As we inch closer to the holiday weekend and the start of Summer vacation, I’m looking forward to those enjoyable reads outside – by the pool, in a hammock, on the porch, ie. OUTSIDE! It may be typical to come up with a list of “beachy” reads – ones that are light, whimsical, and quick. As you’ll see in my assortment listed, those are indeed part of the mix! However, with more time on my hands (and sunshine in the day), I am challenging myself with some of the thicker and comprehensive reads where I can focus in longer stints of reading sessions. Additionally, I want to explore various genres as well as tackle more of my To Be Read pile! Fingers crossed I can knock a few off the list 🙂 Happy Summer Reading!
The Circle by Dave Eggers
When Mae is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. Run out of a sprawling California campus, the Circle links users’ personal emails, social media, and finances with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of transparency. Mae can’t believe her great fortune to work for them – even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public …
Rosie Dunne by Cecelia Ahern
Rosie and Alex are destined for one another, and everyone knows it but them. Best friends since childhood, their relationship gets closer by the day, until Alex learns that his family is leaving Dublin for Boston. Devastated, Rosie and Alex make plans for Rosie to apply to colleges in the United States. She gets into Boston College, Alex gets into Harvard, and everything is falling into place. But on the eve of her departure, Rosie gets some stunning news: she’s pregnant by a boy she’d gone out with while on the rebound from Alex. Her dreams for college, Alex, and a glamorous career dashed, Rosie stays in Dublin to become a single mother, while Alex pursues a medical career and a new love in Boston. But destiny is a funny thing.
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
The international literary sensation, about a boy’s quest through the secrets and shadows of postwar Barcelona for a mysterious author whose book has proved as dangerous to own as it is impossible to forget. As with all astounding novels, The Shadow of the Wind sends the mind groping for comparisons—The Crimson Petal and the White? The novels of Arturo Pérez-Reverte? Of Victor Hugo? Love in the Time of Cholera?—but in the end, as with all astounding novels, no comparison can suffice. As one leading Spanish reviewer wrote, “The originality of Ruiz Zafón’s voice is bombproof and displays a diabolical talent. The Shadow of the Wind announces a phenomenon in Spanish literature.” An uncannily absorbing historical mystery, a heart-piercing romance, and a moving homage to the mystical power of books, The Shadow of the Wind is a triumph of the storyteller’s art.
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver. Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don’s Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.
The Village by Marghanita Laski
‘If anyone asked me to describe life in post-war Britain, ‘ commented Sarah Crompton in the Daily Telegraph, ‘I would suggest they read The Village, a 1952 story of lovers divided by class that tells you more about the subtle gradations of life in the Home Counties and the cataclysmic changes wrought by war and a Labour government than any number of plays by JB Priestley or more famous tomes by Greene and Waugh.’ And Charlotte Moore wrote in the Spectator: ‘This traditionally organised novel of English village life is more than a gentle dig at quirky English behaviour. It is a precise, evocative but unsentimental account of a period of transition; it’s an absorbing novel, and a useful piece of social history.’
Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson
In her new book, FURIOUSLY HAPPY, Jenny explores her lifelong battle with mental illness. A hysterical, ridiculous book about crippling depression and anxiety? That sounds like a terrible idea. And terrible ideas are what Jenny does best. According to Jenny: “Some people might think that being ‘furiously happy’ is just an excuse to be stupid and irresponsible and invite a herd of kangaroos over to your house without telling your husband first because you suspect he would say no since he’s never particularly liked kangaroos. And that would be ridiculous because no one would invite a herd of kangaroos into their house. Two is the limit. I speak from personal experience. My husband says that none is the new limit. I say he should have been clearer about that before I rented all those kangaroos.” “Most of my favorite people are dangerously fucked-up but you’d never guess because we’ve learned to bare it so honestly that it becomes the new normal. Like John Hughes wrote in The Breakfast Club, ‘We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it.’ Except go back and cross out the word ‘hiding.'”
The Nine Lives of Chloe King by Liz Braswell
Chloe King is a normal girl. She goes to class (most of the time), fights with her mom, and crushes on a boy… or two. But around her sixteenth birthday, Chloe finds that perhaps she isn’t so normal after all. There’s the heightened night vision, the super fast reflexes – oh, and the claws. As she discovers who she is – and where she comes from – it is clear she is not alone. And someone is out to get her. Chloe has nine lives. But will nine be enough?
Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult
The small town of Paradise, Pennsylvania, is a jewel in Lancaster County – known for its picture-postcard landscapes and bucolic lifestyle. But that peace is shattered by the discovery of a dead infant in the barn of an Amish farmer. A police investigation quickly leads to two startling disclosures: the newborn’s mother is an unmarried Amish woman, eighteen-year-old Katie Fisher. And the infant did not die of natural causes. Although Katie denies the medical proof that she gave birth to the child, circumstantial evidence leads to her arrest for the murder of her baby. One hundred miles away, Philadelphia defense attorney Ellie Hathaway has achieved an enviable, high-profile career. But her latest court victory has set the sands shifting beneath her. Single at thirty-nine and unsatisfied with her relationship, Ellie doesn’t look back when she turns down her chance to make partner and takes off for an open-ended stay at her great-aunt’s home in Paradise. Fate brings her to Katie Fisher. Suddenly, Ellie sees the chance to defend a client who truly needs her, not just one who can afford her. But taking on this case challenges Ellie in more ways than one. She finds herself not only in a clash of wills with a client who does not want to be defended but also in a clash of cultures with a people whose channels of justice are markedly different from her own. Immersing herself in Katie Fisher’s life — and in a world founded on faith, humility, duty, and honesty — Ellie begins to understand the pressures and sacrifices of those who to live plain. As she peels away the layers of fact and fantasy, Ellie calls on an old friend for guidance. Now, just as this man from Ellie’s past reenters her life, she must uncover the truth about a complex case, a tragic loss, the bonds of love — and her own deepest fears and desires.
What is on your Summer Reading List for 2018?