Summer is for READING!

by on June 30th, 2017
Summer is for READING! Cover Image

 

Are you looking for a great book to read this summer? Here’s a list of my favorite books from the last year … and a couple on my “to read” list.

Backman, Fredrik

A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, & Britt-Marie was Here

Swedish writer Fredrik Backman is my new favorite author. A Man Called Ove is a feel-good story that I couldn’t put down. My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, is a heartwarming story about a seven year old girl who goes on a journey of discovery after the death of her beloved grandmother. It’s a compelling story that shows there are many good people in the world. Britt-Marie Was Here is a follow-up book that features one of the characters from “My Grandmother …” Backman has a unique way of introducing plot and the result is books that are to be savored. Readers must be patient … Backman will give you the details you need when he’s ready.
Box, C.J.

Vicious Circle

Vicious Circle by C.J. Box takes the reader on a vicarious trip to the Wyoming and the life of Game Warden Joe Pickett. Rodeo star Dallas Cates is out of jail and he wants revenge on Joe. Nate Romanowski, Joe’s falconer friend, is pulled into the drama and trouble always seems to find them. Box’s novels are known for their fast pace, memorable characters and strong sense of place. The reader will be kept on the edge of their seat in the page-turner. I listened to the book and David Chandler’s narration is excellent.
Brockmole, Jessica

Letters from Skye

An older epistolary novel (2013) but a goodie. Two narratives weave together through a series of letters. The drama begins when an American, David, writes a letter to Elspeth, a young Scottish poet who lives on the Isle of Skye. Their friendship blossoms into an unlikely love story just before the start of WWI. Flash forward to just before WWII. Elspeth’s daughter, Margaret is on the cusp of a love story of her own. Through the letters the narratives intertwine and the story unfolds. I listened to the book and the narration was excellent, especially the Scottish dialect that brings the story to life.
Brown, Eleanor

Light of Paris

Weird Sisters author, Eleanor Brown’s Light of Paris is a tale of two women who are bound by the expectations of family and society. Madeleine is in her thirties, stuck in a loveless marriage and volunteering as a docent at an art museum. Youthful dreams of living as an artist are painful. Margie is in her twenties and dispatched to Paris in 1924. Upon her arrival she is abandoned and left to fend for herself. With dreams of becoming a writer she gets a job in a library in Paris and falls in love.
Clayton, Meg Waite

Race for Paris

Wednesday Sisters author, Meg Waite Clayton’s, newest novel captures the fictionalized story of two women who served as journalists during World War II. Clayton layers the story between the brutality of war, determination of the women and the personal toll a war takes on the human spirit. Her research about women journalists in WWII brings their spirit to life and tells a lesser-known story about WWII heroes.
Cleave, Chris

Everyone Brave is Forgiven

Chris Cleave artfully crafts a World War II novel based on love letters between his grandparents. With the backdrop of war, bombing, starvation, bravery, society and sacrifice, Cleave weaves together unforgettable characters in a story that requires pondering long after the book is finished. Set in London and Malta, Mary is a socialite, Alistair signs up for service reluctantly and Tom would rather forget the war. Three people, three friends and three wars. Innocence is lost, London is bombed, Malta is devastated, friendship is tested and morals are questioned.
Davis, Fiona

The Dollhouse

Alternating between 1952 and 2016 in the Barbizon Hotel in New York City, the lives of four women are haunted by ghosts. Darby is a Midwesterner who meets Stella who is a model. Darby befriends Esme, who aspires to a singing career. Rose is intrigued by the women of Barbizon’s past and a tragedy that changes all of their lives.
Evanovich, Janet & Phoef Sutton

Curious Minds

Riley Moon is a street-savvy Harvard educated young lady who looks forward to a career in banking. Emerson Knight is an eccentric billionaire who has a facade that indicates more money than sense. He writes a doomsday blog with ideas so outlandish they might be true. Knight and Moon are an unlikely dynamic duo but their chemistry works in a funny, fast paced mystery that keeps the reader guessing.
Rhimes, Shonda

Year of Yes

(Biography)

Year of Yes focuses on a year of transformation for Rhimes when she gave herself permission to start saying YES to life including invitations, healthy lifestyle choices, time with family and happiness. Rhimes’ personal story is remarkable and I enjoyed learning more about her. Plus her story is funny, compelling and made me think.
Shattuck, Jessica

Women in the Castle

I’m currently listening to this book that focuses on the before, during and after WWII experiences of three widows of German resistance leaders. The story is inspired by the experiences of the author’s grandparents. The three women are suffering from their war experiences and seek atonement, redemption and healing for choices made.
Springsteen, Bruce

Born to Run

(Biography)

I listened to Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen and the audiobook is narrated by The Boss himself. I am not typically a biography reader, but this was a great book that revealed intimate details about Springsteen’s childhood and family life. Springsteen’s songs have been bumping around in my head since starting the book and I often took a break to listen to the songs. Born to Run, Born in the USA, Streets of Philadelphia, My Home Town, I’m on Fire … all songs from my youth and just as fun to listen to today.
Strout, Elizabeth

Anything is Possible

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Strout’s newest book is a story of family, love and redemption. Strout’s writing is complex-she takes a simple story and weaves in layers of emotion, reconciliation, self-discovery and human interaction. I first fell in love with Strout’s writing with her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Olive Kitteridge. Anything is Possible is a continuation of Strout writing at her best and features a return of the beloved character, Lucy Barton from Strout’s 2016 book, My Name is Lucy Barton.
Towles, Amor

Gentleman in Moscow

This is on my “to read” list after receiving many recommendations from friends, seeing the long hold list, and a starred Kirkus Review that says, “In all ways a great novel, a nonstop pleasure brimming with charm, personal wisdom, and philosophic insight. This book more than fulfills the promise of Towles’ stylish debut, Rules of Civility.”
Winspear, Jacqueline

In This Grave Hour

Jacqueline Winspear’s newest Maisie Dobbs book. Maisie Dobbs is a trained psychologist and personal investigator. England is once again at War, Scotland Yard is overwhelmed and Maisie is called in to investigate the murders of Belgian refugees from the first World War. The title is foreboding and comes from a quote from King George VI on September 3, 1939: “In this grave hour, perhaps the most fateful in our history….for the second time in our lives for most of us, we are at war.”

 

For more suggestions visit the Bookmobile or Library, or call 319-356-5200.

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