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You might be going on a vacation, playing a staycation, or simply want to sit on your back deck in the evenings, but you are going to need some good reading material this summer! I’m a girl who likes a good novel, a page turner – I want it to capture me and take me away.
The Five MUST READ books for the summer!
1. All The Light We Cannot See This book is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize, a New York Times Book Review Top Ten Book, National Book Award finalist, more than two and a half years on the New York Times bestseller list. So, just knowing that, I’m not sure you could go wrong. Amazon describes it: “From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the stunningly beautiful instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.
Marie-Laure lives in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where her father works. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In a mining town in Germany, Werner Pfennig, an orphan, grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find that brings them news and stories from places they have never seen or imagined. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments and is enlisted to use his talent to track down the resistance. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.”
It’s a beautifully written, deeply moving book.
I’ve read it twice, actually.
2. Speaking of books I’ve read twice, you can’t miss The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.
The description on Amazon is as follows: “The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance.”
This book takes you away to another world where magic is real, and so is romance. It is one of the best spun tales I’ve read in my 39 years of living. And if you decide to get it in audiobook format, it’s read by Jim Dale, which is a delight in itself. I just might have it in both paperback and audiobook formats!
Amazon describes it as follows:
“When Death has a story to tell, you listen.
It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.
Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who 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. ”
There are highlightable quotes in this book. Death, as narrator, gives some very deeply moving insights.
(I also want to add that my 8 year old read this, and if you have a high AR level reader, I would suggest it. It’s a 5.7 in the AR world.)
4. I’m going to take a bit of turn now, and my last two must reads are actually considered teenage dystopian novels. But don’t let that stop you from trying them. The first is Carve the Mark, by Veronica Roth. Yes, same author of the Divergent Series.
Amazons description reads as follows: “Cyra Noavek and Akos Kereseth have grown up in enemy countries locked in a long-standing fight for dominance over their shared planet. When Akos and his brother are kidnapped by the ruling Noavek family, Akos is forced to serve Cyra, the sister of a dictator who governs with violence and fear. Cyra is known for her deadly power of transferring extraordinary pain unto others with simple touch, and her tyrant brother uses her as a weapon against those who challenge him. But as Akos fights for his own survival, he recognizes that Cyra is also fighting for hers, and that her true gift—resilience—might be what saves them both.
When Akos and Cyra are caught in the middle of a raging rebellion, everything they’ve been led to believe about their world and themselves must be called into question. But fighting for what’s right might mean betraying their countries, their families, and each other.
When the time comes, will they choose loyalty or love?”
This book is unbelievably good, and seems so real despite the setting of another galaxy and planetary system. You will also find yourself questioning what power/gift you would want, and what would the repercussions be?
5. The last teenage dystopian, and I might add a VERY easy read is The Rule of Three series by Eric Walters. This one is slightly more real world than my number four pick.
“One shocking afternoon, computers around the globe shut down in a viral catastrophe. At sixteen-year-old Adam Daley’s high school, the problem first seems to be a typical electrical outage, until students discover that cell phones are down, municipal utilities are failing, and a few computer-free cars like Adam’s are the only vehicles that function. Driving home, Adam encounters a storm tide of anger and fear as the region becomes paralyzed. Soon―as resources dwindle, crises mount, and chaos descends―he will see his suburban neighborhood band together for protection. And Adam will understand that having a police captain for a mother and a retired government spy living next door are not just the facts of his life but the keys to his survival, in The Rule of Three by Eric Walters.”
This was a fun series, and I ended up buying all three. Once I finished one, I couldn’t wait to read the next. It would also be a great pick for a pre-teen or teenage boy to read.
What are your top five MUST READ books? I need some more summer reading, and I’d love some recommendations!