Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Summer Reading List 2015

Summer is nearly here! And there is nothing I love more in the summer than getting down to some really good reading.

With lots of lazy days up north or on picnics in the park, having a summer reading list to work through is always a great idea. Here are some of my top summertime reads that I would recommend for letting your imagination run away with you!

1) The Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay

This is one of my absolute FAVOURITE series to read. I read it at least once a year and I love it more and more each time.

Written by Canadian author Guy Gavriel Kay (who helped publish "The Silmarillion"), "The Fionavar Tapestry" is a trilogy which follows 5 Canadian University of Toronto students as they travel to another world. 

Filled with magic, war, roguish princes, unlikely heroes and gods; this series is perfect for those who love fantasy fiction, or novels like "The Other Boleyn Girl"

2) Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (well, the first 4) by Douglas Adams

A laugh out loud read. If you've never indulged in these books you're missing out (and don't just watch the movie, its not even remotely the same). 

Follow unlikely human survivor Arthur Dent as he navigates the Galaxy, after the Earth is destroyed to build a new Hyperspace Bypass. Arthur mopes his way through the galaxy (still in his bathrobe) alongside his new alien friends, and discovers he is very much NOT alone.

Though he may occasionally wish he was.

Don't bother with book 5... it wraps up all the "loose ends" but it's a bit forced.

3) The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie (yes, Dr. House.)

Did you know Hugh Laurie wrote a book? Well he did, and its incredible.

It's James Bond, meets smart British humour; with scenes including the infiltration of a terrorist organization, posh cars, and some Kick Ass American Army Men (yes, that needed to be capitalized)

go read it.

4) A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving

This is possibly one of the best books I've ever read. It's the kind of book you can't read all the time because when you're done you feel a bit like you've been sucker punched by the pages (in the best way possible).

We meet our narrator John and his best friend, Owen Meany, who is afflicted with dwarfism. But for his size, Owen lives a BIG life. You'll laugh a little, you'll cry a LOT, and you'll love this book.

5) Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

We needed at least ONE play on this list! 

"Waiting for Godot" is a play I'm still trying to understand. I read it a lot, I've seen it performed, but there's something about it that eludes me. Which of course was Samuel Beckett's intention in writing it. The man always leaves you wanting!

Spoiler alert: Godot is not God, so get that smirk off your face! Help me puzzle this one out this summer!

6) The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood

One of Margaret Atwood's earlier books, this novel is pure feminism. The narrator's voice even goes from first to third person between part one and part two.

For any young woman who has struggled to find her place in the world and in love (all of us) "The Edible Woman" is a fantastic and soul searching read.

7) The Year of Living Biblically by AJ Jacobs

The only Non Fiction book on the list, "The Year of Living Biblically" is another one of my favourite reads. Even though it's not a story, I read it again every year or two to reflect.

AJ Jacobs is a man who throws himself into a book project, by embracing a whole lifestyle. He's read the whole Encyclopedia Britannica, tried to become the healthiest man alive, and outsourced his whole life.

For this project, he spends a year living by all of the rules of the bible (old and new testament). Not just the Big Ten, but ALL the rules of which there are hundreds. These include not wearing mixed fibers, not touching women who are on their periods, stoning sinners, and handling quail eggs.

This book will offer you some beautiful and thought provoking ideas about religion, as well as reflecting on some of the less-than-nice aspects. It's worth a read no matter your view on the topic.

8) And Then There Were None, Five Little Pigs, and others by Agatha Christie

Always at the top of my cottage reading list, a summer rain storm or dark night camping would not be complete without Agatha Christie!

"And Then There Were None" is, of course, the most famous (and terrifying!) but another of my favourites is "Five Little Pigs". Other great choices include: "The ABC Murders", "Endless Night", "Cards on the Table" and "Crooked House"

The woman writes an incredible mystery novel that will give you chills!

9) Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov

Arguably the father of modern Science Fiction, the original "Foundation" trilogy by Isaac Asimov is a must read.

Based on the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire, the novels follow humanity as the galaxy is on the brink of collapse, and a man dedicated to shortening the Galactic Dark Ages to a mere millennium. 

If you're a Star Wars fan, these books will have you gripped! What's more, HBO has brought on Johnathon Nolan (writer of Interstellar and The Dark Night) to do a TV series of the trilogy, so you'll want to get them read before that airs!

10) Emma by Jane Austen

A summer reading list wouldn't be complete without some Jane Austen, and at this time of year, we need look no further than the care free, meddling and unaware Emma.

Probably Jane Austen's funniest work, "Emma" has match making on the brain, but often misses the mark. Her high self esteem and heart-on-her-sleeve attitude pulls all of her friends and family down into her scheming, with humorous result.

Leave Mr Darcy and Lizzie Bennet for the fall when your pumpkin spiced latte is hot and your scarf is wrapped tight. Summer is Emma's domain!

What's on your summer reading list? Have you read any of the above books, and if so what did you think? If you have nay great recommendations for me to add to my list, let me know!

Happy reading bookworms!