5 Paperback original picks

Paperback Originals

Hardcover books are great, beautiful on the shelf, but sadly they can be expensive. But did you know that there are books that are released straight into paperback? They're called "paperback originals," and we have five wonderful picks for you that aren't only easy on the wallet, they're a perfect choice for a sunny summer weekend!

Sea Change coverSea Change
Karen White

Karen White is one of the masters of paperback original fiction. She's won multiple awards and is a New York Times Bestselling author. She writes a genre that she terms "grit lit" — Southern women's fiction. Many of her novels have an undercurrent of mystery, and her atmospheric writing sets the scene for her books. Her latest, Sea Change, follows the story of Ava Whalen. Ava has an irrational fear of water, something she hasn't told her brand new husband, Matthew. When he moves her to his home on St. Simons Island, she does her best to distract herself by researching Matthew's family history. What she finds leaves her wondering how well she really knows Matthew.


coming of age

Coming of Age on Zoloft: How Antidepressants Cheered Us Up, Let Us Down, and Changed Who We Are

Katherine Sharpe

Now that the "Prozac generation" is comfortably ensconced in adulthood, 25 years after the wonder antidepressant came onto the market, it's a perfect time to reflect on the way these pills have changed society. Sharpe's thoughtful account is framed as a memoir, and as she traces her own usage of antidepressants, she works in stories from many others who have had very similar and very different experiences with antidepressants. She also tackles the larger questions of identity and whether depression is a psychological or biological phenomenon, plus she questions the ubiquitous usage of antidepressants.

playing dead


Playing Dead
Julia Heaberlin

Mysteries are always fun reads, and Julia Heaberlin's latest looks to be fascinating. When Tommie McCloud receives a letter days after her father's death, she doesn't think much of it. That is, until she reads it and discovers that a strange woman is claiming that Tommie is her daughter, and that she was kidnapped over 30 years ago. Tommie refuses to believe these claims at first, but as she begins to explore her past, she finds disturbing connections she wishes she didn't have to face.


Monarch Beach
Anita HughesMonarch beach

Titles with "beach" in them always bring summer to mind, so Monarch Beach would make the perfect escapist read! Amanda Blick is a young heiress who loves her life, that is, until she discovers her husband's infidelity. Along with her young son, she flees to the St. Regis Resort in Laguna Beach at the behest of her mother, where she can lick her wounds and begin to heal. But when she catches the eye of a handsome, older man, Amanda realizes that her stay at the St. Regis might be more exciting than she'd planned.


This is Not a Test
Courtney Summers

this is not a test cover

We all make jokes about the inevitable zombie uprising, but what would you do if it really happened? That's the scenario of Courtney Summers' latest YA novel This is Not a Test. Sloane and five other teenagers have barricaded themselves inside their high school after a virus turned people into the undead. As they wonder what is happening and whether there is anyone left out there, they must contend with politics and rivalry within their group.

More reading

Audiobook roundup: Summer vacation listening
Now in paperback: June picks
Read it first: June's books to read then see the movie

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