Cool Books for Hot Summer Days

Janet Fabio

What better way to beat the heat than to curl up with a good book set in a cold climate? Your SaddleBrooke Community Libraries offer a variety of fiction and nonfiction books to enjoy during the summer.

Your first thought might be books set in Alaska, Iceland, or the Antarctic. And, indeed, we have many of those. But high altitude mountaineering also happens in a cold climate. For something different, pick up the new novel Breathless, set on the eighth highest mountain in the world, nicknamed the “Killer Mountain.” The author actually climbed the mountain that is the setting for this sinister thriller, which will have you shivering with dread as you learn about extreme mountaineering with a killer on the mountain. If you prefer a nonfiction approach to high altitude exploration, The Third Pole: Mystery, Obsession and Death on Mount Everest is compelling reading.

Closer to home, there are many mysteries set in the Alaskan wilderness. In J.A. Jance’s latest mystery Nothing to Lose, J.P. Beaumont follows a lead all the way to Alaska where he encounters a tangled web of family secrets. Paige Shelton’s Alaska Wild series offers three titles featuring an author who moves to Alaska to escape an obsessed fanatic. She becomes involved in solving local mysteries while learning about living in a remote part of Alaska. Popular author Kristin Hannah offers a solid novel about isolation and survival in harsh conditions in The Great Alone.

Iceland apparently inspires murder mysteries, such as those by Ragnar Jonasson. Other authors with mysteries set in Iceland include Nicholas Petrie’s The Wild One and Michael Ridpath’s The Wanderer.

Several popular authors have set stories in a variety of other icy locations. Brad Thor’s recent chiller Black Ice takes place high above the Arctic Circle. It will keep you turning pages. A bit on the fringe of science fiction, pick up books by these well-known authors for a cool escape: Douglas Preston’s Beyond the Ice Limit, James Rollins’ The Last Odyssey, and Clive Cussler’s Fast Ice.

Ready for some facts about cold places? The libraries have a selection of books about polar exploration. Read about the Franklin expedition in Ice Ghosts. Or pick up Icebound: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World or Alone on the Ice. Scientific topics are covered in The Ice at the End of the WorldAtlas of a Lost World: Travels in Ice Age AmericaOwls of the Eastern Ice; or Telescope in the Ice.

If you’re inspired to travel to some of these cold places, the DesertView Library’s travel collection has guidebooks to help plan your journey. But there are also books to learn more about your destinations, such as How Iceland Changed the World: The Big History of a Small Island.

A more complete list of “cool books” will be posted in the DesertView and SaddleBrooke One libraries during the summer. You can reserve specific titles in the library catalog. Use the link on the library website

Enjoy some “cool books” this summer, but please don’t drop them in the pool!