The sun is shining. The skies are blue. The days are longer. The weather is warm. It’s summertime. And do you know what that means? Summer reading time!
For as long as I can remember, summer has always meant unperturbed reading time. Finding a comfy spot somewhere, claiming a seat and spending hours upon hours reading and exploring new worlds to my heart’s content. I loved it. I still do. And if I can find the time these days, I will find a seat and spend hours reading.
Paperbacks are usually my favourite, they’re lighter, easier to carry and smaller when I go on vacation (i.e. able to stuff more into my suitcase). E-books and audiobooks are also a great choice since they can be loaded up on your phone or tablet/e-reader. Both have their pros and cons but both are great choices.
The hardest part, of course, is picking what books to read and which to take on vacation with you or with you into the backyard. Luckily, I’ve got some recommendations to help with that conundrum.
If you’re looking for a Dan Brown-esque thriller…
Check out Map of Bones by James Rollins
Conspiracies? Check. Secret societies? Check. The Vatican? Check. Mystical ancient artefacts that could change the world, as we know it? Check. Globetrotting? Check. A group of government agents tasked with stopping a potential global crisis? Check. James Rollins takes you on a thrilling ride in Map of Bones following the exploits of SIGMA Force, an elite covert branch of DARPA, as their agents try to stop a devastating catastrophe that could change humankind as we know it. The cast of characters lead by Grayson Pierce, wind their way through ancient sites, deciphering clues, bearing witness to long-buried secrets, all while trying to stay alive. Chalk full of action, science, history, and mysticism, this is a novel that immerses you into the world that Rollins has created. Map of Bones is the second novel in the SIGMA Force series, a series that I would definitely recommend checking out if you liked Map of Bones.
If you’re looking for some romance…
Check out Beautiful Player by Christina Lauren
If you want to read about some hot, hot chemistry this summer, Beautiful Player will definitely deliver. Hanna Bergstrom, recent New York City transplant, has spent most of her life in the classroom and lab, which has definitely paid off as she nears the end of grad school. At the urging of her older brother, Hanna decides to tackle expanding her social life as she has done with every goal that has she has set: strategically, methodically, and with a little expert guidance in the form of her big brother’s best friend. Will Sumner is a risk taker; he’s a venture capitalist by trade and a bit of a Casanova in his private life. He’s known Hanna, aka “Ziggy” most of her life, but when Hanna literally runs into his life, she’s nothing that he’s expected. Challenges erupt, chemistry ensues, and love begins to blossom. Beautiful Player is the third novel in the Beautiful Bastard series, and my favourite so far because of all the different facets of both characters personalities. You’ll fall in love with Hanna and Will’s love story and all their chemistry!
If you’re looking to sate your wanderlust…
Check out 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
What would you do if you received a stack of 13 letter, the first with $1000 and instructions to buy a plane ticket to the United Kingdom from your dead eccentric aunt? Well, if you’re Virginia Blackstone, you buy that ticket and fly across the pond. Virginia or “Ginny” is a 17-year-old student on the verge of entering her last year of high school when she receives such a letter. We follow along on her journey of self-discovery through Europe following the eccentric, sometimes absurd, but momentous letters from her Aunt Peg. We watch as Ginny discovers more about Europe, more about her beloved Aunt Peg, and more about herself. 13 Little Blue Envelopes is designated as a young adult novel but that shouldn’t make you shy away from it. Young adult novels are some of the best-written books out there today. This one is definitely worth a go. There is a sequel to this book titled The Last Little Blue Envelope if you enjoyed this one.
If you’re looking for a little magic…
Check out Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Delve into a world of magic and intrigue filled with witches, daemons, and vampires in this spellbinding novel as we follow Diana Bishop, scholar, historian, and latent witch. Diana, unwittingly, becomes intertwined in the dangerous and mysterious search for a long lost manuscript that has the power to change not only the future of mankind but also witches, daemons, and vampires all over our world as well. Diana is not alone in this quest; an encounter leads Matthew Clairmont, scholar, geneticist, and vampire, into her life, and every aspect of it. I read DoW around the time it was first published and fell in love with the story and the world that Deborah has created, filled with magic, romance, history, and a quest for a magical manuscript. I was hooked and jumped onto the subsequent books that followed. Discovery of Witches is the first book in All Souls Trilogy, and all three books have been released in paperback.
If you’re looking for a new world to explore…
Check out Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Cinder has never truly felt like she belonged, in her home or in the world she resides. She is a cyborg, New Beijing’s best android mechanic, and has a past that she can scarcely recall. A visit from Prince Kai, the heir apparent, draws Cinder into a world that she never imagined she would be a part of and a struggle for the survival of not only all those she cares about but Earth as well. Cinder has been one of the best YA dystopian novels I’ve read in the past few years, it’s the retelling of the Cinderella fairytale but with a twist and a sprinkling of Sailor Moon lore. I love the character of Cinder and her ability to take on every challenge that she is faced with and her vulnerability in the face of it all. The cast of side characters in the book are just as interesting as Cinder. Cinder is the first book in the Lunar Chronicles series, each subsequent novel a retelling of a different fairytale and all the books in the series are out now so check them out after if you like.
What are your favourite genres to read in the summer? Do you prefer paperbacks or e-books on vacation? Do you have any suggestions for me? I hope you enjoy these recommendations and check out these books, which are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, and Chapters-Indigo.