May 25, 2015

2015 Summer Reading List

working towards my goal of 35 books in 2015

I don't know about you, but one of the things I most like to do in my free time is read. Mysteries, fiction, memoirs, thrillers, love stories, young adult, brain long as it has interesting characters and a good plot I like it. Here's what I'm hoping to get through this summer.

1. Something Classic: Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)

Jane Austen's witty comedy of manners that features splendidly civilized sparring between the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth Bennet as they play out their spirited courtship in a series of eighteenth-century drawing-room intrigues.

2. Something Mysterious: The Secret Keeper (Kate Morton)

During a summer party at the family farm, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson spies a stranger coming up the long road to the farm and sees her mother speak to him. Soon, Laurel will witness a shocking crime. A crime that challenges everything she knows about her family and especially her mother, Dorothy.

3. Something Best-Selling: The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived with her husband; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now...

4. Something Autobiographical: I Am Malala (Malala Yousafzai)

On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head at point-blank range for speaking out for her right to an education. Few expected her to survive. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate. I Am Malala will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world.

5. Something Mindless for the Beach: Club Dead (Sookie Stackhouse #3) (Charlaine Harris)

Things between cocktail waitress Sookie and her vampire boyfriend Bill seem to be going excellently (apart from the small matter of him being undead) until he leaves town for a while. A long while. Bill's sinister boss Eric has an idea of where to find him, whisking her off to Jackson, Mississippi to mingle with the under-underworld at Club Dead. When she finally catches up with the errant vampire, he is in big trouble and caught in an act of serious betrayal. This raises serious doubts as to whether she should save him or start sharpening a few stakes of her own...

6. Something Thrilling: Sphere (Michael Crichton)

A group of American scientists are rushed to a huge vessel that has been discovered resting on the ocean floor in the middle of the South Pacific. What they find defines their imaginations and mocks their attempts at logical explanation. It is a spaceship of phenomenal dimensions, apparently, undamaged by its fall from the sky. And, most startling, it appears to be at least three hundred years old...

7. Something Funny: Dad is Fat (Jim Gaffigan)

In Dad is Fat, stand-up comedian Jim Gaffican expresses all the joys and horrers of life with five young children-- everything from cousins ("celebrities for little kids") to toddlers' communication skills ("they always sound like they have traveled by horseback for hours to deliver important news"), to the eating habits of four year olds ("there is no difference between a four year old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor").

8. Something Young Adult: Before I Fall (Lauren Oliver)

For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12 -- "Cupid Day" -- should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is...until she dies in a terrible accident that night. However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.

9. Something Nonfiction: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Rebecca Scloot)

Henrietta Lacks is known to present-day scientists for her cells from cervical cancer. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells were taken without her knowledge and still live decades after her death. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb's effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks was buried in an unmarked grave. The dark history of experimentation on African Americans helped lead to the birth of bioethics, and legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.

10. Something Work-Related: Out of My Mind (Sharon M. Draper)

Melody is not like most people. She cannot walk or talk, but she has a photographic memory. She is smarter than most of the adults who try to diagnose her and smarter than her classmates in her integrated classroom - the very same classmates who dismiss her as mentally challenged, because she cannot tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy. And she's determined to let everyone know it - somehow. Readers will come to know a brilliant mind and a brave spirit who will change forever how they look at anyone with a disability.

What's on your summer reading list? Any good book recommendations?

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