Booklist: Fun Summer Reads
It’s June, and summer in the northern hemisphere where we live will soon be in full swing. Along with vacations, swimming, cookouts, and other fun summer activities, it’s time to put together your summer reading list.
You’re not going to go wrong picking any book for a summer read, but we will admit to preferring a little lighter fare for our summer reads. Thick, serious books just seem a bit harder to focus on when the sun is out and the garden (or beach or pool or grill) is competing for attention. That’s not to say we would avoid them completely.
For our summer tastes, though, something a bit cheerier is usually on the menu. We love SFF, and Catherynne Valente’s Space Opera is as funny a book as you will find in the genre. Part apocalyptic threat, part Eurovision competition, and all absurd, it is serious and ridiculous and joyful all at once. A couple of series also deserve mention here: Curtis Chen’s Kangaroo books and Sarah Kuhn’s Heroine novels are excellent and fun.
Summer is also a good time for us grownups to catch up on our YA novels (admit it it, you love them, too!). Seafire is the kickass girl pirate book that I want my granddaughters to read when they are older. And Richard Bach’s Ferret series is charming and is a terrific read-aloud-together series for families with children.
Moving away from SFF, last year’s hit summer movie was Crazy Rich Asians. The series is smart, biting, and hilarious, and you should definitely read the books before the movie sequels come out. The movie was great–but the books are better. (Yes, that’s almost always the case.)
And lest you let the summer gap take away everything you learned the rest of the year, some non-fiction should go onto your list. Lucy Cooke’s The Truth About Animals is the book you didn’t know you needed about animals. From swimming sloths to panda sex to bomb-carrying bats, this book is full of stories of animals and the strange relationships we humans have with them. If you want to feel like a kid again, Steve Brusatte’s The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs will remind you why you fell in love with those prehistoric giants in the first place. And finally Lynn Murphy’s The Prodigal Tongue is a laugh out loud book about the differences between British and American English–written by an American teaching English in Britain.
Hopefully your summer is full of fun. Let us know whether any of these books make it to your own list–or what you would recommend we add to ours. Maybe we’ll review it! This Summer!
Enjoy Reading this Summer!
Space Opera, Catherynne M. Valente
Waypoint Kangaroo and Kangaroo Too, Curtis C. Chen
Seafire, Natalie C. Parker
Heroine Complex, Heroine Worship, Heroine’s Journey, Sarah Kuhn
Crazy Rich Asians trilogy, Kevin Kwan
The Truth About Animals: Stoned Sloths, Lovelorn Hippos, and Other Tales from the Wild Side of Wildlife, Lucy Cooke
Rescue Ferrets at Sea, The Ferret Chronicles series, Richard Bach
Nonfiction: The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs, Steve Brusatte
Nonfiction: The Prodigal Tongue: The Love-Hate Relationship Between British and American English, Lynne Murphy