This summer is for reading. (And Michael Westen.)

We’re almost two weeks into summer vacation.  Thus far, I’ve read ten books  and watched two entire seasons of Burn Notice on Netflix.  As you can see, it’s been highly productive break thus far (just don’t ask me how often I’ve cleaned the bathrooms.)

I can say that after watching all this t.v. if I ever decide to give up my career as an amateur reader and stay-at-home mom/homeschooler, I feel quite confident about my chances of being a spy, since the character Michael Westen is full of espionage tips in every episode of his magical show.

(Besides I think my plumpness and solid middle age look would be a good cover.  No one expects a chunky woman, wearing mom jeans, to be a spy.)

But until that fateful day when I put my new found knowledge of hot-wiring a car and bugging a suspect’s phone to good use, let me share with you some of the books I’ve been reading this summer.

In the picture book category:

Pete & Pickles, by Berkeley Breathed.  This is a gorgeous picture book (gorgeous!) with a sentimental plot line that is found in at least one Sandra Bullock romantic comedy.  Serious, predictable Pete’s life is turned upside down by the arrival of flamboyant and imaginative Pickles.  The story is sweet, but not saccharine, and the characters are charming.

Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great, by Bob Shea.  This picture book works extremely well as a read aloud, mostly because you get to say the phrase, “Cloven justice” (which is something everyone should do in their life time.)  Also it is a story anyone can relate to, because haven’t we all had some sparkly unicorn moving in and stealing our thunder?  I know I have.

In the Young Adult category:

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy #1) by Sarah Rees Brennan.  A book filled with strong characters, fabulously witty dialogue, magical spells, mental telepathy, mystery, and, alas, murder in a small English town.  Not to mention the tiny bits of romance speckled throughout the whole thing.  I haven’t enjoyed a YA novel like this in some time and unless your soul is dead (or you’re not that keen on sorcery) I think you’ll enjoy it too.  (I realize that I’ve mentioned this book before, but it’s that good.)

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray.  I need to say this up front:  this book is not for everyone (just the sexy people.)  It is a satire of everything that is wrong in the modern world, with its rampant consumerism, its hyper social media, the over-sexualization and objectification of women, and the exploitation of the environment.  As a direct result it is irreverent, sarcastic, occasionally crass, sometimes vulgar, and almost always funny.  But then again, what else would you expect from a story that begins with a plane full of teenage beauty contestants crashing on an almost deserted island?

In the adult fiction category:

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North.  (If you pick up one book from this list, it should be this one.)  Imagine having the opportunity to live your life over and over, keeping all of your experiences and knowledge each time you are reborn.  Imagine being betrayed by a friend who is hellbent on destroying the world.  Imagine being able to seek restitution and vengeance through several lifetimes.  Finally, imagine how completely satisfied you will feel after you’ve read this novel.

What books have you enjoyed this summer, Gentle Reader?  Do share.

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6 Responses to This summer is for reading. (And Michael Westen.)

  1. I took a picture book class last year (library school is THE BEST) and my entire class adored Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great.
    As for my summer reads, I just read Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys. It was engaging and fascinating and just a wonderful piece of YA lit.

  2. Hope Snyder says:

    The majority of my summer has been: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, sleeping, and reading. Right now I’m reading, “How Green Was My Valley”.

  3. Robin Kramer says:

    Just so you know, I FINALLY checked out Edenbrooke from the library. I just started another book today, though, and want to save Edenbrooke for next week when I’m traveling. Oh, I’m showing some major restraint…

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