Thursday, June 7, 2012

Summer Reading List: Part Two

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This year I thought I'd put together a summer reading a list of new-to-me books I plan on reading over the next few months, and share it with all of you too!

Let me know if you decide to read along with me, and be sure to check out part one, for a total of 14 books. Happy summer, and happy reading! Feel free to add any of YOUR summer book picks in the comments below.

all summaries and photos taken from amazon.com


8. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.


9. Gone Girl: A Novel by Gillian Flynn

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?


10. The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty

Only a few years before becoming a famous silent-film star and an icon of her generation, a fifteen-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita, Kansas, to study with the prestigious Denishawn School of Dancing in New York. Much to her annoyance, she is accompanied by a thirty-six-year-old chaperone, who is neither mother nor friend. Cora Carlisle, a complicated but traditional woman with her own reasons for making the trip, has no idea what she’s in for. Young Louise, already stunningly beautiful and sporting her famous black bob with blunt bangs, is known for her arrogance and her lack of respect for convention. Ultimately, the five weeks they spend together will transform their lives forever.

Drawing on the rich history of the 1920s,’30s, and beyond--from the orphan trains to Prohibition, flappers, and the onset of the Great Depression to the burgeoning movement for equal rights and new opportunities for women--Laura Moriarty’s The Chaperone illustrates how rapidly everything, from fashion and hemlines to values and attitudes, was changing at this time and what a vast difference it all made for Louise Brooks, Cora Carlisle, and others like them.


11. Driving with Dead People: A Memoir by Monica Holloway

Small wonder that, at nine years old, Monica Holloway develops a fascination with the local funeral home. With a father who drives his Ford pickup with a Kodak movie camera sitting shotgun just in case he sees an accident, and whose home movies feature more footage of disasters than of his children, Monica is primed to become a morbid child. Yet in spite of her father's bouts of violence and abuse, her mother's selfishness and prim denial, and her siblings' personal battles and betrayals, Monica never succumbs to despair. Instead, she forges her own way, thriving at school and becoming fast friends with Julie Kilner, whose father is the town mortician.

She and Julie prefer the casket showroom, where they take turns lying in their favorite coffins, to the parks and grassy backyards in her hometown of Elk Grove, Ohio. In time, Monica and Julie get a job driving the company hearse to pick up bodies at the airport, yet even Monica's growing independence can't protect her from her parents' irresponsibility, and from the feeling that she simply does not deserve to be safe. Little does she know, as she finally strikes out on her own, that her parents' biggest betrayal has yet to be revealed.


12. The Lifeboat: A Novel by Charlotte Rogan

Grace Winter, 22, is both a newlywed and a widow. She is also on trial for her life.

In the summer of 1914, the elegant ocean liner carrying her and her husband Henry across the Atlantic suffers a mysterious explosion. Setting aside his own safety, Henry secures Grace a place in a lifeboat, which the survivors quickly realize is over capacity. For any to live, some must die. As the castaways battle the elements, and each other, Grace recollects the unorthodox way she and Henry met, and the new life of privilege she thought she'd found. Will she pay any price to keep it?



13. Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes

Catherine has been enjoying the single life for long enough to know a good catch when she sees one. Gorgeous, charismatic, spontaneous - Lee seems almost too perfect to be true. And her friends clearly agree, as each in turn falls under his spell. But there is a darker side to Lee. His erratic, controlling and sometimes frightening behavior means that Catherine is increasingly isolated. Driven into the darkest corner of her world, and trusting no one, she plans a meticulous escape. Four years later, struggling to overcome her demons, Catherine dares to believe she might be safe from harm. Until one phone call changes everything. This is an edgy and powerful first novel, utterly convincing in its portrayal of obsession, and a tour de force of suspense.



14. The Paris Wife: A Novel by Paula McLain

Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a quiet twenty-eight-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness—until she meets Ernest Hemingway and her life changes forever. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group—the fabled “Lost Generation”—that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.

Though deeply in love, the Hemingways are ill prepared for the hard-drinking and fast-living life of Jazz Age Paris, which hardly values traditional notions of family and monogamy. Surrounded by beautiful women and competing egos, Ernest struggles to find the voice that will earn him a place in history, pouring all the richness and intensity of his life with Hadley and their circle of friends into the novel that will become The Sun Also Rises. Hadley, meanwhile, strives to hold on to her sense of self as the demands of life with Ernest grow costly and her roles as wife, friend, and muse become more challenging. Despite their extraordinary bond, they eventually find themselves facing the ultimate crisis of their marriage—a deception that will lead to the unraveling of everything they’ve fought so hard for

see my Summer Reading List Part One here

37 comments:

  1. These are great ideas for a summer reading list :) The Chaperone looks very interesting to me. I think I might add that my summer reading list as well.

    ♥ Naomi {Starry Eyes + Coffee Cups}

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  2. The Chaperone and The Fault in Our Stars are both on my to-read lists this summer. I've read the Paris Wife and LOVED it. It made me re-fall in love with that era, not like I needed any help with that! I actually reviewed the book on my blog way back when...http://lovelyexplorer.blogspot.com/2012/01/bookworm-paris-wife-by-paula-mclain.html.

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  3. Thanks so much for writing this post - I used to love reading but now rarely do. You've given me a ton of literary inspiration now and I'm going to see which of the above are in stock in my local library :) xxx

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  4. I just finished The Paris Wife a few weeks ago. It's so good! Definitely a must read.

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  5. Definitely adding The Chaperone to my to read list. I've been meaning to read The Fault in our Stars and The Paris Wife too!

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  6. fault in our starts is def on my list - and i have just been hearing about this girl gone! great list!

    p.s. i will def let you know how The Host is! so far, it's amazing!

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  7. I love your book recommendations. And that the fault in our stars is #1. Because, seriously, new favorite book. So excited to check the rest of these out!

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  8. I haven't read any of these so thanks for the tips! Funnily enough, I also just posted about some books I've read recently. it's so nice to be on holiday and have lots of time to read!

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  9. ooh the cover of The Chaperone looks really intriguing! I may just have to add it to my summer reading list! thanks for sharing!

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  10. The Fault in our Stars is such a great read! John Green is a very talented young adult writer (check out "Looking for Alaska" by him). Also I just started reading "Signs of Life" that you recommended on your first Summer Reading List post, and it is great so far. thanks for the suggestions!

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  11. I pre-ordered Gone Girl and can not wait to start reading it. I will definitely pick up the other books as well and read along! It looks like a great list.

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  12. I just read The Fault In Our Stars. SUCH a great book, I was crying through the whole thing. The whole cancer theme really hits home. It's such a great book and it's got a lot of cute and funny parts. Driving With Dead People sounds pretty interesting, I'll have to check that out!

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  13. I literally just blogged yesterday about needing to get lost in some new books. This is why I absolutely love your blog it's as if you read my mind ;) The Paris Wife is going to be bought tomorrow. Looks so good. 1920s? Paris? Ernest Hemingway? I'm giddy already :)

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  14. I hope you love The Fault in Our Stars! It's absolutely wonderful, I sobbed through the entire thing! Lovely reading list.

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  15. Oh, The Paris Wife sounds so good! I love Hemingway as a writer and have been wanting to learn more about his personal life. This book looks like a winner. Thanks for sharing :)

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  16. Your book posts just might be my favorites. I've just put a bunch of these on hold at my library. Thanks! :)

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  17. TOO.MANY.AWESOME.BOOKS!!!
    I wanna read all of them, now...yesterday!!
    I'm excited to start....which one will you start with?

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  18. The Paris Wife! I'm Hemingway's biggest fan. This has been on my list for a while. Time to get to it.

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  19. The Paris Wife is amazing! I read it a few months ago and fell in love with it! xo

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  20. I'm currently reading (and thoroughly enjoying) Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart:

    "Shteyngart (Absurdistan) presents another profane and dizzying satire, a dystopic vision of the future as convincing—and, in its way, as frightening—as Cormac McCarthy's The Road. It's also a pointedly old-fashioned May-December love story, complete with references to Chekhov and Tolstoy. Mired in protracted adolescence, middle-aged Lenny Abramov is obsessed with living forever (he works for an Indefinite Life Extension company), his books (an anachronism of this indeterminate future), and Eunice Park, a 20-something Korean-American. Eunice, though reluctant and often cruel, finds in Lenny a loving but needy fellow soul and a refuge from her overbearing immigrant parents. Narrating in alternate chapters—Lenny through old-fashioned diary entries, Eunice through her online correspondence—the pair reveal a funhouse-mirror version of contemporary America: terminally indebted to China, controlled by the singular Bipartisan Party (Big Brother as played by a cartoon otter in a cowboy hat), and consumed by the superficial. Shteyngart's earnestly struggling characters—along with a flurry of running gags—keep the nightmare tour of tomorrow grounded. A rich commentary on the obsessions and catastrophes of the information age and a heartbreaker worthy of its title, this is Shteyngart's best yet."

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    1. I read this, and found it both entertaining and frightening. Not too difficult to imagine a future with at least some of the elements of Lenny's future!

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  21. So many of these books sound amazing. I've been on a Stephen King kick this summer but I could totally make some room to read Into the Darkest Corner and Driving With Dead People. :)

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  22. Just finished The Fault in Our Stars and loved it. Now I'm reading The Night Circus - couple chapters in and so far it's pretty good!

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  23. Danielle,
    First of all, because you have included The Fault in Our Stars on your list, I wanted to suggest Looking for Alaska to you. Honestly, please please please READ THIS AMAZING BOOK! It was John Green's first novel, and I have been reading his books since I first read LFA. Though I do love his writing, nothing so far has touched LFA (though I have yet to read The Fault in Our Stars... it's downloaded to my kindle) My first and only tattoo had a lot to do with LFA! http://instagr.am/p/LmcULlIo2K/
    Based on the cover: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-x_vf6zxxdNw/T2JZkpd14oI/AAAAAAAAA6g/LFXdjzTPTj8/s1600/looking-for-alaska.gif
    And having to do with Fran├žois Rabelais' last words: "I go to seek a great perhaps."
    I wouldn't have otherwise so strongly suggested Looking For Alaska (because I think I tend to sound pretty over excited about it, ha) but if you're interested in his new book, I really think you'd be interested in his first!
    The other thing I wanted to say, that guy on the 2 on 1 date on the bachelorette this week, who pronounced quinoa KWIN OH UH... did you catch that? I just about died hahahahah and I know you like quinoa so I thought that was worth bringing up : )

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  24. The Fault in Our Stars and The Paris Wife are both spectacular. The Chaperone is at the top of my summer-reading pile. I read Driving with Dead People a few year's back and it was so-so.

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  25. I loved The Paris Wife! I've recently added The Chaperone to my Goodreads list. I hope I find it soon!

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  26. This list is so fantastic but I was so excited to see that Gillian Flynn has a new book! I love her. If you haven't read Sharp Objects, I HIGHLY recommend it. Going out to get her new book right now! haha

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  27. I loved reading all the summaries (: So many great books! I have made a summer reading list too. My blog is in Dutch and there are mostly Dutch books, but if you're interested in looking at foreign literature, you could take a look! (I think at least some are translated into English)

    Part one: http://speedingblackrain.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/zomerleeslijst-deel-1/
    Part two: http://speedingblackrain.wordpress.com/2012/06/05/zomerleeslijst-deel-2/

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  28. Ah, the Paris Wife is the best book ever. I feel like it's one of those that, if you are a writer, it makes you better just by reading it. Thanks for the recommendations!

    Cheers,
    Courtney Hosny
    http://www.oneweektocrazy.com

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  29. I just added the preview of Gone Girl in my e-reader, looks so good!

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  30. Thank you so much for posting books you recommend! I'm always looking for a good read, especially during the summer. And I can definitely trust your opinion!

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  31. So many of these look SO good!!

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  32. Looking forward to joining you in reading The Chaperone specifically. And I actually read The Paris Wife last summer. It was tragically beautiful. (Also, being married to a writer, it messes with one's head a little bit!) Thanks for sharing!

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  33. I love that you put the synopsis for each book in these posts. Makes it much easier to decide if I too want to read them.

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  34. Have you read Gone Girl yet? I just finished it and loved it! Sooooo nutty!

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  36. I think The Paris Wife might go on my reading list, too. I posted my summer reading list on my blog: http://miathereader.wordpress.com/

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