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Summer Reading List

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Summer is widely regarded as a time for relaxation, fun, and being outside. It’s a time to catch up on Netflix shows or videos piling up on YouTube. A time to catch up with old friends or make new ones. For me, summer represents a time to get through my “want to read” pile of books and complain that I have nothing to read. I spend hours trying to find a new book to read. For those who are looking for someone else to recommend books to read over the summer, here it is.

Book descriptions are adapted from goodreads.com.

Fantasy:

If you’re looking for a long, winding tale of magic, dragons, and wizards, or maybe a story of heroes and their journey, this genre is for you. Great for long car/plane trips or if you are trying to ignore your siblings.

The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chroncicles #1) – Patrick Rothfuss Warning: the third book in the trilogy has not been released yet.
Description: The beginning of of the tale of a magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen.

John Dies at the End (#1) – David Wong.  Absolutely hilarious.
Description: The drug is called soy sauce and its gives the users a window into another dimension. You’ve been warned.

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) – V.E. Schwab
Description: There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic. Red London, where life and magic are revered. Kell is one of the last travelers between Red and Grey London. Once upon a time there was Black London, but no one speaks of it. Until now.

The Once and Future King – T.H. White
Description: Once upon a time, a young boy called “Wart” was tutored by a magician named Merlyn in preparation for a future he could not possibly imagine. A future in which he would ally himself with the greatest knights, love a legendary queen and unite a country dedicated to chivalrous values. A future in which he would be called King Arthur.

Comedy and Romance:

These are amazing for quick reads on the beach. They all deal with heavy topics in a light-hearted manner. Also good if you’re sick at home or in between shifts at work.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – Jesse Andrews.  One of the funniest books I have ever read, and I read it more than three times.
Description: Greg Gaines is a master of high school espionage. He has only one friend, Earl, and they spend their time making movies. When his childhood “girlfriend” is diagnosed with leukemia, he struggles in maintaining his school identity (none) and finding a way to care about his dying friend.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao – Junot Diaz
Description: The story of Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd, New Jersey romantic who dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love, which is hindered by the fúku–an ancient curse that takes over his brief life.

Literally any novel by Sarah Dessen. Some of her best works: Saint Anything, Just Listen, Someone Like You, What Happened to Goodbye, and Lock and Key. They’re cheesy teen romance, I’ll admit, but well-written novels that will take up a good afternoon.

Historical Fiction:

These books give a better understanding of a time period that you may not have considered before. By the end, you’ll feel like a expert in very detailed events of an era.

11/22/63 – Stephen King.  Super long, but SO worth it. I mean, it’s Stephen King, what do you expect?
Description: Jake Epping is blown away when he reads his GED student’s enthralling, gruesome piece about his father’s sledgehammer murder of his entire family. But, he is even more shocked when he finds out that a local diner owner, Al, has a time portal that travels to the era of Kennedy. Soon, he is tasked by the dying Al to take on the mission he could never complete: stop the Kennedy assaination.

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak. Warning: might make you cry.
Description: The story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids, as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

Science-fiction:

Like fantasy, these books are entrancing and world-enveloping. You won’t regret picking up a good science fiction book. Prepare to eat and sleep with these books beside you.

Ender’s Game (#1) – Orson Scott Card
Description: Andrew “Ender” Wiggin thought he was playing simulated computer war games. In reality, Ender may be the military genius Earth desperately needs to win a war against an alien enemy seeking to destroy all human life. His intense training starts when he is six, but soon finds out he is not the only one affected by the experiment.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
Description: Seconds before Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the new edition of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor. Together, this dynamic pair make their way across the galaxy with fellow travelers.

Dune – Frank Herbert
Description: Set in the far future amidst a sprawling feudal interstellar empire where planetary dynasties are controlled by noble houses that owe an allegiance of the imperial House Corrino, Dune tells the story of Paul Atreides as he and his family accept control of the planet Arrakis.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep – Phillip K. Dick
Description: It was January 2021, and Rick Deckard had a license to kill. Somewhere among the hordes of humans out there, lurked several rogue androids. Deckard’s assignment–find them, then “retire” them. Trouble was, androids look exactly like humans, and they don’t want to be found.

Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
Description: Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering and brainwashing, all of its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone harboring an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations, where the old imperfect life continues, may be the cure for his distress.

YA:

Good books that begin on an interesting premise and start to develop a work that is immersive. They are sometimes eerily similar to a possible dystopian future, or otherwise they are entertainingly the farthest possible reality. Good for the beach or when it is raining.

Red Queen – Victoria Aveyard
Description: This is a world divided by blood – red or silver. The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change. That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own.  Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince.

The Selection – Kiera Cass
Description: For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon. When America Singer is chosen, her life is changed forever.

Throne of Glass – Sarah J. Mass
Description: After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. Soon, contestants start turning up dead and a mystery unravels that Celaena is determined to figure out.

Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo
Description: Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist. Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done — and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer.

City of Bones (Mortal Instruments #1) – Cassandra Clare
Description: Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons, started with a murder in a night club. It’s her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother?

Non-fiction/memoirs:

Stories that inspire and motivate people of all ages.

I am Malala – Malala Yousafzai
Description: This book follows the journey of a teenage girl in Pakistan who takes on the incredible challenge of advocating for girls’ rights.

The Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloot:
Description: The story of Henrietta Lacks, whose bone tissue was used to make a breakthrough in cancer research without the permission of her family.

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