summer reads

Sunday, August 02, 2015



There’s never a bad time to read a great book, but for me, I tend to get so much more reading done during the summer months. Winter is a time for snuggling in bed and catching up on the thousands of TV shows I’m watching on Netflix, but summer is the time for me to find a tube and float in the water with a good book. (This becomes mildly problematic when I’m using my ipad to read, someone find me a waterproof solution!)

I tend to be someone who likes to browse the itunes bookstore about once a week, and generally I’ll go through and download the samples of books that I’m interested in reading, and then check to see if there are any specials on the books before purchasing right away. E-books are still ‘spensive y’all! This summer, however, I’ve had my reading list dictated to me a little more as so many great books are being adapted for television and movies. If at all possible I really like to read the book first so I’ve been in a bit of a rat race with a couple of books to finish them before they’re released on the big screen.

The list below contains both books that I’ve already read this summer as well as the books that are in the queue for my next read. I’ve tried to link to Amazon to provide the descriptions of each book, and will mostly be just giving a few quick thoughts on those that I’ve read or the reasoning behind why I’d like to read it. I’ll also mention that I really love getting a great audiobook at times, so a couple of these I’ll likely be trying in that format as well.

What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd HypotheticalQuestions by Randall Munro
This is the one book that I’ve been reading off and on throughout the summer, as it’s set up not like a novel, but instead small chapters largely independent of one another. I’m a huge science geek and I seriously love this book. First of all, I dare you to not find at least one question in this book that you haven’t thought at least once in your life and felt too dumb to ask. Munroe has a really comedic voice (and intersperses the chapters with funny little illustrations as well,) but he legit KNOWS HIS SHIT when it comes to thoroughly explaining tough questions in a way that isn’t full of scientific jargon that you need three dictionaries to understand. I feel so much SMARTER having read this book.

The Martian by Andy Weir
I’ve clearly been on a good science kick lately. This was one of those books that I really wanted to read before the movie came out, and let me tell you, once I started it, I could barely put it down.  Weir, like Munroe has really done his research for this book, and I consistently found myself impressed how detailed and most importantly, actually scientifically verified, his scenarios were when describing the crazy shit that can happy to an astronaut trapped on Mars alone. But my favorite thing about the book is how stinking funny it is. Weir has really excellent comedic timing in his writing and I constantly found myself laughing out loud in the middle of a passage. Easily my favorite book of the year so far.

The Liar by Nora Roberts
You all know I’d have at least one Nora in here because her books just make me freaking happy. I’m really liking that Roberts is mixing in a lot of mystery and suspense into her traditional romance canon, and was really pleased with this one. I can’t say that I didn’t see the twist coming a mile away, but I don’t read Nora to be constantly thrown for a loop. I read her because I love love and she loves love and we can all love love together.

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Okay I’m not going to lie about this. This book is FUCKED UP. Like I still have moments when a particular passage of this book jumps back into my head and I am disturbed. So know that going in. What this book has going for it is the fact that Flynn is a really excellent writer, and she creates these SUPER FUCKED UP stories that you can’t seem to put down even though you might really really want to at times. All in all I can’t say I loved the book, (and honestly I would possibly scoot away at a rapid pace if someone told me they just LOVED it, because, like I said, FUCKED UP,) but I definitely was engrossed in it Be warned, it’s not for the meek.

The Reef by Nora Roberts
Yeah Yeah Yeah I know it’s another Nora and it’s a Nora that I’ve read literally like 10 times. I do that with her. She’s my comfort food. The Reef is probably one of my favorite Nora’s ever, because I love pirates and treasure and love and how can you go wrong with that? I actually started reading this again because I needed a paperback for a particularly hot, must stay submerged in water at all times, type of day. Worth it.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
I have literally read one page of this book so far before I nodded off, dropping my ipad on my face and potentially breaking my nose.  But that’s not the books fault, it’s completely the fault of the fact that my crazy neighbor kept me up all fucking night long screaming and doing god knows what next door. Every person I’ve talked to about this book says they literally read it in two days. Like they wanted to not sleep they were so into it. That is more than enough reason for me to say, YES PLEASE.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harness
I have a soft spot for stories that incorporate magic and mystery in them, (this is also why I love Hocus Pocus to the extent that I do.) I’ve had this trilogy actually downloaded as an audiobook now for over a year, but now that I live so close to my job, I just don’t spend nearly as much time in my car as I once did, so when I stumbled upon the trilogy on sale on itunes,  I went ahead and downloaded the book instead. I may try to do a little multi-immersive experience and listen and read along as well. We’ll see.

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
Speaking of audiobooks, I’ve already decided that this one is definitely going to be one that I choose to listen to instead of read. One thing I’ve learned with books by comedians is that they are almost always better when you can hear the words in their voice. And I love the inflection that Aziz puts on his words when he’s doing standup, so I’m really excited to see how it plays out in a more longform format.
Sick in the Head by Judd Apetow
Per the previously mentioned rule, I haven’t necessarily decided if I want to experience this book in audio format or in the traditional book form. I think that Apetow is a really funny director who tends to pigeonhole himself into one very specific type of movie lately, but I am super interested in the type of people he had access to to put together this book of interviews. I’m interested to see how it goes.

The First Bad Man by Miranda July
I am completely in love with Miranda July as a person and will pretty much read/watch/listen to anything she does. I've only heard a few people talking about this book thus far, but I have extremely high hopes for it. 
Paper Towns by John Green
I honestly didn’t know much about this book until I saw the preview for the movie, but I really enjoyed The Fault in our Stars so I figured that it was worth a look.

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