Whether you prefer flipping pages or firing up the e-readers, here's out list of the must-read books of summer

By Stephan Lee
July 13, 2012 at 04:00 AM EDT

Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia Child

  • Book

Silver Sparrows by Tayari Jones

A novel about a 16-year-old girl whose world falls apart when she discovers her father has a secret second family. (Out now)

Shelter by Frances Greenslade

Two sisters search the beautiful but unforgiving British Columbia wilderness for their mother in this haunting, heartbreaking novel. (Out now)

Reamde by Neal Stephenson

A computer virus wreaks havoc on both the online and real worlds in an ingenious epic from the Snow Crash author. (Out now)

Appetite for Life by Noel Riley Fitch

An excellent excuse to rediscover the classic Julia Child biography: This handsome new edition includes a fresh introduction from the author. (Out now)

The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman

Hoffman put years of research into her historical novel about four fierce, sensual women living in biblical times. (Out now)

We Had it So Good by Linda Grant

An acid but insightful novel about former hippies Stephen and Andrea Newman and their storied marriage, which spans decades and continents. (Out now)

Nothing Daunted by Dorothy Wickenden

The nonfiction account follows two well-to-do East Coast society girls in 1916 who ventured out to the rugged frontier. (Out now)

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

References to nerd culture abound in Cline’s inventive novel about a boy in a dystopian future solving high-stakes digital puzzles. (Out now)

Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close

This clear-eyed novel-in-stories charts the travails of a group of smart but aimless young women in New York. (Out now)

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

One of last year’s most celebrated fiction debuts examines baseball, academia, friendship, and loss. (Out now)

Blue Lights by Joan Didion

Didion’s latest memoir unflinchingly reflects on old age and the tragedy of her daughter’s death. (May 29)

Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan

Three generations of strong-willed women clash in this novel set at a family’s summer beach house. (May 29)

Appetite for Life: The Biography of Julia Child

  • Book
  • Noel Riley Fitch