How is it that it hasn’t even dropped below 61 yet at night, yet the leaves are already falling in our backyard?! I feel so unprepared for this – except for in the fashion department thanks to StitchFix!
While I haven’t gotten my act together and started writing yet, I have read a lot of books over the spring and summer. I thought I would compile my summer reading list in case anyone out there is looking from some current book recommendations. I typically stick to fantasy, dystopian world, apocalyptic, or mystery/thriller type stuff, but I’ve been branching out a little.
- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. As a member of the last generation before the internet, I think this book was believable in an all-too-real way. I’ve played games you get lost in, made friends online, and had friends who showed me online worlds that were much like the one described in the book. (SecondLife, anyone?) The main character, Wade, is an 18 year old living in the year 2044, when the real world has become a pretty desolate, poverty-stricken place. Everyone has OASIS, though, an online world where you create your own identity, be whoever you want to be, and even go to school. The creator of OASIS, James Halliday, left a complicated challenge for the world after his death, and Wade’s life centers around winning this challenge. As Wade digs deeper into the challenge, his virtual and real worlds begin to collide and he realizes that there’s a lot more on the line than winning Halliday’s challenge and fortune.
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I know, I know, I was an English major and somehow still hadn’t read this book until now. I knew it was a loaded book, but wow. Amazon says it best: “Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States, now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its word, with bizarre consequences for the women and men of its population.” On top of the social and political commentary, the book is incredibly well written.
- The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. This is so outside my normal genre, and without the typical action and suspense I got stuck at times and found it hard to keep going, but the story and character development roped me in. The characters are very good in this book; it’s one of those stories where you know certain things are coming with certain characters and can’t wait to see how it all plays out. Plus, it tackles revolutionary topics for the time in which it was set including slavery, women’s liberation, and societal obligations and roles.
- Red Rising (The Red Rising Trilogy, Book One) by Pierce Brown. Oh, how I love these books. I’ve talked about them before and don’t know what else I can say. It’s like The Hunger Games meets Ender’s Game meets awesome.
- Golden Son (The Red Rising Trilogy, Book Two) by Pierce Brown. ^Ditto. The second may be even better than the first. I went to buy the third and was super disappointed to discover it wasn’t out yet. I’m counting down the days!
- Flowertown by S.G. Redling. It took me a bit to get into this book, although that may have been because I started it begrudgingly after realizing the third Red Rising book wasn’t out yet. It starts kind of casually with a woman who, frustrated and depressed with her situation living in a containment zone, gets high a lot and relies on hookups with an army guard to keep things interesting. But as the story unfolded, I realized there was a lot more to it (and to Ellie and the other characters). There are some twists you can anticipate, and some you can’t until the last minute. By the time I was near the end of the book I was turning through pages so quickly to get to the end, then upset when it was all over.
- The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley. Also super outside my normal genre, this book has a nice grounding in historical fiction. Carrie, a historical fiction writer, comes to Slains to visit her agent. She’s been spending time in France writing, but from Day One Slains begins to inspire her, leading her book down a much different path than originally intended. As she writes and digs into history for details, she realizes every character, place, and date she writes are actually history, not fiction. She begins to question whether she might be experiencing the memories of the main character of her book, who is also her ancestor. This book was another that was a bit hard to get through at times, but as the story deepened I wanted to know the end. I thought the book might be better as Carrie mysteriously receiving her ancestor’s memories, rather than identifying what the phenomenon was and her talking to her retired doctor friend about it. The slight sidetrack of exploring ancestral memory took away from a bit of the story, I thought. But overall it was good!
What are your favorite latest reads?
P.S. feel free to keep up with me on goodreads.