Summe reading

Young woman on grass reading book. (Tim Robberts / May 27, 2012)

Brace yourself for a thrilling afternoon: Pearson's introducing a new action series that stars a Shanghai-based security agent named John Knox. Spoiler alert: Knox does not spend his nights nodding off in front of a black-and-white security screen.

"The Kings of Cool" by Don Winslow (June 19)

Simon & Schuster, 336 pages, $25

This prequel to the electrifying "Savages" explores how those main characters ended up in a race for their lives.

"Broken Harbor" by Tana French (July 24)

Viking, 464 pages, $27.95

The Dublin Murder Squad (don't you wish you'd thought of that name for your murder mystery book group?) tries to suss out the details of a grisly triple homicide that took the lives of a family man and his two children.

Fourth of July picnic conversation starters

"The New, New Deal" by Michael Grunwald (Aug. 14)

Simon & Schuster, 432 pages, $28

There's plenty here for everyone to get aflutter about all over again in this riveting account of President Obama's stimulus bill. Grunwald, a Time magazine senior correspondent, provides captivating background history on the stimulus and how it may prove to be a far greater deal than the one FDR famously launched.

Editor's Choice: "Barack Obama: The Story" by David Maraniss (June 19)

Simon & Schuster, 672 pages, $32.50

Obamaphiles and history buffs will enjoy this studious biography of our current president's life through age 27. Maraniss does a superb job exploring Obama's childhood and his parents' intellectual yearnings.

"Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt" by Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco (June 18)

Avalon Publishing Group, 320 pages, $28

Camden, N.J., is the focus in this harrowing study of modern poverty. Once an industrial great, Camden is now a pit of crime and bleakness.

"Kill or Capture: The War on Terror and the Soul of the Obama Administration" by Daniel Klaidman (June 5)

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 304 pages, $28

Fascinating insider's look at how President Obama has struggled to end terrorism — one terrorist at a time. Klaidman sensitively handles this dark material and infuses a sense of humanity and emotion into a topic that is often reported all too often purely in brief statistics.