"There's no point in spending your life in the pursuit of something that's easy." - Alice Kuipers

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Summer Reading List

I've noticed a lot of my favourite authors putting out their summer reading lists of late, and it inspired me to do the same. However, there is a twist. This is not a list of books I recommend you read this summer. This is a list of books that I intend to read this summer. I can't say for sure whether or not they'll be good, as I haven't read them yet, but you're more than welcome to read them along with me. I'll be posting updates on the books as I finish them, letting you know which ones I find good and what not. But as for right now, I give you: The List.

Skipping a Beat - Sarah Pekkanen

Now, this book I've actually already read but I decided to put it on the list just for your benefit. This is Pekkanen's second book, the first being The Opposite of Me (another amazing novel), and I have to say, she's an amazing writer. Her characters are exquisitely written. They're complex and empathetic and you can't help but feel everything they're feeling. Her stories are beautiful and unexpected, and I honestly can't say enough good things about her books. So give this one a try, and if you haven't read her first one I highly suggest you add it to the list as well.

My Fair Lazy - Jen Lancaster

I know what you're all thinking, that book's been out for a long time. Jen already has another book out (her first work of fiction - Wish You Were Here). But here's the thing. I love Jen Lancaster and her work. I have to own it, but I only like seeing paperbacks on my shelf so I've been waiting for the paperback edition to come out. I could have rented it from the library in the meantime, but the thought of having to bring it back was torture so I very impatiently waited until it finally arrived on my bookstore's shelves. She has quite a few other books as well, which I highly recommend. (My two favourites are Bitter is the New Black and Such a Pretty Fat)

Gourmet Rhapsody - Muriel Barbery

I read her other book, The Elegance of the Hedgehog, and positively loved it. They are translated from French and her prose are beautiful. She offers a profound look at human nature and philosophy, all wrapped in exquisite story telling. The first book was a little dry at first but well worth staying with it. I'm hoping Gourmet Rhapsody is just as good.

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie - Alan Bradley

Alan Bradley offers the unique idea of a Nancy Drew type character (the lovely Flavia de Luce) that solves actual murders. She's also obsessed with poison and chemistry, often using chemistry in solving the crimes. So far there are three books in the series. The first is the above, the second is The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag, and the third is A Red Herring Without Mustard. I must confess, I've already read the second one. Yes, I'm reading them out of order! But I can tell you this, they're charming. They're unexpected and the character of Flavia is enamoring. It's a fabulous concept.

A Red Herring Without Mustard - Alan Bradley

No need to elaborate on this one.

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake - Aimee Bender

I have been staring at this book on the bookstore shelf for ages now, thoroughly intrigued. I've never read anything by Aimee Bender but the concept for this novel is too enticing to pass up. It's about a young girl who begins tasting her mother's emotions in the food she bakes. She realizes her mother isn't as happy as she appears and it leads to the uncovering of family secrets. Intrigued yet? I am.

Bite Me, A Love Story - Christopher Moore

I won't lie. I've read everything he's ever written, and with the exception of Fluke, I've loved every one of them. This book is the third of a series. The first being Bloodsucking Fiends and the second You Suck. I highly suggest you read all of his works, especially Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal, The Stupidest Angel, and A Dirty Job. But honestly, they're all exceptional except, of course, for Fluke.

The Great Night - Chris Adrian

I've never read Chris Adrian, but I was intrigued by the story line of this novel. Simply put, it's a retelling of a Midsummer Night's Dream in a modern scenario. I have no idea if it will be any good or fall completely flat, but I'm going to give it a try.

The Raising - Laura Kasischke

Again, I have no idea how this one is going to turn out. It's a mystery about the death of young, straight A college student named Nicole. Some aren't sure she's really dead. I'm most attracted to this novel due to the raving reviews of her prose and apparently masterful storytelling. I'll let you all know my verdict when I'm done.

And that about does it for now. I'll be adding more to this as time goes on, as this definitely won't last me all summer, but for the time being I feel it's a reasonably good list to start me off. If you read any of them, let me know what you think!

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