Recommended short stories and war stories for the ravenous reader. Between all the classics to catch up on and new bestsellers every month, it can be hard to know what book to pick next. For a little guidance, SRQ turned to Bookstore 1’s Kate Wood, to see what rose to the top of her summer reading list.

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Staff Favorite

The Girl of the Lake by Bill Roorbach. This collection of short stories from the author of Big Bend and Life Among Giants sees the award-winning writer returning to the realm of short fiction with daring success. From the misadventures of schoolboys skipping class to the more emotional (but perhaps more comedic) catastrophe of young love’s dissolution in the middle of a mountain trek, Roorbach inhabits his characters with humanity and precision, whether it be a widower on the stage or a Michigan farm girl. “[Roorbach] is generous in how he writes about people,” says Wood, and the result is a gift worthy of any bookshelf. Enjoy for $16.95.

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New Release

Huê 1968by Mark Bowden. The author of Black Hawk Down turns his pen to the 1968 battle of Huê, and its role as a turning point in the Vietnam War and part of the Tet Offensive, with an extensively researched narrative compiled from historical archives and new oral histories from veterans and witnesses on both sides of the 24-day conflict. From those 24 days, and with the help of translators and deep reportage, Bowden crafts a compelling story of questionable commanders, brutal combat, heroes and atrocities. Released this summer, it pairs well with The Vietnam War, the latest documentary from Ken Burns, out this month. Enjoy for $30.