To Be Read: Summer Edition

Hi everyone! It’s summer! A time for ice cream and beaches and getting sucked into books instead of doing your summer homework. And, despite the fact that it’s almost the end of July, this post is about what I want to read before school doors open once again (>muffled sobbing<). So, without further ado. . .

1. PrisPrisoner of Night and Fogoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman

This book sounds unlike anything else I’ve read. It centers around Gretchen Müller, a seventeen-year-old living in pre-WWII Munich. Gretchen is a “Nazi darling,” as the book’s summary proclaims, but all her beliefs are challenged when she meets Daniel, a young Jewish reporter. After hearing great things about this and then spotting it at the library, I couldn’t resist. (Image credit goes to the author’s website, because the Powell’s Books website didn’t have any image for it, hmph.)

2. Revolution by Deborah Wiles

Guys! It’s the sequel! To Countdown! And it’s about Freedom Summer and it’s like if a scrapbook and a novel got together and had the best baby ever.

(Now there’s a sentence I never thought I’d write.)

3. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

I’ve been meaning to read this ever since I saw the Wishbone episode about it, I kid you not. Now that someone’s been kind enough to lend it to me for the summer, I really have no excuse. I just hope Catherine Morland gets out alive.

 

4. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

This book got a rave review from the awesome book blog Writer of Wrongs, and it sounds great. Lara Jean has a box of love letters, one for every boy she’s had a crush on. Of course, those letters have never been sent. . .until they are. And as if that doesn’t sound interesting enough, I really love that cover for some reason. Prettttyyy.

5. Everything in the Percy Jackson universe, by Rick Riordan

Yep. EVERYTHING. I haven’t read any of the Percy Jackson books in forever, or anything after the first two books in the series that comes after that, The Heroes of Olympus. Now that Heroes of Olympus is ending this fall, I figure I better get a move on. Will I finish all of them before the summer is out? No way. Let’s just hope I don’t get sucked into the Rick Riordan Vortex, never to return.

6. The Song of the Lioness series by Tamora Pierce

Yet another series I haven’t read in forever. One of these days, I’m just going to dive back into Alanna’s world of sword-fights and magic and everything else. You know, if my heart hasn’t been ripped out by Rick Riordan first.

 

I’m sure I could think of more books to add to this list if I tried, but I think I’d better stop here, before it grows to the length of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend, and with that I shall bid you adieu!

P.S. Any special books on your summer reading list?

P.P.S. I just finished rereading the novel The Bad Queen: Rules and Instructions for Marie-Antoinette, and as a result I am kind of a mess. It was like watching the “Doomsday” episode of Doctor Who all over again. HISTORY WHY YOU DO THIS TO ME.

Bookish Quote of the Day: “One benefit of summer was that each day we had more light to read by.” –Writer Jeannette Walls

 

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Odysseus in the Serpent Maze

As I’ve said before–and if you’re actually following this blog, you should know this–I am a mythology nut. As in, you’re reading something written by a kid who takes LATIN, even though it’s practically a dying language (Sorry, Ms. K., it’s true!). But anyway, this is one of the best mythology-based books I’ve ever read (and I’ve read a lot). Odysseus in the Serpent Maze, a collaboration between Jane Yolen and Robert Harris, follows the adventures of young Odysseus and his best friend Mentor, and is one of those books I’ve read who-knows-how-many times. Odysseus is well known for being mischievous and getting into trouble a lot, but it still comes as a shock when he and Mentor are kidnapped by pirates, and meet Helen of Sparta and her clever cousin, Penelope. Eventually they find themselves on the island of Crete, home to the infamous Minotaur. However, the Minotaur is dead–the question is, what new terrible monster now dwells inside the maze? This book is full of action, danger, and just a bit of romance. It’s one of the reasons I got so obsessed with mythology when I was younger, and I think both boys and girls will enjoy it. You should definitely go take a look. (Oh, and there are other books, too! Just not about this particular hero.)

P.S. There was no image available at Powell’s Books for a link, so it’s here it is.

Athena: Grey-Eyed Goddess

Okay…in case I haven’t said this before, I am Greek/Roman mythology-obsessed. Really. As in, any book that has anything to do with it, I’ll probably at least read the summary and the first few pages. And Athena is my all-time favorite goddess. So, after reading another book in this series about the goddess Hera, I went straight to this. Athena: Grey-Eyed Goddess is the second in a brand new graphic novel series by George O’Connor called Olympians, but you can actually read them in any order. I may have only read two, but so far this one is my favorite. (Are you surprised?) Throughout the book you are accompanied by the Moirae, otherwise known as the Fates, three ancient women who are in charge of our destinies. They will weave the tapestry that is Athena’s life; her dynamic birth out of her father Zeus’s head, and on through her many adventures. George O’Conner tells the stories well and the illustrations suck you in. Plus, it taught me new things about Athena I had no inkling about before–and I thought I knew it all. It’s a quick read, but that’s no reason to let it alone. It would definitely be a bit too scary for little kids, but I bet some older ones would love it. Give it a try!

Around the World in 80 Tales

I saw this book in my parents’ bookstore and immediately wanted it. Folktales from across the globe! If anything sounded interesting, that did. And, come my birthday, that’s what I found in a package. Around the World in 80 Tales, by Saviour Pirotta. Stories from China, Brazil, and other places you may have never heard of! I read some of these tales to a three-year-old once, and he wanted more. When I asked him, “Do you want me to bring this book back?” he said yes! Whether you are eight or eighty, you will enjoy at least one of the stories in this book. I’m interested in other countries, and this is a good way to dip into other people’s lives from all over. You can see what kind of stories parents in South America might read to their children! Or Asia, Africa, or Europe. So look online or somewhere else for Around the World in 80 Tales.

The Lost Hero

For everyone who is crazy about the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, this is another mythological book by the very same author: Rick Riordan. When Jason finds himself on a school bus holding a weird girl’s hand with no memory at all, his world turns upside down. For Piper, the same girl who’s clutching his hand, she can’t believe her own boyfriend doesn’t know her face. And Leo is Jason’s best bud, not understanding why this happened. All three have their problems, all three are special…all three are demigods. And they are very soon carried to Camp Half-Blood. There, things are in turmoil. Where has the great hero Percy Jackson disappeared to? One by one, the kids are claimed, some with shocking results. And, all of a sudden, a new prophecy is given, and as always, it comes with a new quest. Jason and his friends are swept off into another world, one where they must confront the worst parts of themselves, dark things come out into the light, and a great enemy looms in the background. This book, like Rick Riordan’s other work, is action-packed, well-written, and adds up to something everyone will like. My only problem is that it is not quite as funny as Percy Jackson. But you can’t have everything.