Since summer has officially started, it’s time to start thinking about those books to take along to the beach, the pool or the various planes trains and automobiles you will find yourself in as you journey to various vacation spots during the next three months. Since it’s well documented that I have stacks of reading material all over my apartment, coming up with a list of books wasn’t difficult, it was whittling that list down into something manageable for the column this week. Since summer reading is traditionally about fun, frothy reads, I’ve pulled a few together that fit the list, but will also make your hours in the sun enjoyable and entertaining. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:
I’m a sucker for “Chick Lit” and love/relationship stories in general, but I’m a bigger fan of interesting ways to tell the story of how two people meet, fall in love and reach their happily ever after. Of course, there’s the “girl meets boy; girl loses boy; girl gets boy back” formula that is at the heart of every chick lit novel, but it’s how that story is told that really draws me in. Here’s a few that I’ve taken a shine to:
- The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan: I was immediately drawn to this book because of it’s premise – a relationship told though a series of 200 alphabetical entries (definitions). Instead of telling a traditional linear story, with paragraphs and pages of texts, Levithan instead decides to use words like “beguile,” “harbinger,” “covet,” “ethereal,” “narcissism” and “zenith” to describe the highs and lows of two characters in love. Read it and see if the words he’s chosen resonate with you.
- London is the Best City in America by Laura Dave: The heroine in this novel, Emmy, ditches her fiance in a hotel room and goes into a self-imposed exile until her older brother’s wedding sends her home for a weekend. Upon revealing that he has doubts about his pending nuptials, Emmy spends the next 72 hours with her brother confronting both her past and his future. I’m not finished with this novel yet, but I am enjoying the use of choices and consequences in Dave’s story. It’s not just a typical love story, it’s about self-discovery as well.
- Skipping a Beat by Sarah Pekkanen: In this high school sweethearts who marry novel, Pekkanen explores what happens when money and status creep into a relationship and causes the bond to suffer. A near death experience shocks the couple back from the brink, but what happens after that shock? Forgiveness? Frustration? Anger? Read and find out!
So, it’s easy to pick frothy fiction for a beach read, but what about something that isn’t made up and actually true? Here are a couple of books that I’ve started that I can’t wait to finish:
- At Home by Bill Bryson: Sure, this book might sound rather silly, or even boring on first look, but it’s actually quite an engaging read. Bryson’s wit and humor is well documented over the course of his brilliant career, and his ability to boil down history and in an engaging, accessible way make this book a keeper for me. During the course of the tome, you’ll learn how the Hall went from being the core of the house to where you leave your hats and jackets; how the Withdrawing Room became the Living Room; and some very interesting observations about stairs and falling from them. You’ll be sure to appreciate your own abode a bit more after reading this, and have a few good belly laughs as well.
- It Could Be Worse, You Could Be Me by Ariel Leve: I’m an optimistic person, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t have my own brand of worry that trips me up. In that sense, Leve’s book helps me feel “normal.” The humorous vignettes remind you that things aren’t that bad, and there’s always someone who has it worse than you (quite possibly Leve).
Feeding my Inner-Geek:
You all know just how Geeky my roots go, so no reading list is complete without something in that world. Here’s a few that I am excited about:
- Return of the Dapper Men by Jim McCann, Illustrated by Janet Lee: I sat in on an Archaia Comics panel at San Diego’s Comic-Con last year and Return of the Dapper Men was one book that I was instantly drawn to (even though all I saw of it was a few images on a screen). Now that I have the book in hand, it’s everything I wanted it to be and it is a work of art. Dapper Men is about Anorev, a world where children have never grown up, robots are a seamless part of human existence and time is standing still. Until the Dapper Men arrive. A boy and a robot girl who aren’t afraid to ask questions journey towards the truth and as much as you want them to know it, you don’t want the story to end. McCann’s words draw you in and Lee’s images root you firmly in the story. You’ll find yourself staring at every brushstroke, trying to decipher meaning beyond the page. Simply put, this book is magical.
- A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin: I started watching Game of Thrones on HBO this spring and am completely hooked! A co-worker highly recommended the series to me, and it actually became the first book that I downloaded onto my iPad2. Already aware of the seven kingdoms that make up the world of Game of Thrones, reading the novel is like waiting for an alarm to go off. I know what’s coming, but I’m still in a state of tension waiting for the plot to unfold. Let the Games begin (sorry, couldn’t resist)!
- Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris: Much like Game of Thrones, the Sookie Stackhouse novels were something that I picked up after watching the first season of True Blood. I won’t give away any of the storyline here (just in case there are some who either aren’t caught up or haven’t started the series), but Sookie once again finds herself trying to determine who to trust and smack dab in the middle of a power struggle between Eric, Pam and their new master. The series has faded a bit (this is Harris’s eleventh novel in the series), but we’re not looking for Shakespeare here. Should be a good backup for the summer days ahead.
Hopefully these books will inspire you to enjoy your well-deserved time off with some good reads.
Until next week (and my next obsession)!
Layout by: Michelle
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