In my last post, I shared some of the professional books I’ve been reading, but for me, summer is all about reading for pleasure too! There isn’t much I love more than sitting outside (on the beach preferably, but even on my back deck with my dog at my side) with a great book to help me get lost for the day. So , here are a few of the fiction titles I’ve read, am reading, or planning to read.
This year, everyone seemed to be talking about Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train, so naturally I had to see what all the fuss was about. This one had me hooked instantly. I’ve always been a fan of Hitchcock movies and Hawkins manages to recreate the suspense of Rear Window with her novel. Following the literary trend of unreliable narrators, Hawkins manages to put a fresh spin on the idea and I was guessing and second guessing myself until the finale. This is one that will take your breath away and keep you up well past your bedtime turning pages.
I just finished Carol Rifka Brunt’s Tell the Wolves I’m Home. In a word, wow. I was at a birthday dinner for a friend, sitting with some people I didn’t know and we began talking about what we’re reading. Someone asked if I’d ever read Tell the Wolves I’m Home and I’d never heard of it. This was one of those books that I couldn’t put down – I read the whole book in a weekend. Narrated, by June, a fourteen-year-old who has a very special relationship with her uncle, this novel brought up many memories for me as I had a very close relationship with my grandmother before she passed away. Set in 1987, June discovers family secrets as she also learns about herself. It tackles some controversial subjects, but from the perspective of a fourteen-year old trying to figure out the world around her. Every so often, a book nails the voice of a young narrator in a way that seems unlikely – Tell the Wolves I’m Home is one of those rare gems.
Finally, I haven’t started it yet (because it hasn’t been released), but I’m eagerly awaiting Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchmen – the decades in waiting sequel (prequel?) to To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee’s first (and to this point, only) novel was transformative to me in my adolescence. I vividly remember reading it in high school and discussing the controversial topics with my teacher and classmates. There’s a reason it’s a classic and from the press I’ve read about this ‘original’ story rejected by her publishers before Mockingbird was published, I can’t wait to get my eyes on this one. I understand there is some debate about whether Lee actually approved the publication of Watchman or not as well as quite a change in the Atticus Finch character, but I’m still excited to read this one. I’ve read Mockingbird more times than I can remember and I hope to learn more about the characters.
What’s on your summer reading list?