I made myself a summer reading list back in May, and I’ve been trying very hard to stick closely to it. (It’s tough!)
I’ve managed to cross quite a few titles off the list so far. As you can see, my summer reading list is heavy on serious nonfiction, because that’s exactly what I wasn’t reading when I was doing Summer Reading Guide prep.
Public shaming used to be a common punishment, but it was stopped long ago: not because it was ineffective, but because it was deemed far too cruel. But with the dawn of social media, public shaming is back in a big way, and it's being carried out by ordinary people. Ronson walks the reader through some recent examples of lives ruined over one public mistake: a fabricated quote in a book, one ill-considered tweet, one Facebook photo that went viral. This is one of the scariest books I've read in a long time, and I'm not saying that lightly. An important but uncomfortable read for anyone on social media, and that's most of us. More info →
This was one of the books everyone has read but me, and I'm happy to finally know what the fuss is about. Tom and Isabel live alone on Janus Rock, keeping the lighthouse. After two miscarriages and one stillbirth, all on the isolated island, Isabel is despondent. When a boat holding a dead man and a crying baby washes up on shore, Isabel persuades Tom to leave the discovery out of his log and eventually adopts the child as her own. But when they visit the shore and its nearby community two years later ... you can imagine what might happen. A great summer read, if you don't mind a hefty dose of fictional sorrow. More info →
When Chile's San Jose mine collapsed in August 2010, thirty-three miners were trapped beneath thousands of feet of rock for 69 days—longer than anyone thought they could survive. While they were still trapped in the mine, the men agreed that if they told their story, they would only do it together. On their release, they entrusted Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tobar with its telling. I put this on my reading list because Ann Patchett gushed about it. While it was good, I found myself skimming quite a bit to get through the overwhelming amount of detail. More info →
I've heard wonderful things about Larson's work, but this is the first book I've read by him. Now I understand why readers say when a new Larson book comes out, they drop everything and read it. The sinking of the Lusitania by a German U-boat changed history, yet it only gets a paragraph or two in history textbooks. Larson brings the story vividly to life: this meticulously researched account reads like a novel. I listened to this on Audible. More info →
One of my summer reading goals was to finish books 3-10 in Penny's Inspector Gamache series so I would be ready for book 11 to come out on August 25. I've been flying through them (this is definite binge reading material) and this, book 7, is the best one yet. A murder mystery, a sleepy, idyllic Quebecois town, and the world of fine art combine to create an un-put-down-able read. These books don't have to be read in order, but I recommend it. (Start with summer reading guide pick Still Life.) More info →
Sarah Dessen wasn't on my radar before BEA and BookCon, but I left determined to try her work. I chose Saint Anything because it was her newest release (May 5), and highly rated. Dessen writes about ordinary teens in a way that is poignant, true, and real—sometimes uncomfortably so. I enjoyed this one, especially her characters' funny and relatable conversations about nothing. For fans of Jenny Han, Morgan Matson, and Lauren Oliver. More info →
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