summer reading list

Hey guys- S U M M E R  I S  H E R E!!!!  Here in Ontario, the peeps have one more day of school left. You know what that means... ONE MORE LUNCH TO PACK!  And boredom within 3 days. I hate hearing that.  I KNOW my mom hated to hear that too.  I'm bored.  Dude, I wish I was done all the things so I could be bored too.

This summer, my library (where I work and patronize) is doing a Summer of Learning where kiddos can get ballots to win an iPad mini.  Now in order to get said ballots, one of the important things you have to do is read 20 minutes a day.  (Not so bored now, are ya?)  The Maxster is very, VERY interested in possibly winning this iPad- because he has cranky mom who doesn't believe in purchasing electronics for 5 and 7 year olds.  I just don't.  You win one, what can I do.  And he knows it.  (He figures out all the angles right quick)  So he's all for the 20 minutes of reading just for that very reason.  This works out well for me- I have a hard time fitting in some day time reading for myself (at night it's one page then Eyelid Theatre- I know you know what I'm saying) - so we (the three of us) are going to have 20 minutes of reading time together each day.  This is the plan- I'll let you know how it goes.

To prepare for my summer reading, I got together a list of some titles I've been wanting to read and I thought I'd share them with you.  I know, from experience, most people are looking for a new book to read and love recommends.  Now, just a note here, I'm not recommending any of these- I haven't read them.  However, I have read reviews and have had friends recommend them to me.

(I'm going to provide links for all these titles at Chapters Indigo, but really guys, head over to your local library.  It saves you money, shelf space and the people that work there are usually pretty nice too.  I'm quite certain, if they don't have these books on the shelves, they can get them for you- or you can try to get them for your ereader)

1. Leviathan by Scott Westerfield

I have to have a young adult series to read in the summer and this one peeked my interest.  I really liked Scott Westerfield's Uglies, Pretties, Specials series so I thought I'd like to try another of his.

It is the cusp of World War I. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition. The British Darwinists employ genetically fabricated animals as their weaponry. Their Leviathan is a whale airship, and the most masterful beast in the British fleet.

Aleksandar Ferdinand, a Clanker, and Deryn Sharp, a Darwinist, are on opposite sides of the war. But their paths cross in the most unexpected way, taking them both aboard the Leviathan on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure….One that will change both their lives forever.

2. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

I have had this on my to-read list for ages.  I've heard nothing but good things about it.  I have had it at home a number of times, but usually with a pile of other things.  Whenever I go to renew it, I can't because someone else is waiting for it.

Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother’s death in childbirth and their father’s disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics — their passion for the same woman — that will tear them apart and force Marion, fresh out of medical school, to flee his homeland. He makes his way to America, finding refuge in his work as an intern at an underfunded, overcrowded New York City hospital. When the past catches up to him — nearly destroying him — Marion must entrust his life to the two men he thought he trusted least in the world: the surgeon father who abandoned him and the brother who betrayed him.

3.  The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

An English mystery series.  I've seen it go past me across the desk a bunch of times and it looks intriguing.  I've heard mixed reviews on it so we'll see.

The summer of 1950 hasn’t offered up anything out of the ordinary for eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce: bicycle explorations around the village, keeping tabs on her neighbours, relentless battles with her older sisters, Ophelia and Daphne, and brewing up poisonous concoctions while plotting revenge in their home’s abandoned Victorian chemistry lab, which Flavia has claimed for her own.

But then a series of mysterious events gets Flavia’s attention: A dead bird is found on the doormat, a postage stamp bizarrely pinned to its beak. A mysterious late-night visitor argues with her aloof father, Colonel de Luce, behind closed doors. And in the early morning Flavia finds a red-headed stranger lying in the cucumber patch and watches him take his dying breath. For Flavia, the summer begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw: “I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn’t. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life.”

4.  The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

I'm kinda cheating with this one- I'm already reading it.  I'm not usually a reader of Kristin Hannah's books, but I am really enjoying this one.

FRANCE, 1939
In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn't believe that the Nazis will invade France...but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When a German captain requisitions Vianne's home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates all around them, she is forced to make one impossible choice after another to keep her family alive.
Vianne's sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can...completely. But when he betrays her, Isabelle joins the Resistance and never looks back, risking her life time and again to save others.

I'm not sure why I had this one on my list- I think I had read a review in a magazine, I have it on hold on my library card- so it must have sounded good!  

Swedish Lapland, 1717. Maija, her husband and their two daughters arrive from their native Finland, hoping to forget the traumas of the past and put down roots in this harsh but beautiful land. Above them looms Blackasen, a mountain whose dark history haunts the lives of those in its shadow.
While herding the family's goats on the mountain, Maija's elder daughter, Frederika, stumbles across the mutilated body of one of their neighbours, Eriksson. The community dismisses the death as a wolf attack, but Maija feels certain it was murder. Compelled to investigate despite her neighbours' unconcern, Maija is drawn into the history of tragedies and betrayals that have taken place on Blackasen.
Meanwhile, young Frederika is pulled toward the mountain as well, feeling something no one around her seems to notice. The seasons change, and the harshest winter in memory-known as a "wolf winter"-descends upon them. Struggling to survive, the settlers are forced to come together, but Maija, not knowing whom to trust, is still determined to find answers. As the snow gathers, the settlers' secrets are laid bare. Soon Maija will discover the true cost of survival under the mountain-and what it will take to make it to spring.

My friend and co-worker Sue, recommended this one to me.  She loved it and I've found I do have a penchant for historical fiction.  I get all research-y and learn about the history behind it.  I've read another book about the Khmer Rouge- Dogs at the Perimeter by Madeliene Thien which was a very good read too.

For seven-year-old Raami, the shattering end of childhood begins with the footsteps of her father returning home in the early dawn hours, bringing details of the civil war that has overwhelmed the streets of Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital. Soon the family’s world of carefully guarded royal privilege is swept up in the chaos of revolution and forced exodus. Over the next four years, as the Khmer Rouge attempts to strip the population of every shred of individual identity, Raami clings to the only remaining vestige of her childhood—the mythical legends and poems told to her by her father. In a climate of systematic violence where memory is sickness and justification for execution, Raami fights for her improbable survival.

Another friend/coworker recommend.  My girl Leslie recommended this one to me a couple of years ago and it's been on my reading list since.  It's part of a series, and I do so love series books (really, I do!) and she and I have very similar taste in books so I totally trust her recommendation. 

Timothy Wilde tends bar, saving every dollar in hopes of winning the girl of his dreams. But when his dreams are destroyed by a fire that devastates downtown Manhattan, he is left with little choice but to accept a job in the newly minted New York City Police Department.
Returning exhausted from his rounds one night, Tim collides with a girl no more than ten years old… covered in blood. She claims that dozens of bodies are buried in the forest north of Twenty-Third Street. Timothy isn’t sure whether to believe her, but as the image of a brutal killer is slowly revealed and anti-Irish rage infects the city, the reluctant copper star is engaged in a battle that may cost him everything…  

A little bit of  chick lit-ish-ness to round out the list.  This isn't exactly your run of the mill light hearted frivolous chick lit (I'm not being judge-y, I enjoy that too)  It's a little more acidic.  Moms, school yard scandal, murder.  Sounds like a page turner to me.

Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:
Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).

Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.
New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.

It's a big list- I know.  I may be reaching a little, l thinking I'm going to getter done, but I'm aiming high.  I hope if you're looking for something, one of these might interest you enough for a closer look.  If you're looking for other ideas and you LOVE the social media- you can follow me on Goodreads.  Oh, yes- there's a social media community for readers. I really like using it to keep track of the things I've read, because I can quickly access it and find the title I'm thinking of.  AND it has covers and that helps.  B I G  T I M E

"I don't remember the title, but the cover was blue." Display based on the ever popular book request.

If you have any recommendations for ME, please let me know!  I'm always looking for new titles to add to my list.

Hope your summer is off to a great un-boring start!