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Monday, July 8, 2013

Summertime and the Reading's Fine

Ah, summer. The long, lazy days stretch out before me like a pristine, sun-kissed beach…nothing to do but read, nap, read some more…

The Dream
I wish.

Somehow, summer missed the memo that it ought to be utterly carefree and chore-free.

Still, I would like to live vicariously through the kids, who can log some serious reading hours.

Okay, the kids DO read--just not as much as I think they should, given the freedom of these weeks.  Books the kids are reading this month include:

And the Reality
Insurgent by Veronica Roth,
Allen Zadoff's Boy Nobody, 
The Wings of Fire series from Tui Sutherland, 
The Gregor the Overlander series from Suzanne Collins, and, of course, Dav Pilkey's Captain Underpants

All worthy titles, but what books and series have got my writer pals’ underpants aflame and souls aflight during these balmy months?

 I put out the call and was rewarded with terrific ideas for summer reading.

Maybe you’ll find a new favorite among the suggestions!

Have some travelling to do with (or without) kids? My friend Vickie Smith Barrios recommends The Mysterious Benedict Society, by Trenton Lee Stewart This one is great for mystery-loving puzzle aficionados (not to mention fans of clever kid characters and save-the-world adventure)! We listened to this one in the car on the way to Oregon last year, and my husband and I enjoyed it (at least) as much as the kids. Vickie’s suggestion reminded me to pick up the second in the series for the next trip!
Harold Underdown recommends Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone—one I hadn’t run across yet, but with his “thumbs up” and a read of the synopsis revealing there are flesh-eating monsters in a rich, shadowy world and all depends on the heroine's confrontation with secrets of the kingdom and her own heart, I’m in.

Harold also brought up what looks to be a terrific new memoir, Rapture Practice, by Aaron Hartzler. Heartfelt and quirky? Into the stack it goes.
Donna Jeane Koepp sings the praises of Alan Bradley’s The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, and several friends chimed in to sing along!  The more I know, the higher this one goes on my list! A great mystery with an appealing girl sleuth? And a writer who debuted at 70? I'll take it.
Author Sonya Sones recently posted on Facebook about how she was loving Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell so much that she felt relief to be just half way through. This book is getting a lot of love--including from John Green who said in a NYT book review that “Eleanor & Park reminded [him] not just what it’s like to be young and in love with a girl, but also what it’s like to be young and in love with a book.”  Swoon.
And speaking of John Green, Josh Galarza finds his The Fault in Our Stars an extraordinary, beautiful read. Be sure to make room for it if you haven't yet!

Another writer friend, Heather Petty, passionately recommends Unspoken from Sarah Rees Brennan. I just finished her Demon's Lexicon Trilogy, so am all over this.
A few Turbo Monkey suggestions for good measure:
Ellen Jellison, our resident lover of historical adventure, suggests The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman.
Sarah McGuire reminded me to dedicate some time to Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass from Meg Medina. 
Amy Allgeyer Cook votes for Three Times Lucky from Sheila Turnage.  
Honestly, there were so many great suggestions from an array of genres that it's "forgot to put on sunscreen" painful stopping the list.  I'm grateful for everyone's ideas! If I keep going though, I'll cut into your book hunting and reading time!
Oh, Captain Underpants
If only there were as many days of summer as there are books on my to-read list! But please, add more!  What is not-to-be-missed?


  1. i love this blog post and i love seeing the kids! They are so cute!
    A great list of reads...one that i will pick from!


    1. I hope so, Craig! Love talking books with you!

    2. So, are you saying my personal life is not one of your fav topics?
      Then of course there is the cycling topics...like the Tour De France...
      I wonder why you seems to fall asleep so quickly. ;)

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you, Stephanie! Do you have any you would add? I need to stock up on some audio books my husband will enjoy, too. I may have to invest in audible.com one of these days!

  3. I should have said that if you haven't read Jerry Spinelli's Hokey Pokey yet, you should...

    1. Ooh, thanks, Harold! Will go check that one out, too!

  4. My TBR stack is so high, but I always love hearing about more books to add. Thank you, Julie, for reminding me what summer can still be all about.

    1. Am excited to think we will get to talk books in person later this summer, Marilyn!

  5. I'm totally adding Unspoken! To my already teetering pile of amazing books I haven't yet read. Why is there work in the summer??

    1. I'm trying to decide whether to read or listen to Unspoken, but it's in my definite pile, too. :)

  6. Great ideas for summer reading, Julie! Off to the bookstore, my home away from home. :)

  7. I have added Andrew Smith's Winger and A Moment Comes from Jennifer Bradbury. Who needs sleep? :) I hope you found good ones, Ellen!

  8. Just started listening to the audio of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. It's fabulous!