As July brings us some less than desirable weather — from triple-digit temperatures to storms — we now have an excuse to stay indoors, curl up and read a good book. Here’s what locals around the city are reading this summer.

Helena Moreno (New Orleans City Council president): “Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom for a Better Life” by Cleo Wade, “Beyond the Storm: How to Thrive in Life's Toughest Seasons” by Debra B. Morton, “We Cast a Shadow” by Maurice Carlos Ruffin, “I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark” by Debbie Levy, “The Truths We Hold: An American Journey” by Kamala Harris

“Good books challenge your point of view, inspire further inquiry, encourage us to be better and bring smiles to your face. ‘The Truths We Hold’ does just that."

Melissa A. Weber / DJ Soul Sister (program manager at Tulane University, DJ artist): “Sounding Race in Rap Songs” by Loren Kajikawa, “Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong” by Terry Teachout, “Go-Go Live: The Musical Life and Death of a Chocolate City” by Natalie Hopkinson, “Freedom's Dance: Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs in New Orleans” by Karen Celestan and Eric Waters, “The Death of Rhythm and Blues” by Nelson George

“I first read ‘The Death of Rhythm and Blues’ when it came out in 1988, when I was in the eighth grade, and it was my life-changing introduction to serious, non-fiction writing on music related to culture and race.”

Vera Warren-Williams (owner of Community Book Center): “Superheroes Are Everywhere” by Kamala Harris, “Jaden Toussaint, The Greatest” series by Marti Dumas, “Come Sunday: A Young Reader’s History of Congo Square” by Freddi Williams Evans, “They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South” by Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers, “Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good” by Adrienne Maree Brown

“‘Pleasure Activism’ has been a best-seller at CBC this summer. A collection of essays, interviews, art and poetry, it encourages readers to rethink issues of politics, race, gender, social justice, climate change and more.”

Joy Wilson (blogger and baker at Joy The Baker): “East of Eden” by John Steinbeck, “Searching for Sylvie Lee” by Jean Kwok, “Normal People” by Sally Rooney, “I Miss You When I Blink” by Mary Laura Philpott, “South and West: From a Notebook” by Joan Didion

“I keep ‘South and West’ in my purse, especially for my summer travels that always seem to take me out West and have me coming home down South. Her words are the most deeply felt observations.”

Conrad Appel (state senator): “Einstein: His Life and Universe” by Walter Isaacson, “The Ottoman Empire” by Lord Kinross, “Churchill: Walking into Destiny” by Andrew Roberts, “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking” by Samin Nosrat, “Other Suns, Other Worlds?” by Dennis L. Mammana and Donald McCarthy

“‘The Ottoman Empire’ is a one-volume history — I believe if you don’t know history, you are doomed to repeat it.”

Christie Schaefer (bookseller at Octavia Books): “Tears of the Trufflepig” by Fernando A. Flores, “Gather the Fortunes” by Bryan Camp, “The Tubman Command” by Elizabeth Cobbs, We Cast a Shadow” by Maurice Carlos Ruffin, “Milkman” by Anna Burns

“Anna Burns' Booker-winning ‘Milkman’ brings us a seethingly witty narrator caught up in Northern Ireland's Troubles with the added fun of unwanted attention from a very dangerous man.”

Alfred Banks (rapper): “How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci” by Michael J. Gelb, “Mysterious Urban Myths” by John R. Townsend, “It’s True! It’s True!” by Kurt Angle, “Hardy Boyz: Exist 2 Inspire” by Michael Krugman, Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy, “Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks” by Mick Foley

“I recommend ‘Have a Nice Day’ by Mick Foley because it’s funny, incredibly detailed and gives inspiration to anyone chasing a dream.”

Fletcher Mackel (sports director at WDSU): “Tales of Iceland: Running with the Huldufolk in the Permanent Daylight” by Steve Markley, “Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History” by Katy Tur, “The President Is Missing” by Bill Clinton and James Patterson, “Survivor” by Chuck Palahniuk, “Up, Up, and Away: The Kid, the Hawk, Rock, Vladi, Pedro, le Grand Orange, Youppi!, the Crazy Business of Baseball, and the Ill-fated but Unforgettable Montreal Expos” by Jonah Keri

“This book could only have been written by a true fan of the team — Jonah Keri grew up in Montreal so the book exudes passion and insight that’s second to none.”

Asia Raney (spoken word poet): “Children of Blood and Bone” by Tomi Adeyemi, “Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person” by Shonda Rhimes, “Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood” by Trevor Noah, “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, “I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons” by Kevin Hart

“Hart's well-written, engrossing memoir will make you laugh out loud, learn a thing or two about becoming an artist and be OK with laughing at yourself once in a while.”

John Biguenet (author, professor at Loyola University): “True Grit” by Charles Portis, “The Dry Heart” by Natalia Ginzburg, “Burning Your Boats: The Collected Short Stories” by Angela Carter, “The Complete Stories” by Clarice Lispector, “The Go-Between” by L. P. Hartley

“Hartley’s novel is a beautiful and heartbreaking rendering of lost innocence by an author who can make even a cricket match exciting.”

JP Morrell (state senator): “Norwegian Wood” by Haruki Murakami, “The Name of the Wind” by Patrick Rothfuss, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone” by J.K. Rowling, “We Cast a Shadow” by Maurice Carlos Ruffin, “Carter Beats the Devil” by Glen David Gold

“I've read and reread ‘Carter Beats the Devil’ at least half a dozen times. It’s a wonderful narrative about the power of illusion on stage and in real life from the perspective of an amazing, and tragic, protagonist.”

LeeAnna Callon (manager of Blue Cypress Books): “City of Girls” by Elizabeth Gilbert, “Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered” by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, “Normal People” by Sally Rooney, “The Bird King” by G. Willow Wilson, “Mostly Dead Things” by Kristen Arnett

“If you love dark humor, grotesque yet beautiful imagery and the kind of family dysfunction that could only happen in Florida, Kristen Arnett's ridiculously wonderful debut novel, ‘Mostly Dead Things,’ is the perfect summer read for you.”

Maurice Carlos Ruffin (author): “Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations” by Mira Jacob, “Parasite Kingdom” by Brad Richard, “In West Mills” by De'Shawn Charles Winslow, “Three Women” by Lisa Taddeo, “The Yellow House” by Sarah M. Broom

"Broom's ambitious memoir on her life growing up with 11 siblings in New Orleans East, a section of the city which rarely appears in literature, is garnering impressive critical attention."

Richard Campanella (geographer, author and architecture professor at Tulane University): “Bayou St. John: A Brief History” by Cassie Pruyn, “The Barrow Family and the Barataria and Lafourche Canal” by Thomas Becnel, “Westwego: From Cheniere to Canal” by William D. Reeves and Daniel Alario Sr., “American Indians of Early New Orleans: From Calumet to Raquette” by Daniel H. Usner, “Alexis in America: A Russian Grand Duke’s Tour, 1871-1872” by Lee A. Farrow

“If you want to tour the U.S. of nearly 150 years ago, hunt bison with Buffalo Bill, arrive at New Orleans for Mardi Gras, spend an evening with Gen. George Armstrong Custer at the Old French Opera House and toast the first Rex parade, read ‘Alexis in America.’”

Maggie Koerner (singer-songwriter): “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho, “Strange Fruit” by Lillian Smith, “Many Lives, Many Masters" by Brian L. Weiss, “Just Kids” by Patti Smith, “The Vagina Bible: The Vulva and the Vagina” by Jen Gunter

“Gunter is one of my favorite people to follow on social media. This book comes out in August and I can’t wait to pick up a copy!”

Rebecca Rebouche (artist, designer): “1Q84” by Haruki Murakami, “How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals” by Sy Montgomery, “The Thanatos Syndrome” by Walker Percy, “The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea” by Jack E. Davis, “A Key to Treehouse Living” by Elliot Reed

“I’m excited to dive deeper into ‘A Key to Treehouse Living,’ which was a gift from a friend last year, and since I have been renovating my own beloved treehouse property, it seems fitting. Plus, who wouldn’t want to read a book with a chapter called ‘Moontaming and Other Peaceful Deeds?’”

Robert Fieseler (author and journalist): “Leading Men” by Christopher Castellani, “We Cast a Shadow” by Maurice Carlos Ruffin, “The Yellow House” by Sarah M. Broom, “Out for Queer Blood: The Murder of Fernando Rios and the Failure of New Orleans Justice” by Clayton Delery, “The Women of Dauphine” by Deb Jannerson

“‘The Women of Dauphine’ is a gothic romance between ghosts and a queer teenage girl in New Orleans that’s generating much buzz. All the ingredients for a fascinating YA debut.”

Fatima Shaik (author): “The Book of Harlan” by Bernice McFadden, “The Heads of the Colored People: Stories” by Nafissa Thompson-Spires, “Sing, Unburied, Sing” by Jesmyn Ward, “More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say)” by Elaine Welteroth, “The Sellout” by Paul Beatty

“For upcoming books, I am immersed in serious primary documents, so Paul Beatty’s ‘The Sellout’ is the antidote — a funny, bawdy, insightful novel that never loses its unique voice or facility with language. (For mature audiences.)”

Mallory Page (artist): “The Feminine Mystique” by Betty Friedan, “Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler: Five Painters and the Movement That Changed Modern Art” by Mary Gabriel, “Carla Hall’s Soul Food: Everyday and Celebration” by Carla Hall, “Tiny Hot Dogs: A Memoir in Small Bites” by Mary Giuliani, “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin

“The Awakening’ is a classic, which takes place between balmy Grand Isle and New Orleans. It's a transcendent story that every woman needs to know.”

Emeril Lagasse (chef): “Vegetables Unleashed: A Cookbook” by Jose Andres and Matt Goulding, “Bottom of the Pot: Persian Recipes and Stories” by Naz Deravian, “32 Yolks: From My Mother's Table to Working the Line” by Eric Ripert with Veronica Chambers, “Flour + Water: Pasta” by Thomas McNaughton with Paolo Lucchesi, “Chasing the Gator: Isaac Toups and the New Cajun Cooking” by Isaac Toups and Jennifer V. Cole

“Isaac’s stories and recipes will take you on a journey through places in south Louisiana that you may never get to experience. It’s a great read and gives a vivid look into Cajun cuisine and tradition.”

Andrew Duhon (singer-songwriter): “Dog of the South” by Charles Portis, “Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert M. Pirsig, “From Beirut to Jerusalem” by Thomas L. Friedman, “Norwood” by Charles Portis, “Many Lives, Many Masters” by Brian Weiss

“The rest of these books are about journeys more or less, but ‘Many Lives, Many Masters’ is about past lives revisited through hypnosis, and it was fascinating to suspend disbelief and follow along. I have reason to believe that I myself was once a peasant in the midlands of England who came to an unpleasant end while storming a castle.”

Ron Faucheux (political analyst, author): “The Improbable Wendell Willkie: The Businessman Who Saved the Republican Party and His Country, and Conceived a New World Order” by David Levering Lewis, “Working” by Robert Caro, “Songs of America: Patriotism, Protest, and the Music That Made a Nation” by Jon Meacham and Tim McGraw, “Grant” by Ron Chernow, “Churchill: Walking with Destiny” by Andrew Roberts

“Winston Churchill's long, important and complex life presents any biographer with a massive task, and this one handled it masterfully.”

James Michalopoulos (artist): “Principles: Life and Work” by Ray Dalio, “How the Way We Talk Can Change The Way We Work: Seven Languages for Transformation” by Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey, “Freedom of Being: At Ease with What Is” by Jan Frazier, “Empire of Cotton” by Sven Beckert,“Who Am I? The 16 Basic Desires That Motivate Our Actions and Define Our Personalities” by Steven Reiss

“‘Who Am I?’ is a novel, accessible, provocative sneak-up on who you think you are. Bonus: fun to read.”

Alexis Marceaux (singer, Sweet Crude): “Becoming” by Michelle Obama, “Half Empty” by David Rakoff, “Educated” by Tara Westover, “Me Talk Pretty One Day” by David Sedaris, “Slaughterhouse-Five” by Kurt Vonnegut

“Highly recommend ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’ — Vonnegut’s wit leaves you in stitches while also being extremely poignant. This has been my favorite read in years.”

Alisha Reed (pharmacist, health blogger): “Golden Child” by Claire Adam, “On the Come Up” by Angie Thomas, “The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations” by Toni Morrison, “The Truths We Hold: An American Journey” by Kamala Harris,“The Everlasting Rose” by Dhonielle Clayton

“‘The Everlasting Rose’ is the second book in the Belles series. Camille uses her powers, her connections and her cunning to outwit her greatest nemesis, Sophia, and restore peace to Orleans.”

Joe Giarrusso (New Orleans City Councilman): “Grant” by Ron Chernow, “The Odyssey” by Homer, “The Coddling of the American Mind” by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt, “The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football” by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian, “Countdown to Pearl Harbor: The Twelve Days to the Attack” by Steve Twomey

“'Countdown to Pearl Harbor' — written with the benefit of hindsight — covered senior and experienced American military personnel who failed to properly communicate and plan, leading to the invasion of the Hawaiian base.”

Sheba Turk (anchor/reporter at WWL-TV, author): “Autobiography of Malcolm X” by Alex Haley and Malcolm X, “The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life” by Alice Schroeder, “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness” by Michelle Alexander, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot, “An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones

“I read mainly non-fiction these days but if you want a good fiction read, ‘An American Marriage’ is a juicy story that will leave you battling with yourself about who is right and who is wrong.”

Candice Huber (owner of Tubby & Coo's Mid-City Book Shop): "Trail of Lightning” by Rebecca Roanhorse, “The City in the Middle of the Night” by Charlie Jane Anders, “Once and Future” by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy, “Good Omens” by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, “Shatter the Sky” by Rebecca Kim Wells

“In ‘Shatter the Sky,’ a girl leaves everything she's always known to save her girlfriend in this bisexual, angry feminist, dragon fantasy adventure story."

Troy Carter (state senator): “Dictator” by Robert Harris, “Fear: Trump in the White House” by Bob Woodward, “American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company” by Bryce G. Hoffman, “The Essential Nietzsche: Beyond Good and Evil and The Genealogy of Morals” by Friedrich Nietzsche, “Grandma's Hands: Cherished Moments of Faith and Wisdom”by Calvin Mackie

“‘American Icon’ is a great read; it captures the essence of restructuring and rethinking success. A must-read for leaders of any organization — business, academia or government.”

Megan Holt (project leader at One Book One New Orleans): “Fiolet & Wing: An Anthology of Domestic Fabulist Poetry” edited by Stacey Balkun and Catherine Moore, “We Cast a Shadow” by Maurice Carlos Ruffin, “New Orleans Griot: The Tom Dent Reader” written by Tom Dent and edited by Kalamu ya Salaam, “Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas” edited by Rebecca Solnit and Rebecca Snedeker, “Vengeance” by Zachary Lazar

“‘Vengeance’ is the 2019 One Book One New Orleans citywide reading selection.”

J.M. Redmann (author): “Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation” by Robert W. Fieseler, “Bury Me When I'm Dead: A Charlie Mack Motown Mystery” by Cheryl A. Head, “Never Look Back” by Alison Gaylin, “Spectacular Wickedness: Sex, Race and Memory in Storyville, New Orleans” by Emily Epstein Landau, “Royal Street Reveillon (A Scotty Bradley Mystery)” by Greg Herren

“Nobody does the madcap revelry of New Orleans better than Greg Herren in his Scotty Bradley books.”

Stephanie Grace (columnist at The Times-Picayune | New Orleans Advocate): “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” by Gail Honeyman, “A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles, “We Cast a Shadow” by Maurice Carlos Ruffin, “Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger” by Rebecca Traister, “Common Ground: A Turbulent Decade in the Lives of Three American Families” by J. Anthony Lukas

“With the old debate over school busing back in the news, this is the perfect time to revisit J. Anthony Lukas’ 1985 Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece about busing in Boston, race, class and so much more.”

Tory McPhail (chef at Commander’s Palace): “American Sketches: Great Leaders, Creative Thinkers, and Heroes of a Hurricane” by Walter Isaacson, “Chasing the Gator: Isaac Toups and the New Cajun Cooking” by Isaac Toups and Jennifer V. Cole, “Endless Summer Cookbook” by Katie Lee, “Margaritaville: The Cookbook: Relaxed Recipes For a Taste of Paradise” by Carlo Sernaglia and Julia Turshen, “Uncommon Service: How to Win by Putting Customers at the Core of Your Business” by Frances Frei and Anne Morriss

“‘Uncommon Service’ is just a fantastic book about other well-known companies that are using the power of hospitality to influence the growth of their businesses.”

Suzannah Powell/Boyfriend (singer): “Sing, Unburied, Sing” by Jesmyn Ward, “Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar” by Cheryl Strayed, “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear” by Elizabeth Gilbert, “My Brilliant Friend” by Elena Ferrante, “All the King’s Men” by Robert Penn Warren

“I try to read something from the established canon of great American literature each year. ‘All the King’s Men’ is a must for any New Orleanian — poetically and strikingly poignant for our political climate.”

Carey Beckham and Alton Cook (owners of Beckham’s Bookshop): “Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson and America's Journey from Slavery to Segregation” by Steve Luxenberg, “Murder in the Bayou: Who Killed the Women Known as the Jeff Davis 8?” by Ethan Brown, “Spectacular Wickedness: Sex, Race, and Memory in Storyville, New Orleans” by Emily Epstein Landau, “Bulbancha Is Still A Place: Indigenous Culture from New Orleans” zine, “Salvage the Bones” by Jesmyn Ward

“Jesmyn Ward is something of a sensation this summer with her memoir ‘Men We Reaped’ and novels ‘Salvage the Bones’ and ‘Sing, Unburied, Sing.’ She’s a beautiful writer but the material is a little bit tough because she grew up black and poor in Mississippi and she writes about that.”

Bill Loehfelm (author): “Big Sky” by Kate Atkinson, “They All Fall Down” by Rachel Howzell Hall, “Never Look Back” by Alison Gaylin, “The Swallows” by Lisa Lutz, “Claire Dewitt and the City of the Dead” by Sara Gran

“Set in New Orleans, ‘City of the Dead’ kicks off a killer series and introduces us to PI Claire DeWitt, the best character in contemporary crime fiction. Imagine Hunter S. Thompson as a PI, only less well-adjusted.”

Kristin Gisleson Palmer (New Orleans City Councilwoman): “Washington Black” by Esi Edugyan, “Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth” by Sarah Smarsh, “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens, “Children of Blood and Bone” by Tomi Adeyemi, “Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America” by Beth Macy

“‘Dopesick,’ an incredible in-depth work on the rise of opioids and heroin in America, tracks the beginning of the epidemic in socially and politically marginalized communities to the full assault within suburban and urban areas across the country. Dispassionate, yet also told through personal stories, it clearly lays out the social, political and racial factors of the trend and the underlying source — the greed of large pharma.”

Britton Trice (owner of Garden District Book Shop): “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens, “The New Girl” by Daniel Silva, “Call It What You Want” by Brigid Kemmerer, “Lost Girls of Paris” by Pam Jenoff, “The Yellow House” by Sarah M. Broom

“Set in a shotgun house in New Orleans East, ‘The Yellow House’ is a brilliant, haunting, and unforgettable memoir about the inexorable pull of home and family.”

Debbie Lindsey and Philipe LaMancusa (owners of Kitchen Witch Cookbooks): “Nine Lives: Death and Life in New Orleans” by Dan Baum, “Losing Earth: A Recent History” by Nathaniel Rich, “Provence, 1970: M. F. K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste” by Luke Barr, “Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust” by Charles Patterson, “Skinny Fat Girl” by Paulina Graziose, “Wolf Whistle” by Lewis Nordan

“A fictionalized retelling of the Emmett Till murder — grim with magical realism woven throughout that adds beauty and poignancy, even dark humor. Impossible to put down.”

Gia Hamilton (director and curator at the New Orleans African American Museum): “The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America” by Richard Rothstein, “Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays” by Zadie Smith, Marking Time, Making Place: An Essential Chronology of Blacks in New Orleans Since 1718 by James B. Borders IV, “Women who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, “Salt” by Nayyirah Waheed

"To many, poetry may feel like a luxury or nonessential reading, but ‘Salt’ helps us better connect as human beings. Her words carry weight and resonate with my spirit."

Follow Kevin Allman on Twitter: @kevinallman