I’m not a huge fan of summer, more of a winter person, but this year summer feels different. Sure, it’s only June and already the temps are reaching into the triple digits (I think it was 112 yesterday) and the hot wind blowing across the Mojave desert makes going outside something akin to walking into the world’s largest convection oven.
But…IT’S SUMMER! Yay!
Summer, as a kid, was filled with the promise of camp, vacation, the newest blockbuster movie, barbeques in the back yard, spending whole days in the pool to the point where Mom was sure my brother and I were about to sprout gills any minute, and playing outside until the streetlights came on and fireflies flickered in the yard. Days were filled with sounds of cicadas, crickets and the soft hiss of sprinklers across lush, green lawns.
For me, an added bonus was spending hours reading. I devoured books on a daily basis. My friend Donna and I would have contests to see who could read the thickest books in the shortest amount of time. Sacajawea, by Anna L. Waldo was one of our all-time favorites and of course anything by James Michner.
My appetite for books hasn’t wavered. I still take lazy days to do nothing but read. So far I’ve read a few I’d like to share with all of you. I’d like to hear what you all have been reading, too! Add them in the comments or on Facebook. Let’s see if we can come up with the Ultimate Summer Reading List!
Water for Elephants; Sara Gruen: This novel made me laugh and cry. Sara really did a bang-up job on her research of circus life during the Depression of the 1930s. The setting and characters come to life and you can’t help but feel for them every step of the way. Even if you’ve seen the movie (which I haven’t yet), definitely pick up the novel and settle in for a good read.
The Help; Kathryn Stockett: When I was little, I remember my mom telling me her family had an African American maid for a while. I never thought much of it, except that’s how things were in the 50s and 60s. The Help is an incredible story that will definitely make you think about how hard and dangerous life could be for the hired help during that time. It takes place in Jackson, Mississippi and shows how a handful of women in the South took a big chance to make a major change to their corner of the world one personal story at a time.
And for you writers, be sure to stop by Larry Brooks’ Story Fix for his deconstruction of the book.
Six Graves to Munich; Mario Puzo: This one’s for all you guys out there. Set just after WWII, this thriller is all about revenge as Michael Rogan, an ex-intelligence officer, embarks on his own personal mission to eliminate the Nazis who captured and put him through torture. Falling in love with a hooker he met along the way only complicates things. Six Graves is a very quick read, but engrossing none the less.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter; Seth Grahame-Smith: Do you like American History? Do you like vampires? If so, this book is for you. Seth combines Lincoln’s biography and the backdrop of the Civil War for a very interesting concept. My only problem with this novel was I wish he continued with the narrative style he had going in the prologue. The book was a little slow in the middle, but the twist at the end made me grin.
Forever: A Novel; Pete Hamil: This book is one of my all time favorites. The story begins in Ireland in 1741 where we meet Cormac O’Connor. Raised on Gaelic beliefs, his old world ways and half-Jewish blood doesn’t exactly endear him to the Protestant aristocracy. When his father is killed by Lord Warren, Cormac follows him to the New World and while on the ship, befriends a mystical slave named Kongo. The political unrest in New York at the time gets Cormac and his new friend swept up in the rebellion. When Cormac is mortally wounded saving Kongo’s life, Kongo returns the favor by taking him to an African Priestess where Cormac is given back his life…and more. He’s immortal, but will never be able to leave the island of Manhattan.
Other Good Books:
Anything by Terry Pratchett
A Game of Thrones; George R. Martin
The Outlander Series; Diane Gabaldon
Black Hills; Nora Roberts
And the most important book on the list:
Bonds of Blood & Spirit: Loyalties; Wendi Kelly/Deb Dorchak: Vampires, werewolves, romance and adventure! Who could possibly ask for anything more?
Your turn! Let’s hear what’s on your list!