I have a tendency to pick heavier books, ones that aren’t so quick to get through (I’ve been reading Eric Metaxes’s lovely 700 page Bonhoeffer since Christmas), but when I do find a good novel, I get lost and race through to the end pretty quickly. Summer is a time for getting lost in novels, rather than struggling through 700 pages full of German names I can’t pronounce or keep straight. So, with that in mind, here are my picks for the summer.
This one caught my eye on Amazon because it was “recommended because you liked Girl on a Train.” HMU if you ever find a man who understands me the way Amazon Prime does.
I read Vanishing Girls in about 5 days while I was traveling through Santa Barbara with my family. If you can let yourself get lost in the mind of a seventeen year old girl, you’ll love it. I had a hard time at first, because this teenage-written-by-adult-voice is why I dislike John Green so much, but I gave Lauren Oliver a chance and really enjoyed the book. There’s enough suspense to keep you on your toes throughout the whole book, and I while I pride myself on watching enough Law and Order and Criminal Minds to predict the ending to any book like this, (I’m basically a detective), I wasn’t able to do that with this one. So hats off to you, Lauren Oliver. Vanishing Girls is fun, easy, summertime reading, with a nice little twist at the end.
Everyone Brave is Forgiven, Chris Cleave
Okay, so this one isn’t necessarily easy subject matter, but it’s a novel, and that’s what makes it worth it, right? My reader’s heart just gravitates towards World War II and Holocaust literature (Bonhoeffer, remember?).
Since I haven’t read it yet, I’ll share some snippets from the Amazon description:
“London, 1939. The day war is declared, Mary North leaves finishing school unfinished, goes straight to the War Office, and signs up. Tom Shaw decides to ignore the war—until he learns his roommate Alistair Heath has unexpectedly enlisted. Then the conflict can no longer be avoided. Young, bright, and brave, Mary is certain she’d be a marvelous spy. When she is—bewilderingly—made a teacher, she finds herself defying prejudice to protect the children her country would rather forget.”
Of course, they will fall in love, and at multiple points throughout the book I’m sure I will cry. But where else is a better place to hide your tears than at the beach? It’s either ugly sobs alone in my apartment or pretending to be fine behind my sunglasses as I slurp margaritas through a straw. I’ve made my choice.
Again, I trust my friend Prime with this one.
“The next blockbuster thriller for those who loved The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl... “a finely crafted novel with a killer twist.” (Paula Hawkins, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Girl on the Train)
On a rainy afternoon, a mother’s life is shattered as her son slips from her grip and runs into the street . . .
I Let You Go follows Jenna Gray as she moves to a ramshackle cottage on the remote Welsh coast, trying to escape the memory of the car accident that plays again and again in her mind and desperate to heal from the loss of her child and the rest of her painful past.”
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, Gabrielle Zevin
This one has been on my list since its release in 2014. It has excellent reviews, is already available in paperback, and, according to reviews, “reminds us all exactly why we read and why we love.” I’m in.
“A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over–and see everything anew.” -Amazon
My heart is kind of torn in two with this one. Harry Potter wrapped up so perfectly with the seventh book; every little loose end tied up. It was meant to be told in seven parts. But, as a true Harry Potter fan, how can I be upset about more Harry Potter? It just better be good. Come on, Rowling. We’re all counting on you.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is available for preorder and will be released July 31st.
There you have it, my top 5 summer picks. There is an accompanying list of childrens’ books to go alongside this one, but since not everyone spends their time with fifth graders, I’ll save that for another post.
As always, I’ll keep you posted on how these turn out, and if you have a book recommendation, send it my way!