looking at your next door neighbor.

If true stories about overcoming prejudice, reaching one’s full potential, and discovering the truth of the Black experience compel you, be sure to read My Seven Black Fathers and these other non-fiction selections.

A Life in Light by Mary Pipher

Most of us have experienced trauma at one point or another. It’s how we cope with that trauma, and overcome it, that defines our lives.

That’s the lesson that author and psychologist Mary Pipher shares in her memoir-essay collection, A Life in Light. Ranging from a childhood extensively separated from her parents to an adulthood filled with everyday miseries and disappointments, Pipher walks us through her path through life that often veered toward darkness, but which she always steered back into the light.

One of the best things we can do to help us move past difficult times is to realize that we’re not alone. Pipher’s newest book, and other true stories about overcoming adversity, are the perfect place to start.

Life on the Mississippi by Rinker Buck

Imagine experiencing early 1800’s America from atop a wooden flatboat on the Mississippi River, watching the United States — still in its infancy — unfold as you drift on down the river.

That’s the image, and the story, that Rinker Buck shares with us in his latest offering, Life on the Mississippi. Combining a keen eye for historical detail and the narrative power of America’s best storytellers, Buck transports us to a different time to discover some of the key events, both good and bad, that helped shape us as a country.

History doesn’t have to be boring, as Buck so clearly illustrates with his work. If you’ve got a love of the past, but can’t stand the thought of a slog to find it, then check out Life on the Mississippi and these other non-fiction adventures.

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Ed's a proud member of NPL's Marketing and Communications team. Some of his favorite books include Dracula, Once an EagleNeuromancerStarship TroopersThe Black CompanyBerserkBlade of the ImmortalBlame! and Vampire Hunter D. When not at the Library, you'll find him spending time with his wife and son, doing interval training, reading, or waiting for the next FromSoftware game.


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