Hey there readers,
It’s hot and stormy out and there’s nothing better to read poolside (or lakeside!) than a little summer suspense. Check out The Dogs by Allan Stratton, an award-winning Canadian writer who will be in Winnipeg this September for Thin Air 2015, the Winnipeg International Writer’s Festival!
I’ll be partnering with the festival this year to keep you up-to-date on what’s going on, what to read, and what events to check out, so keep your eyes on the blog for more updates as we get closer to the festival. I’ll also be posting regular features on the Thin Air website (like this one on The Dogs), so be sure to check out their website frequently. Big names are coming to the festival this September (including Lawrence Hill, author of The Book of Negroes!) – you won’t want to miss it.
To prepare for TA2015, check out the newly released Summer Reading List. Even though I’m still chipping away at Jeff Rubin’s super-relevant The Carbon Bubble: What Happens to Us When It Bursts, and just started S.E. Grove’s The Golden Specific (the follow up to Grove’s amazing first novel The Glass Sentence – trust me, even though you’ll find these babies in the 9-12 section, these books are entertaining and sophisticated enough for all ages to enjoy!), I’m also about to dig into Méira Cook’s Nightwatching, out now and on the TA2015 reading list. PS: Méira Cook’s from Winnipeg!
Happy reading and stay cool!
Welcome back! I’ve taken quite the break from blogging over the past few weeks but I promise you, I haven’t stopped reading. One of my favourite things about summertime is having more time to read, so here are a few good ones I’ve picked up over the past month and a half.
I mentioned these two briefly in my last blog post – here’s a more thorough look.
- If you like X-Men and the what-if-we-had-special-powers scenario, I recommend Alexandra Bracken’s The Darkest Minds series. Set in dystopian America in the near future, The Darkest Minds series examines the lives of children with special abilities and their rebellion against repression and certain death. To mutant or not to mutant? I couldn’t put these books down – I finished the series in a week.
- If you like the special-powers scenario but are looking for a different angle, check out Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen. Aveyard has created a world where those with special abilities are the ones in power and heroine Mare Barrow is about to upset the whole system. This is looking to be a big seller in Young Adult fiction this year, so definitely take a read. Aveyard is set to release Book 2 in 2016.
The Queen is Back.
- If you haven’t read The Queen of The Tearling yet, well, shame on you. It’s a book people have been buzzing about all year, and here’s one reason why: Emma Watson is set to star as the heroine, Kelsea Glynn, in the film adaptation. Erika Johansen signed a seven-book deal last year and the second book in the series, The Invasion of the Tearling, was released last month. In my honest opinion, I found The Queen of the Tearling lacking – but Invasion had a lot more substance and it left me wanting more. If you’re a fan of fantasy, pick these two up and tell me what you think.
What the End of the World really looks like.
- One of the best books of 2015, Station Eleven will make you long for a world we already live in. I’ve never felt nostalgic for light switches or refrigerators until I read this masterful novel written by Emily St. John Mandel. It’s ridiculously realistic – a pandemic hits Toronto and life as
we know it grinds to a screeching halt. Station Eleven chronicles the lives
of the survivors, giving us a glimpse of humanity’s darkest days and reminding us how precious life really is. I loved this book.
Gossip|Gilmore Girl(s) and Feisty Females
- It’s Literally a Book Club read and discussed two great summer reads to put on your nightstand: Reconstructing Amelia and The Little Old Lady Who Broke All The Rules.
- We were huge fans of Reconstructing Amelia. Having just read The Girl On The Train, we were in mystery/thriller mode, so this was the perfect follow-up. After the tragic death of her daughter, Kate begins researching the mysterious circumstances surrounding her daughter’s last days and final hours. Kimberly McCreight definitely has a knack for nailing mother-daughter relationships and strong female leads. Secret societies, long-held grudges, and prep school politics are uncovered in this thrilling and heart-wrenching story. If you’ve enjoyed Gossip Girl and The Gilmore Girls, you’ll definitely find a favourite in Reconstructing Amelia. We gave this one 3.5/5.
- Next, we tackled Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg’s The Little Old Lady Who Broke All The Rules, a hilarious romp about a group of pensioners who believe that jail would hold more comforts than their retirement home. A comedy of errors, this book will keep you giggling. To sum up the funniest scene, two words: sauna + marijuana. Funny things happen. This was an unexpected pick for our group but we enjoyed it. 3/5.
- Next up, we’re reading Agatha Christie’s classic mystery, The Tuesday Club Murders. It’ll be just like reading a game of CLUE and I can’t wait.
Canadian writers are the best writers. I’m biased.
A few more books on my “to be read” bookshelf: Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember In The Ashes and Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman, out next week. So many good books for us to explore this summer, my friends!
Keep your eyes on the blog for more summer reading recommendations.