Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Summer Reading

There's nothing I love more than summer - sitting poolside or on the beach with a great book in my hand. One that smells not just of crisp ink and paper, but adventure and heartache, salty like the ocean or dewy like the grass. A book that vibrates like a small propeller engine or a hot air balloon ready for flight. One that sounds like electricity cracking with every turn of the page. Okay, so I'm getting a little too excited, but books can do that to a girl.

When I was a kid, my grandma took me to the library every Monday. I picked out six books to read - and I'd gobble them all up and be fidgeting to go back the following Monday. To this day, I can vividly remember where I was when I conquered A Separate Peace by John Knowles, Dicey's Song by Cynthia Voigt and even this sappy Silhouette book called Written in the Stars about a girl who falls in love with a boy from the other side, a ghost who appeared to her in her backyard (think Edward and Bella minus the blood sucking! I've tried many times to find that book again - and I'll admit, I camped out in my backyard a few times in search of my own ghost boy to love.)

So yesterday I took my almost ten-year-old daughter to the library to snatch up some books. She had a handful and was unsure which ones to check out with her shiny new library card burning a hole in her pocket. So I told her to sit down and embrace the book, read the first couple pages. If the book grabbed her, like a fishing line cast out from the pages and hooked her in, then we'd get them.

She chose two:

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (a Newberry winner, he also wrote Coraline) - We read the first couple pages and both had chills. It wasn't a fish hook that reeled us in, it was more like being pulled by the hair and yanked in (like your first junior high girl fight, you really have no choice and blindly start swinging...with this book, you have no choice, you just have to read it, you can't stop yourself.)

If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period by Gennifer Choldenko (author of the excellent Al Capone Does My Shirts - also a Newberry winner) I think what really hooked my tween into this one was the fact that the first few paragraphs had the word "crap" in them several times. But don't let that turn you off - it's a great book.

A couple other recommendations for your tween/middle grade reader:
Shug by Jenny Han (about first love, starting Jr. high - as sweet and sticky as a cherry Popsicle. I've read it twice.)

The London Eye Mystery by Zetta Elliott (have not read this, but can't wait to and if you're tween likes mystery and adventure, this is supposed to be a good one.)

For older tweens and teens, I recommend anything and everything by Sarah Dessen - I just finished her new one Along for the Ride and am interviewing her next week.

As for me, here's what I'll be reading this summer:

The Pull of the Moon by Elizabeth Berg
The Family Man by Elinor Lipman
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Follow Me by Joanna Scott
Mercury in Retrograde by Paula Froelich (can't wait for this one! A great chick lit read about three NY women who move into the same SoHo apartment building)

Also, if you love chick lit, Jennifer Weiner has a new book coming out in July and Emily Giffin's Love the One You're With (LTOYW) is out in paperback. Both of these authors will be featured on the popular blog with a super fun "25 Things to Know About" each of them. Emily will be June's (up starting next week) and you could win a copy of her book (watch the blog for details) and Jennifer will be up in July promoting her new book Best Friends Forever. Fun stuff!

Last but not least, for any men out there who might be reading this...I have a recommended list for you too:

The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro - about a Vampire virus infecting New York. Hey, why should we women be all the ones enjoying a good love affair with teenage vampires? This one's for the guys and is uh...adults.

The Tourist by Olen Steinhauer - a CIA spy thriller (don't all guys wish they were a spy?)

Drood by Dan Simmons - if you like a terrifying thriller

Okay, so even though I could ramble on and on about books for ages, I'll stop now. After all, I need to get back to my book.

p.s. Take your kids to the library this summer!
p.s.s. I just re-read Jodi Picoult's Songs of the Humpback Whale - if you haven't read it, pick it up. I love this book!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the suggestions! I'm leaving for Cabo in a week and I'm going to grab them before I leave! xoxo Liz