Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Some Popular Summer Reads

There are lists and lists out there of recommendations for summer reading. These are some of those recommendations that made it on multiple lists. Try them out, and let me know if they deserve all the hype.

Throne of the Crescent Moon: Saladin Ahmed



Doctor Adoulla Makhslood is the last “real” guhl hunter in Dhamsawaat, but Adoulla would rather spend his time with a cup of tea. Then a friend’s family is murdered, and Adoulla has to work with old friends (and some new ones, too), to find out the plot for the Throne of the Crescent Moon and stop the destruction of the city, as they know it. The world of this fantasy has an Arabian feel, but is filled with magic, monsters, and mayhem.


How to Eat a Cupcake: Meg Donohue


Annie Quintana and Julia St. Clair were best friends, even though Annie was the daughter of the St. Clair’s housekeeper. Then a betrayal rocks their worlds and destroys this friendship. Ten years later, Annie has become a pastry chef, and Julia is a successful business woman. Now the two women want to work together to open a cupcakery, but can they get over the past or face new threats together?

A Partial History of Lost Causes: Jennifer Dubois


This story arcs across two countries and two very different individuals. Aleksandr Bezetov is a world chess champion that has decided to run for the presidency against Vladimir Putin, even though he knows this is a lost and life-threatening cause. In Massachusetts, Irina Ellison finds a copy of a letter her father, who had died of Huntington’s disease, had sent to Bezetov, asking about how to proceed against a lost cause. Irina decides to go to Russia and find Bezetov, in order to get an answer to her father’s question.

Gone Girl: A Novel: Gillian Flynn


Nick Dunne soon finds out how much he really never knew his wife or what she was thinking or feeling. On the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary, Nick discovers his wife has disappeared. The cops suspect that Nick had something to do with the disappearance, and the things that Amy’s friends are saying about him, are not helping his case. Nick is also receiving strange calls to his phone. Just what is going on?

Canada: Richard Ford


Dell Parsons’ life will never be the same after his parents decide to rob that bank. After their parents are arrested, Dell’s twin sister, Berner, takes off. A family friend takes Dell, so that he will not be alone, to Canada, but will living with Arthur Remlinger be any less dangerous? Will Dell find the peace he so desperately needs while living with someone whose darkness may not be so well hidden?

The Fault in Our Stars: John Green


Hazel was diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer, and she was not expected to live. Then a medical miracle saved her life. Now at age 16, Hazel is feeling very “not normal,” especially since she needs to keep using special chemicals to keep the tumors from growing back and be on an oxygen tank. At cancer kid support group, Hazel meets Augustus. Augustus is in remission, though he lost a leg to the disease, and he does not seem to mind Hazel’s “nor normalness.” Hazel does not want to get close to anyone, for fear of doing them irreparable harm when she dies, but Augustus makes it hard. Hazel talks Augustus into reading her favorite book, and he talks her in to taking a trip to Amsterdam to meet the author and get her questions answered about the book. Maybe while getting some answers about the book, the characters can find some answers of their own.  

The Red House: Mark Haddon



A well to do doctor, Richard, invites his estranged sister, Angela, and her family to his vacation home in the English countryside. With a new wife and stepdaughter, his sister’s rambunctious group, and plenty of long-held guilt and resentment, Richard is in for an interesting week (along with everyone else in the house).

Steve Jobs: Walter Isaacson



Walter Isaacson conducted more than forty interviews with Steve Jobs (along with family, friends, and even adversaries) to complete this biography of the late Steve Jobs. Jobs wanted “no holds barred” from anyone that spoke about him, and he was also very forthcoming with anything that Isaacson wanted to know. This biography covers his innovations in personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing, and how he pushed himself and those around him to build his company to his standards. 

I’ve Got Your Number: Sophie Kinsella



What do you do when you have lost your engagement ring (that has been in your fiancĂ©’s family for three generations) and your cell phone? You borrow a phone you find in the trash can, of course. Unfortunately for Poppy, the owner of the phone, Sam Roxton, does not appreciate her using his phone and wants it back.  Poppy decides to work with Sam by conducting all of his business through the phone, without giving it back to him. As she does this, she thinks she is getting to really know who Sam is, but is that really all there is to Sam? Does she really even know her fiancĂ©?

In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin: Erik Larson

943.086 LARSON


The year is 1933, and William E. Dodd has become America’s Ambassador to Hitler’s Germany. The family is enjoying themselves at first with the lavish parties and excitement of the time, but soon it is apparent that very bad things are happening in Germany. Dodd’s messages about things fall on deaf ears in the State Department back home. No one really knows (or wants to know) what Hitler’s group is capable of until it is too late. This is our Texas City Reads book, so make sure to stop by for one of the discussions to share your thoughts on the book!

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir): Jenny Lawson



Jenny Lawson, The Bloggess, walks us through her childhood and tells about how her life (and her family) has made her the entertainer that she now is. For the curious, Jenny Lawson’s blog is found at http://thebloggess.com/.

Home: Toni Morrison


Frank “Smart” Money has just returned from fighting in Korea, and he is feeling the traumatic scars that the war has left him with. Frank then gets a strange message from his sister, and he wants to rescue her from the situation she had gotten herself into. Frank takes Cee back to their hometown of, even though it is a place that neither ever wanted to see again. Will both siblings find the redemption they have been seeking in this place that they did not want to go?

The Expats: Chris Pavone



Kate Moore is tired of living a double life that she has to keep secret from everyone. When her husband tells her about a new job in Luxembourg, she is happy to become an “expat.” “Expat” living, though, is not quite what Kate expected it to be. Now her husband is acting secretive and suspicious, and when a new couple joins the “expats,” Kate starts to wonder if her double life is catching up to her. But will she find more than she bargained for when she starts digging? 

Little Night: Luanne Rice



Clare Burke tried to defend her sister from an abusive husband, and she ended up in prison based on her sister’s lies, instead. Twenty years later, Clare’s niece, Grit, shows up and wants a relationship with her aunt. The two know this will be a very hard road, though. Would the two women bridge the gap for reconciliation with each other? Will they be able to have one with Anne, too?

The Orphanmaster: Jean Zimmerman



It is 1663 in the Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam. Orphans have gone missing from the settlement, and a 22-year-old orphan, Blandine von Couvering, and British spy, Edward Drummond, are looking into the matter. There is no short list of suspects, but there is also the issue of Blandine being accused of witchcraft and Edward being sentenced to hang as a spy. There are also rumors that the British king is looking to take control of the colony, too. Will the two be able to make it through and solve the mystery?

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