Summer reading with a Cincinnati twist

The Mercantile Library recommends books by local authors


Emily Henry: “Funny Story”

You probably already know that Emily Henry, author of “Beach Read,” “Book Lovers” and “People We Meet on Vacation,” is the reigning queen of summer romance reads. You might not realize she also lives and writes in the Queen City. If you love banter and swoon, don’t miss her latest smart, thoughtful romance. As a bonus, the book is set in a favorite Midwest vacation spot: lakeside Michigan. 


Chrissy Hopewell : “If We Pretend”

If you miss Ted Lasso, or need to do your traveling by book this summer, try this soccer romance set in Scotland. Particularly perfect for fans of the fake-dating trope. 


JR Zink: “Queen of The West” trilogy

Maybe you’d rather travel through time with this completed historical fiction trilogy. Zink brings 19th-century Cincinnati alive, showing readers everything from the completion of the Roebling Bridge to the rise of the Cincinnati Red Stockings, the nation’s first professional baseball team. 


Heather Webber: “At The Coffee Shop of Curiosities”

After the sudden death of her boyfriend, Maggie flees south where she finds a kindred spirit, another woman as haunted as she is. A little cozy, a little mysterious, this novel is the perfect companion for a rainy afternoon. 


Tamara York: “60 Hikes Within 60 Miles”

This book might be a few years old, but it still can guide you to new adventures in the region. 


Don’t forget the poetry…

Finally, we want to make the case for poetry as excellent summer reading material. Small, portable books, easily read in fits and starts, often noticing the tiny, lovely details of life – poetry is the perfect way to slow down and savor the long, light-filled days!

Pick up one of these collections: 

Yalie Saweda Kamara: “Besaydoo”

The current Cincinnati & Mercantile Library Poet Laureate, Kamara published her first full-length poetry collection this year to acclaim, earning mentions in LitHub and the New York Book Review. 


Pauletta Hansel: “Will There Also Be Singing?”

Hansel was Cincinnati’s first poet laureate. Her latest collection, full of poems of witness and protest from Appalachian voices, feels especially timely. 


Holly Brians Ragusa: “Tilt a World: Certainty Lacks Imagination”

Ragusa takes a thoughtful, empathetic view of the inexorable spin of the world.


Hillary Copsey

Hillary Copsey is the book adviser at The Mercantile Library, where she leads and organizes book discussions, creates personalized book recommendations for members and tries really, really hard to resist the temptation to spend all day, every day reading.

The Mercantile Library


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