Summer reading is something I have to try to convince my kids to do, but it's something I absolutely love to do! As a kid, I remember some summers we couldn't get back to the library fast enough for me to choose more books. I also remember though other summers, reluctantly following my mom through our local book story having to find the "required reading" books for each grade. I think maybe it's the difference between being told what to read and reading what you want to read?! I'm going to share a few recent reads here and maybe you'll find something that you want to check out!
Emily Giffin, All We Ever Wanted
I think this was a timely novel and an easy, enjoyable read. It really made me think about the way kids are growing up these days with constant internet exposure, as well was the threat of being exposed in some type of vulnerable situation. This novel sparks conversations about integrity, privilege, and allegiances in the teenage years. I would definitely recommend this read!
Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes
This memoir has won awards for good reason. It's written from the view point of Frank McCourt, starting in his very early years in a New York City apartment and spans through his young adulthood and return to New York City. The bulk of his growing up though, occurs in a small town in Ireland, during the depression and potato famine. This heartfelt tale of growing up, life and loss in a small Irish town will tug at your heart strings and make you laugh. The themes also included life as a devout catholic and having an alcoholic father. Although this read is a little dense (lots of words on a page), I found it easy to read and enjoyable, even though he's often describing hardship. If you have any Irish heritage at all, this is a must read!
Rhys Bowen, Farleigh Field
You know I love a good historical fiction based in WWII. I rarely grow weary of those, although I have read so many! This novel falls into that category and it was still enjoyable. I found myself rooting for the main characters as they unravel a mystery. I picked this up while we were away at the beach and it made for a quick, easy summer read for me. I would recommend this one!
Garth Stein, Art of Racing in the Rain
I dare you to read this one without tissues! It's written from the perspective of the family dog, as the family grows and inevitably changes. I found it tender, sad, heart wrenching and happy all at the same time! If you're a dog lover (or even if you aren not), you will enjoy this story of family life amidst hardship and hope. I definitely recommend!
Emily Ley, A Simplified Life
Approach this book as more of a "how to" and you'll be set up for success. I zipped through this as I read Emily Ley's suggestions for simplifying different areas of life. She encourages us to strip down the clutter, chaos, and complications we bring to every day tasks from our makeup routine to our house cleaning. There are definitely some tips I will be taking with me from this one! I would recommend if you are looking for some helpful tips as you head into a fall routine.
Laura Chapman, Sunburn
I picked up this beach mystery because it's opening scene played out on one of my favorite local beaches, Fenwick Island. The novel is also set in Delaware so I thought it would appeal to me. It had a lot of twists and turns, yet I struggled to enjoy it. I have to usually find characters that I find redeeming or want to root for, I didn't really feel this way with this novel and the ending was a big disappoint to me. I say skip this one.
Kids Pic: Katherine Applegate, One and Only Ivan
This is a great story told from the perspective of an ape in captivity. I read it to the kids and they all loved it. It's broken into easy pages and chapters if you have young readers that want to try to read some with you. It was a great summer read with a hopeful ending, the kind I like with the kids involved!