By Abby Berman Mazenod
It’s the first week of summer and in Los Angeles it has been a record hot! We’re going nuts here! So… What better way to spend your afternoon than to be out by the pool/at the beach lounging/inside your heavily air-conditioned home, reading!? …It’s basically all I want to do this summer. (Well that… and travel… a lot.)
I’ve already gotten a jumpstart on my summer reading list. Two books down, six more to go… It seems like a very reasonable pace to me, and I’m really excited about these books. Hopefully I’ll get through them all, but if not…there’s always next summer 🙂
So here’s the summer list… maybe you’ll want to read them along with me!
1. The Nest– by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
This was the first book that I read for the summer! I’m a sucker for the “best sellers”. I figure there is a reason that everyone else is reading it. It was cute. It was a very easy read. It was about a dysfunctional family, and their journey through the drama of their older brother basically stealing his siblings inheritance after they had waited decades to acquire it. There is an element of family acceptance and forgiveness that gives it the heartwarming element that any summer read should have.
2. The 5th Wave– by Rick Yancey
Okay… I’m a little late on this train, but I’m glad I got on board. This book is freaking awesome! I always love a good Y.A. dystopian romance, and this book delivers! I stayed up until 5am this morning finishing it… I couldn’t put it down! This book shows the views of three main characters, all dealing with the emotional/physical trauma, distress, confusion, and chaos in an alien invaded, post apocalyptic world, while figuring out how they are going to save humanity and find enchanting love. The 5th Wave is everything a young adult book should be. I was holding out on watching the movie until I finished the book… so tonight it’s a glass of wine, and a my little friend “Red Box”.
***6/27/16-Quick update: Watched the movie… I wouldn’t recommend it. The book was awesome! The movie… not so much. 🙂
3. Lamb– by Christopher Moore
My cool cousin recommended this book to me! I’m halfway through it, and I am absolutely loving it! It follows the fictional journey of Biff, the childhood friend of Jesus, and his experiences with “The Savior” as he is finding himself as the “Son of God”. You don’t have to be the tiniest bit religious to appreciate the humor of Jesus’s oaf of a friend telling the tales of the missing 30 years of “the Messiah’s” life during the Roman empire. Good, fun, wholesome stuff! I can’t wait to finish it!
4. The Nightingale– by Kristin Hannah
This one was my mom’s recommendation. She couldn’t stop talking about it! It’s about a french woman during WWII, having to live with a Nazi German Captain who occupies her home while her husband is away. My mom said that she “couldn’t put it down”… so I’m going to give it a go 🙂
5. The Color of Magic– by Terry Pratchett
This was the book that was chosen by my awesome friend Joyce for our book club this month! It is about a group of people, living on a world, that is sitting on the backs of elephants, that are standing on the back of a turtle, that is floating through space. It sounds totally ridiculous, and it is supposed to be very good-humored and entertaining! Her husband has been raving about it, so I’m sure I will be raving about it soon too!
6. The Outliers– by Kimberly McCreight
I’ve been hearing about this book nonstop for the last month. Kimberly McCreight is another best selling author. I feel like that is enough to encourage me to read it.
7. Ulysses– by James Joyce
The cool thing… it’s free on amazon for the digital copy. The not cool thing… It’s a total bitch to read. This is my “Great, White Whale” for the summer. I’ve tried reading this book so many times, and have never been able to get past third chapter. This last semester though, all three of my English teachers kept going on and on about how important and influential James Joyce was to the modernist Era, and I can’t let it go! I need to know, I need to understand what they understand. So if you don’t already know, this is one of the greatest, if not the greatest work of Irish literature, and one of the most important works of modernist English Literature. It parallels the journey of Odysseus (otherwise known as Ulysses) to the journey of Leopold Bloom, a nonpracticing jew, and an advertising agent, and his day in Dublin on June 16, 1904. The book is confusing only because it jumps from first person, to third person, to stream of consciousness. But “The Lestrigones”, chapter 31, is a chapter I have studied in one of my English Lit. classes. This chapter is both gorgeously emotional and heartbreaking. If nothing else, read this chapter.
8. Breakfast of Champions– by Kurt Vonnegut
I love Kurt Vonnegut. I feel like he is hilarious and ironic, and… how could you not love an author who does a cameo in a Rodney Dangerfield Movie!? (See “Back to School”.) I’ve been told time and time again how funny this book is, and I am ecstatic to have the time to read it this summer! Wahoo!
Happy reads! Enjoy your summer!