I recently read Kevin Wilson's novel The Family Fang, which is so strange and original and hysterically funny. It's about a husband and wife who are performance artists and force their young children to be part of their art project. It is a book like nothing else.
Every summer I love to look at the high school summer-reading tables at the bookstore and pick out something I haven't read before. A couple of years ago, I read The Bridge of San Luis Rey, and it was fantastic. I read Great Expectations five years ago because I saw it on the summer-reading table and thought, How have I never read that before? So I'd recommend looking around to see what the kids are reading and get it.
Patchett's new novel is State of Wonder
Next Edmund White