Paula's Summer Reads
We have had an amazingly busy summer! We went to the beach, we swam at the pool, we had days where we spent WAY too much time in front of screens, and...we moved! But we also found time to read : ) Here are some quick reviews from my Summer Reading List:
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen- This was a surprisingly lovely book by a new-to-me author. Garden Spells has southern charm, family mystery and magic. Allen weaves the story beautifully and makes you feel as if a garden full of magical fruit is really not so far fetched. Think Pushing Daisies in novel form. I enjoyed this story so much I have another of Allen’s books, The Girl Who Chased the Moon, on my nightstand right now!
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh- I enjoyed Garden Spells so much I decided to continue with the nature theme and read The Language of Flowers. Flowers tells the story of Victoria, a foster kid who has recently aged out of the system. Victoria has attachment issues, nowhere to go, and an incredible knowledge of the language of flowers. The story is told alternating between Victoria’s difficult past and impossible present with honesty and beauty. I was completely captivated by this story and finished the book in a matter of days.
Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan- This book was another combination I just couldn’t resist: a bookstore, a mysterious secret society, and Dungeons & Dragons references! This is a super nerdy, outrageously entertaining novel. Eventually, I want to write a blog post recommending books about bookstores and this one will be at the top of the list!
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline- This novel follows Wade, a teenager in post-financial crash America circa 2044 who spends most of his days in a virtual reality program called OASIS. Wade is trying to change the course of his life by winning the ultimate video game contest. I wasn’t sure I would enjoy this one. I generally like dystopian novels but video games aren’t really my thing. However, the plot moves quickly, the writing is entertaining, and the pop culture references made me laugh. A fun, quick read.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte- This was one of those books I was kind of embarrassed to admit I hadn’t read...but now I have! Bronte’s classic gothic British novel was well worth the weeks it took me to finish it : ) I think I was expecting something more in the vein of Jane Austen (because I’m a British lit stereotyper) but I enjoyed Bronte’s darker take on things. Probably would have been a better fall choice, if you’re a seasonal reader. The moors always make me want to sip a cup of tea by the fire.
*Most of these books came from Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Summer Reading Guide. It is seriously one of the things I most look forward to every summer.