Cincinnatians' Summer Reading List

Aug 17, 2018

School is back in session and summer nearly over, which means schedules have returned to normal and you may actually find yourself with free time to read something that's not a shopping list, packing list or to-do list. 

In case you need a little inspiration, we asked the the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County to share the most checked-out books over the last three months for adults, teens, and tweens. Below is what they found, in order of popularity. (We hope you like James Patterson!) 


  1. The 17th Suspect by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro. This book was published April 30 and by May (yes, one day) had landed on Publisher Weekly's list of the nation's top fiction bestsellers.  
  2. The Fallen by David Baldacci. The tome hits on some timely topics: a former mill and mining town with a crumbling economy and rampant opioid addiction is further besieged by a series of murders. 
  3. Princess by James Patterson. The head of the world's top investigation agency gets a call from a British royal to help her find a missing friend before the media does. But could the princess be hiding something?
  4. I've Got My Eyes on You by Mary Higgins Clark. After throwing a party when her parents were out of town, a New Jersey teenager turns up dead, and her guidance counselor sister searches for answers. 
  5. The President Is Missing by Bill Clinton. Yet another win for James Patterson, who co-authored the book with the former President. 


  1. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. Recently made into a film starring Oscar winner Brie Larson, this memior chronicles the trials and tribulations of journalist Wall's at once dysfunctional and dynamic family. 
  2. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. It took 10 years for Doerr to write this book. All that effort paid off: The World War II story won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2015. 
  3. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. In this debut novel by the Atlanta native, high schooler Simon Spier is forced to come out of the closet after someone discovers emails he sent to another closeted classmate. The 2015 book was recently adapted into the 2018 film, Love, Simon
  4. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. The wealthy Sinclair family hold annual summer reunions on their private island -- one of which protagonist Cadence is unable to remember after her "accident."  
  5. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. The New York Times wrote of this 2017 follow-up to The Fault In Our Stars: "This novel is by far [Green's] most difficult to read. It's also his most astonishing." 


  1. Wonder by R.J. Palacio. This novel about a boy with Treacher Collins syndrome was made into a film in 2017, and may be one case where the movie is just as good as the book: the work of fiction has sold more than five million copies to date, while the 2017 film debuted at No. 2 at the box office last summer. 
  2. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. Could the recent movie starring Oprah, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling and Chris Pine have something to do with the 1962 tome's appearance on this list? Who cares? At least kids are reading a classic.  
  3. Pokémon Adventures. Pokémon is still a thing, apparently.  
  4. Geronimo Stilton by Geronimo Stilton. This Italian children's book series may be credited to its clumsy, mouse-y title character, but the actual author is Elisabetta Dami, who was inspired to write the series after volunteering with sick children. 
  5. Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCammilo. This Newbery Honor book, first published in 2000, has staying power and for good reason: While Common Sense Media warns parents not to expect much plot, "this gentle character story, simply told, is as engrossing and sweet as they come."  

And Here's What Some Cincinnati Public Radio Staffers Are Reading Now

"Hillbilly Elegy. I heard so many interviews with the author on NPR programs, I decided it was time I read it for myself." -- Maryanne Zeleznik, news director 

"I traveled to Guatemala recently so I picked up Bitter Fruit: The Story of the American Coup in Guatemala by Stephen C. Schlesinger and Stephen Kinzer. It was a fascinating look at how the CIA, the United Fruit Company and the U.S. government conspired to overthrow Guatemala's democratically elected leader under the guise of communism. An insightful look into what led to many of the problems that nation still deals with today." -- Tana Weingartner, news host/reporter 

"Right now, I am reading Apollo 8 by Robert Kurson, a very good book about the first flight to the moon. The famous 'Christmas flight' that came at the end of one of the most tumultuous, awful and tragic years of American history in December 1968. I've been fascinated with the space program ever since Alan Shepard's sub-orbital flight. I was 8 years old when that happened. Good narrative non-fiction with keen insights to the astronauts who made the flight: Jim Lovell, Frank Borman and Bill Anders." -- Howard Wilkinson, politics reporter 

"I'm reading Mary Higgins Clark books this summer. Somehow I overlooked this longtime author and I always like a good murder mystery." -- Ann Thompson, news host/reporter 

"Currently, I'm re-reading Neil Gaiman's American Gods, after having seen the first season of the cable TV adaptation. I first read it when it came out in 2001 and didn't remember quite as much sex in the book as was in the series. I remembered incorrectly." -- Bill Rinehart, news host/reporter 

"My book club just finished Jackie's Girl by Kathy McKeon. It was written by the woman who served as Jackie Kennedy's personal assistant starting not quite a year after John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Fun -- not a sleazy tell-all, but a loving recollection of this young woman's coming-of-age in an extraordinary household." -- Suzanne Bona, host 

"Just finished Getting There by Gerry Boylan. I picked it up from the table of books being given away here at WGUC. Although the hero travels all over the country, some of the story takes place in Cincinnati, which is always a nice feature in a book." -- Elaine Diehl, producer/announcer

"My most notable read this summer was probably Beartown by Fredrik Backman, who wrote A Man Named Ove. My wife bought it for me for our anniversary because I enjoyed Ove so much and because the main theme of the book revolves around hockey." -- Jim Nolan, interactive communications manager 

"The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn. Read some positive reviews and it was reommended by a co-worker. Many short chapters making it ideal for bedtime reading and it has many interesting characters." -- Pete Pickering, corporate sales manager 

"I read more than one book at a time so here is what I have read in three months -- and am still working on! Sacrifice by Kevin Moehring -- he is a great friend of mine who tells amazing stories. No One Like You by Kate Angell -- I love a good love story. Graham Park: A Twisted Timbers Thriller -- also written by my friend Kevin Moehring. Rainwater by Sandra Brown -- a quick read. Seeing Red also by Sandra Brown. I love thrillers, and this one is very good." -- Aron Back, membership manager

"I'm reading Robin by David Itzkoff. Why? Because it's about Robin Williams, perhaps the greatest comic mind of this century." -- Richard Eiswerth, general manager 

"I'm reading work emails. I wouldn't recommend it." -- Dave Schermer, host/production engineer