Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Mrs. Ross' Summer Reading 2015

Image result for go set a watchman by harper lee amazon

Image result for quiet the power of introverts amazonI can't believe it's time for my yearly end-of-summer book post.  This summer I took home my usual box of "must reads" from the EMS library.  However, I now have a very active one and a half year old who doesn't think mom should have much time to read to herself.  So, this is my list of the good, the bad, and the epic from some of what I had time to read this summer.  Look for these new books in our library this year!  All book pictures are from amazon.com.

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
Target Audience:  Upper High School/ Adult

This was probably my favorite read of the summer.  Author Harper Lee has long been known for her book To Kill A Mockingbird.  After her recent death, they published this rough draft sequel that had previously been unknown.  The storyline follows Jean Lousie or "Scout" as she grows up and grapples with her image of her father and the social issues of her times.

What I loved about it was the "snappy dialogue" (as one friend put it) and how the struggles that are felt could easily be about the controversies we are facing in our churches, society, and with each other today.

Rating: Epic

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
Target Audience: Upper High School/ Adult

Confession time:  I was expecting to love this book.  I've heard so much about it, and being an introvert myself, I thought this would be an epic read.  There was plenty of great stuff here, but the focus was so business world orientated that it was a little less applicable to me than I had hopes of. I came away with thoughts to digest and ruminate over so I still recommend it, but just not as emphatically as I wish I could... especially to those not in the business setting.

Rating:  Good

Image result for brown girl dreaming amazonBrown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Target Audience: Middle Grades and up

Jacqueline Woodson writes with such grace and power.  She has authored many books for middle grades that gently handle the "tough" issues of our society.  This is her autobiography written in free verse that tells of her childhood lived in both the North and the South as well as her journey of finding her voice through writing.  Lovely.

Rating: Good 

Additional Note:  Award Winning!

Image result for hope and other luxuries amazon
Image result for elena vanishing amazonElena Vanishing by Elena Dunkle
Hope: and Other Luxuries by Clare Dunkle
Target Audience: High School and up

This is a two-in-one review about memoirs by a mother and daughter.  These books tell the story of a daughter's journey with anorexia nervosa and a mother's desperate fight to help her recover.  Each book is written from a different perspective of the same events.  I couldn't stop thinking about this family as well as anorexia's part in our society... and how little about it we understand. I did miss having a faith based approach in these memoirs when it came to coping with mental illnesses and looking for
hope in hard situations.

                                      Rating:  Good to Epic

Image result for red queen amazonThe Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Target Audience: High School

The Red Queen jumps on the dystopian and super hero bandwagons that are all the rage right now in YA literature. This society is divided by blood.. red and silver.  If your veins bleed silver, you are likely blessed with supernatural abilities as well as the right to power, privilege, and riches.  However, if you are unfortunate to be of the red blooded masses, your existence is to serve at the whims of the silvers. Mare Barrow is red blooded and desperate to help her family and friends survive. A twist reveals that she has a power of her own that may upset the uneasy balance between the two groups.

                                     Rating: Good

Image result for the underground abductor amazonNathan Hale's Hazardous Tales:  The Underground Abductor by Nathan Hale
Target Audience: Upper Elementary, Middle Grades

Nathan Hale has a collection of historical graphic novels that tell compelling tales of events from the past... The Donner Dinner Party, World War I stories, the Ironclad battle, and more.  This tells the story of Araminta Ross or Harriet Tubman who was the narcoleptic hero of the underground railroad.

I thoroughly enjoyed the mashup of pictures and text along with history. Although I highly recommend for middle school boys, it is enjoyable for
                                        many readers!

                                        Rating:  Good

Image result for the lincoln lawyer amazonThe Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly (5 Book Series)
Target Audience: Upper High School and Adult

Each summer my husband and I always choose audiobooks for our travels. Our selection has to be something we will both enjoy as well as highly entertaining in order to compel us to get back in the car for more driving.  This summer we found the perfect fit in this series about a criminal defense attorney who conducts most of his business from the backseat of a Lincoln Town Car.
Mickey Hollar is rough around the edges but you can't help but to breathlessly cheer for this gritty, street smart, and cheeky lawyer who ends up in impossible situations.

                                Definitely for fans of John Grisham
                                Rating: Good to Epic (My husband said that I have to add the epic rating for him)

Image result for the martian amazonBonus:  This selection is what I am interested in reading soon. Several readers I follow gave this a high recommendation even to people who aren't really into science fiction.  (And I do like science fiction!)