2020 Summer Reading

Wondering what to read this summer? New novels, timely nonfiction, classic beach reads, new books from favorite authors…

The Best of Summer reading lists are rolling in and full of great suggestions. We’ve compiled the links to the top media lists to make the search easy. Check them out:

The Most Anticipated Books Of Summer 2020

Buzzfeed News
29 Summer Books You Won’t Be Able To Put Down

The 30 Most Anticipated New Books Of Summer 2020

Entertainment Weekly
The Summer’s 30 Hottest Reads

Good Housekeeping
The 25 Best Beach Reads to Add to Your Summer Reading List

Harper’s Bazaar
The 14 Best Summer Books to Read in 2020

Lit Hub
The Best New Books to Read This Summer

The New York Times Book Review
2020 Summer Reading

28 of the Best Beach Reads of Summer 2020

The 20 Best Books to Read This Summer

The 25 Books You’ll Want To Read This Summer

The 25 Books You’ll Want To Read This Summer

She Reads / Bookshop
The Most Anticipated Books of Summer 2020

The Atlantic
20 Books to Read in Quarantine This Summer

15 Books We’re Excited to Read This Summer

45 New Books You Need to Read This Summer

Today Show
16 Highly Anticipated Summer Books You Won’t Be Able to Put Down

Travel + Leisure
The 20 Most Anticipated Books of Summer 2020

The 22 Best Books to Read This Summer

29 Books We Can’t Wait to Read This Summer

Washington Post
20 Books to Read this Summer

Be sure to purchase your next beach read from your favorite local indie bookstore! Bookshop.org   |   Indiebound.org

Binge-watch … now binge-read


Have you “Finished Netflix?”



We are all staying home and spending more time streaming various binge-able series on Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Starz, and Showtime. Now is the perfect time to read the novel(s) that inspired the series.



Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng • Series streaming on Hulu

Based on the New York Times bestseller by Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere is currently streaming on Hulu, starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington.


Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty • Series streaming on HBO

After you finish streaming season two of Big Little Lies on HBO, start reading all of the novels by New York Times bestselling author Liane Moriarty.


The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon • Streaming on Starz

If you’ve binge-watched the Outlander series on Starz and you’re left craving more … you won’t be disappointed reading Diana Gabaldon’s epic series. Work your way through all eight novels, starting with Outlander and ending with Written in My Own Heart’s Blood.



Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan • Streaming on Amazon Prime

Did you burn through season 1 and season 2 of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan on Amazon Prime? There are plenty of novels by bestselling author Tom Clancy centered around his U.S. Marine character, Jack Ryan. Start with all-time fan favorites such as The Hunt for Red October, Clear and Present Danger, or Patriot Games.



Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons • Adaptation streaming on HBO

Craving more Watchmen after watching the HBO adaptation? Go back to where it all started by reading Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’s graphic novel — considered the greatest graphic novel in the history of the medium.



The Tudors streaming on Showtime • Try reading the Wolf Hall Trilogy by Hilary Mantel

If you’ve finished Showtime’s series The Tudors and you’ve got an appetite for more historical drama … don’t miss the Wolf Hall Trilogy by bestselling author Hilary Mantel. Tracing stories around Thomas Cromwell, Ann Boleyn, and King Henry VIII, Mantel’s Wolf Hall, Bring Up the Bodies, and The Mirror & the Light will satisfy your passion for historical fiction.




There are hundreds of TV series based on books. We’ve got plenty of other suggestions if you’re looking for more.

You could get ahead of the curve by choosing to read the bestselling series of books by author Cixin Liu. It is rumored that Amazon has dropped $1 billion to adapt The Three-Body Problem into a TV series for Prime video.



Need more suggestions? Reach out to us! ‣

Reach Readers on TV

OTT (Over The Top) and CTV (Connected Television)

  • Guarantee impressions at any spending level.
  • Stream your video to specific ZIP codes on personal devices and major gaming consoles.
  • Target your banners to phones and computers by demo and behavior.
  • Reach viewers who are streaming content from Vudu, Hulu, Crackle, Sling TV, Roku, Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick, Apple TV, and more.

And don’t forget that book buyers are also tuning into cable and broadcast TV to get away from it all.



Seize the Hungry Eyeballs ‣










The Way We Gift Now

The Way We Gift Now

In the 4.7.20 Shelf Awareness, Atomic Books of Baltimore, MD reported:

“People have been asking, ‘What can we do? How can we help?’ All you need to do is BUY BOOKS and GIFT CARDS! We don’t need donations or anything extra (just yet). We’re here to sell books. And if you keep buying books we should be fine.”

Let’s do it friends; start buying books now for all those events on the horizon. Sure, we could wait, but booksellers and bookstores need our help now! Let your friends and family know how easy it is to Shop Local and Now with Bookshop.org or IndieBound.org, and support their local retailer.



Rescheduled a lunch?


Remember DATES with friends? Since that’s not happening, send a book instead! Hilary Mantel is a captivating date with The Mirror & the Light; Don Winslow thrills with Broken; or surprise with debut author Elizabeth Wetmore’s Valentine.



The Mirror & the Light • Broken • Valentine

Grads love to read.




Think of the GRADUATES—kindergarten, elementary / middle / high school, college—who will miss their big celebrations. A gift is in order, maybe two! Buy a gift card or Oh, the Places You’ll Go, Becoming by Michelle Obama, Make Your Bed by William McKraven. Find inspiration NOW from your local bookstore.



Becoming • Oh, the Places You'll Go • Make Your Bed

Wedding postponed?




Maybe your friends had to cancel their WEDDING? Ours did. How about a book to cushion the blow? A terrific cookbook perhaps? One of Mark Bittman’s or his newest How to Eat; Ottolenghi Simple, or Bakerita “for the modern baker.” We’re going to send That Cheese Plate Will Change Your Life (out 5/12)—hope it’s true!



How to Eat • Ottolenghi Simple • Bakerita • That Cheese Plate Will Change Your Life

Moms & Dads.




Take care of MOTHER’S DAY (May 10) and FATHER’S DAY (June 21) NOW. Lots of excellent gifts for Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa. Consider Her Last Flight by Beatriz Williams, Simon the Fiddler by Paulette Jiles, The Dutch House by Ann Patchett, The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich, Dad’s Maybe Book by Tim O’Brien, While the Music Played by Nathaniel Lande, Rick Atkinson’s The British Are Coming is new in paperback.



Her Last Flight • Dad's Maybe Book • While the Music Played • The British Are Coming

Christmas in April?




Think ahead to the HOLIDAYS! Be the person who shops early. Yes, you! There are books you can already see buying for Christmas or Hanukkah, so order NOW! Then there is plenty of time to wrap.



Christmas in April

“So call your local bookstore and see if they’re still shipping. It turns out the community of readers and books is the community we needed in the good old days, and it’s the community we need in hard times, and it’s the community we’ll want to be there when this whole thing is over.”
—Ann Patchett, co-owner of Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN




Our industry is so thoughtful and generous, and there are many ways to support bookstores and booksellers, artists and writers. Many of you already have. But if you have time to think about the books you want to share, to give, to press upon your friends and family, please do. The key word is NOW!









Or connect with your local bookseller.











Need More Gift Ideas? Reach Out to Us! ‣




The Way We Read Now

The Way We Read Now


We know what is essential. Yes, liquor stores are classified as essential services under the Tri-State Workforce Reductions Order. But we also know that books are essential.

With the closure of libraries and bookstores, and Amazon de-prioritizing books for shipment, avid readers are hungrier than ever for suggestions as they make the most out of the new normal.

Which kind of reader are you?

Take Verso’s quiz to find out which reader archetype you resemble.





Books We Love in the Time of Coronavirus




1) When I return home with arms full of toilet paper, sanitary wipes and hard liquor, I like to curl up with something like: 

  1. STATION ELEVEN (Imaginative fiction depicting an Earth ravished by plague.)
  2. THE MIRROR AND THE LIGHT (Historical fiction with strong characters struggling to survive in the face of irrationality and betrayal.)
  3. TOUGH TALKING COWBOY (Can romance blossom on Wild Rose Ranch?)




2) When I reflect that even the best television hammers and lengthens my brain waves into a state of placid inertia, I crack open a copy of: 

  1. THE FIFTH RISK (It turns out that the “Deep State” is actually just experienced public servants trying to get their jobs done.)
  2. JOHN ADAMS UNDER FIRE (The lawyer who would become our second President faces crises of patriotism and ethics.)
  3. PRISONER OF NIGHT (The author reveals that, sometimes, being a vampire can make you feel bad.)




3) As soon as I realize that my home is as clean as it is damn well going to get right now, I gratefully rest my eyes upon:

  1. CAPITAL AND IDEOLOGY (A renowned economist writes more than 1,000 pages about why life is so horribly unfair.)
  2. THE GIFT OF FORGIVENESS (Anecdotal evidence suggests that it may be possible to be less enraged.)
  3. PETE THE CAT: THE GREAT LEPRECHAUN CHASE (Pete the Cat embarks on a great chase that concerns leprechauns.)




4) If social media has sucked away time, and I am no longer certain whether I wake or sleep, then I attempt to restore an iota of sanity with:

  1. EDUCATED (Evidence to support a theory that education could still have meaning.)
  2. THE MAMBA MENTALITY (Techniques and practices for becoming less of a clumsy dolt.)
  3. THE OUTSIDER (Terrible things happen that are merely fictional.)




5) Death is flapping musty, bat-like wings over all I cherish. Luckily, I’ve been awaiting this opportunity to read: 

  1. BECOMING (A kind, intelligent person works hard at doing good things.)
  2. THE TATTOOIST OF AUSCHWITZ (A few people strive to remain human in harrowing circumstances.)
  3. THE MAGA DOCTRINE (A competent president with excellent ideas manages the greatest country in the world with aplomb.)




NOW give yourself 30 points for every A answer, 20 points for every B answer, and 10 points for every C answer.

130 – 150 points: You are the ENGAGED READER who reads books to improve your connection with reality. I am sorry.

100 – 129 points: You are the IMAGINATIVE READER who seeks out-of-the-box solutions to persistent problems. How’s it going?

50 – 99  points: You are the HAPPY READER. Godspeed.

0 – 49 points: You are the NON-READER. You have done something wrong and you are probably why we’re here in the first place.

Thank you for participating!

Please mail your results to:
79 Madison Ave, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10016.

(No reason, we just like mail.)










This crisis makes us think about what we value and why we’re here. Be good to yourself and to others.

Here are a few advertising suggestions:

Print outlets — including those with strong book coverage like The New York Times and NYTBR, The New Yorker, Entertainment Weekly, Harper’s, The Atlantic, New York Review of Books and The Week — are 85-95% subscription-based. So they are landing weekly or monthly in the homes of people seeking entertainment, information, and recommendations!

News! Radio! News radio! NPR, Apple News, iHeartRadio, SiriusXM. The audience for news has never been greater than right now and when you need to get away from the news, cooking, fitness, parenting, tech, and culture are all targetable, for example through Spotify.

Podcasts. Of course.

Cancelled tours. Changing pub dates. Books launching right now. We’re here to help with geo-targeting, targeted newsletters, trade advertising, regional ads, digital and display ads; campaigns small, medium or large.

Because, as we all know, books are essential.

Get in touch with any questions or requests. We’re here for you.


Get in Touch ‣




Another Milestone

Serving the book publishing industry since 1989

In 1989, the Berlin Wall came down. Today, the U.S. government is partially shut down over a different wall.

We’ve seen the rise of Amazon, ebooks, digital advertising and social media among other game changers.

But the passion that brings people into this business remains the same as it was when some of us were singing “Love Shack” along with The B-52’s. That is: to connect readers with books that will inform, move, improve, comfort, distract, engage, transform . . .

That’s where Verso comes in. 

You’ve tapped us for inspiration. You’ve turned to us for reliability and honesty. You’ve trusted us to enhance your voice and your reach.

You know we’re there when you want the best, fast, at the best rate going.

For 30 years our partnership has been a pleasure and a privilege.

Thank you.

John Grisham — A Time To Kill
Michael Lewis — Liar's Poker
Jeffrey Eugenides — The Virgin Suicides
Kazuo Ishiguro — The Remains of the day


Publishers Weekly Fiction Top Ten:

  1. Clear and Present Danger by Tom Clancy
  2. The Dark Half by Stephen King
  3. Daddy by Danielle Steel
  4. Star by Danielle Steel
  5. Caribbean by James A. Michener
  6. The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
  7. The Russia House by John Le Carré
  8. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet
  9. California Gold by John Jakes
  10. While My Pretty One Sleeps by Mary Higgins Clark


  1. All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten: Uncommon Thoughts on Common Things by Robert Fulghum
  2. Wealth Without Risk: How To Develop a Personal Fortune Without Going Out on a Limb by Charles J. Givens
  3. A Woman Named Jackie by C. David Heymann
  4. It Was on Fire When I Lay Down on It by Robert Fulghum
  5. Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book by the BH&G Editors
  6. The Way Things Work by David Macaulay
  7. It’s Always Something by Gilda Radner
  8. Roseanne: My Life as a Woman by Roseanne Barr
  9. The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines: China, Greece, and Rome by Jeff Smith
  10. My Turn: The Memoirs of Nancy Reagan by Nancy Reagan with William Novak

*Source: Pop-Culture.us



Versolutions: New Year, New You

2019 hurtles toward us.
Let’s work.



New Year, New You

Statista listed the following as respondents’ top resolutions for 2018:

  • 53% Save money
  • 45% Lose weight or get in shape
  • 25% Have more sex
  • 24% Travel more
  • 23% Read more books

Hey, we’re in there! And at a pretty respectable percentage. (Only 15% wanted to “Find love.”)

Let’s help those aspirants find their books.

(And if they’re books about saving money, getting in shape, getting it on, or getting away, then so much the better.)




High-engagement units on premium sites for affluent influencers



Flex Frame: a unit that really stays with you.

Center Stage Story with interactive excerpt or video.

Lifestyle content with high trust value



Eblasts, book club, and more.


Off the wall and on the wall



Health Media Network powered by CBS:
Reach doctors’ waiting areas nationwide.

Target by specialty … for example: “Pediatricians” if you want parents.

Hyperlocal and plugged into the community



Lots of our programmatic ads wind up here — that’s because they get clicks. And if we go direct, then we get options like Skins in the game, plus promoted calendar posts and more.


Up in the air



We do big screens, we do small screens. Reach travelers during their airport downtime on these tablet units, now available at 8 premium airport locations.

Let’s Discuss a Plan ‣


Versolutions now

“How did it get so late so soon?”
—Dr. Seuss


The first New York Times Book Review of September closes in a week.

That means seventeen Sundays left before Christmas. Of those, only THREE have far forward guaranteed full-page positioning still available. Busy days, and not just at the Times

Make sure your author gets positioning ‣
Native ads targeted programmatically to news

All the news that’s fit to post

Native ads targeted programmatically to news (and other) properties get high engagement rates and don’t take a lot of resources to assemble … fast.

Look like you belong there ‣
Reserve now!

In fact … all the news

USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post — each eager to work with us for value-rich plans (online as well as print). Reserve now for your Fall 2018 authors.

And big, national brands are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the newspaper biz. Local papers around the country continue to offer devoted READERships and we’re bringing it all on home to you.

Get ‘em where they live ‣


Versolutions Road Trip

Versolutions Road Trip


Somewhere between Los Angeles and New York …

your reader needs a book. Let’s solve that problem!

It’s a big country but as you know, we often focus on the coasts and major cities. Here are a few ways to think about connecting those dots on the map … in the car.

Going somewhere?

Long vacation drives mean lots of opportunities.

  • Sirius XM radio: Over 65.4 million people are tuned in, and many vehicles have it pre-installed for a free trial.
  • iHeartRadio: Beloved brands and great targeting possibilities. Newer vehicles have streaming audio built right in so it’s just a tap away.
  • Podcasts: So last week, yet so now! As of 2018, 22 percent of Americans have listened to podcasts in the car.
Sirius XM · iHearRadio · Podcasts

Of course the airwaves are still alive with listeners too and Verso has been getting you the best rates for traditional radio since 1989.

Connect with a nationwide audience for a song!

By the way, highway billboards.

Let’s go there ‣
Versolutions Targeted Advertising

Come on without, come on within. Versolutions.



Well have them you shall.

We recently wrote that our network / programmatic buys can accommodate purchasers of individual books. They can now also target purchasers of individual MOVIE TICKETS.

Ain’t that granular?

Assemble ‣


As noted in last month’s INVERSO, when social media giant Twitter wanted to reach influencers at Cannes, they didn’t just tweet about it — they bought a bunch of billboards.

That’s because outdoor works. And it’s not always prohibitively expensive. Phone kiosks, bus shelters, wild posts and more can provide a big impact.



Find Your Place in the Sun ‣




(Of course you have.) 

Verso Advertising has relationships with multiple podcast vendors, which enables us to pinpoint just the right properties for your book.

True crime? Sassy chats? History lessons? Sports stats? Often the host will read your script, or even ad lib beyond the duration of your purchased spot.

Cast Your Pod ‣
Versolutions Programmatic Advertising

Versolutions: Finding your audience




Did you know our ONLINE NETWORK / PROGRAMMATIC buys can be executed in many ways?

Tell us your most important goals in advance:

  • High CTR?
  • Low CPC?
  • Tons of impressions?
  • Got to have certain sites?
  • Got to reach a certain audience?

By focusing, we can make it happen. Also …


NEW: We can now target not only avid book readers via behavior, but CONFIRMED BOOK PURCHASERS by product or company.


Most of these buys can now accommodate video or HTML5. We also have the capacity to book these as native units, simply providing text and an image. These
often see superior engagement. In some cases, we can convert your video to animated GIF format.


Feel the algorithm ‣


Apple News


Using proprietary, first-party data to target your exact demo with high-impact units across their more than 9 million daily users.


Take a bite ‣




It doesn’t matter if you’re Marvel or DC, we’ve got your number in a plastic sleeve, true believers. Print, online, perfect for YA, science, and nerdy offerings at all ages. Ask us how we can target!


Engage ‣

For more about these opportunities — or for more ideas — CONTACT US