This year’s list brings division; those who are reading for pure fun and those who wish to read a bit more in depth. In depth does not necessarily mean length or content, but could be a mix of both. For fun does not necessarily mean ‘romance dime-store’ novel. Without further ado, I bring you the Light Summer Reading List. All recommendations come from this author, and her reputable sources.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
I heard this author on NPR speaking about her story and immediately read the first three chapters on NPR’s first read website.
All I can give you are a few words because you have to read this one for yourself: unreliable narrator, unbelievable suspense, and irony that can be found within every marriage or partnership. It reminds me of something a friend of mine once said, “We all have our gray areas, but we must draw the line somewhere.”
Currently I am reading one of her other two novels, Sharp Objects, right now. It is also very, very good so far. A little like Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood.
Divergent by Veronica Roth
This book was recommended to me by a teacher friend and former student. I cannot believe I waited so long to read it! If you liked Hunger Games, or Lois Lowry’s The Giver, then this is a must read. I have not read the other two books in the series yet, but I am sure they are stellar due to Roth’s flawless imagery. I pictured myself in this world and all of its oddities, being forced to choose between leaving my family or living a life where I knew I did not belong. I pictured my brother leaving us and heading to California because he knew that is where he belonged. I pictured the mysterious 4, and wondered if he really looks like Channing Tatum. It is an amazing read, for young adults and us old folks.
The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis
Who wouldn’t want to read another great book by local author, Christopher Paul Curtis? This one introduces us to a female protagonist (yeah!), Deza, who is a likable as Bud, from Bud not Buddy. She actually is the random girl who Bud kissed in Bud, not Buddy. Anyways her story is slower than his other books, but highlights poverty and those who really suffer; the children of the United States, particularly in Flint and Detroit, MI. This works well for young adults, adults, and perhaps a pre-teen audience. Good work again, Mr. Curtis.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
This book came highly recommended from a former student touted as her “favorite book…ever! ” She finally loaned it to me, and I realized why this should be read by every young adult…it’s real. Chbosky captures the essence of that typical teenage boy who is not yet a man, but very ‘over’ his childhood. He is not the jock, not the artist, but somewhere in between. Somewhere along the torturous journey of high school he finds himself with the help of a teacher and two older friends. This is a terrific read. Reminiscent of a young adult Garden State.
Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses by Claire Dederer
To begin, you do not have to be a yogi to enjoy this book. It is more about motherhood and the way many women find something that balances them—it may be reading, writing, or religion, but we tend to gravitate toward a constant. As we should. Lives are too busy, and filled with materialistic things, which is what Claire struggles with through her memoir. I think every mother can relate. She is funny and heart warming, but does not overdo either. There are yoga references, but it does not focus on the practice. This read is good for anyone who is called mom, or has helped raise children.
So there is the light half of the list. Motherhood, poverty, leaving family, a mysterious marriage, the journey into adulthood….may not seem particularly light to you, but just wait for my HEAVY list! If you have others to add, please leave me a comment and I will update it as summer progresses. Also, if you have read any of these and disagree, let my readers know. It is important to have both points of view.