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Summer Comes Early in Florida

“The summer passed quietly. I busied myself as best I could, reading a good deal.”

~Michael Cox, The Meaning of Night

Brace yourselves, it's already feeling like summer in Sarasota. The streets have quieted down and the temperature is heading up. To get ready for the the approaching dog days, here are 7 novels that each take place over one summer. They may not be steamy, but they should help you chill.

Sag Harbor by Colson Whitehead

A hilarious and supremely original novel set in the Hamptons in the 1980s. It's a tenderhearted coming-of-age story fused with a sharp look at the intersections of race and class.

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

This lyrical, heart-breaking novel takes place over twelve days in August in Bois Sauvage, Mississippi; a timeframe that becomes even more intensely loaded when you realize that the hurricane that’s gathering strength over the Gulf of Mexico is Katrina.

Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

The summer of '28 was a vintage season for a growing boy. A summer of green apple trees, mowed lawns, and new sneakers. It was a summer of sorrows and marvels and gold-fuzzed bees. A magical, timeless summer in the life of a twelve-year-old boy named Douglas Spaulding--remembered forever by the incomparable Ray Bradbury.

The Summer Book by Tove Jansson

In The Summer Book Tove Jansson distills the essence of the summer--its sunlight and storms--into twenty-two crystalline vignettes.

Atonement by Ian McEwan

Set in the summer of 1935, a symphonic novel of love and war, childhood and class, guilt and forgiveness.

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann

In the dawning light of a late-summer morning, the people of lower Manhattan stand hushed, staring up in disbelief at the Twin Towers. It is August 1974, and a mysterious tightrope walker is running, dancing, leaping between the towers, suspended a quarter mile above the ground. In the streets below, a slew of ordinary lives become extraordinary in novelist Colum McCann's stunningly intricate portrait of a city and its people.

Florence Adler Swims Forever by Rachel Beanland

"The perfect summer read" (USA TODAY) begins with a shocking tragedy that results in three generations of the Adler family grappling with heartbreak, romance, and the weight of family secrets over the course of one summer.

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