Are you a book lover like myself and count reading as one of your favorite pastimes? Well then, read on for some great summer reading recommendations.
OK, so 2021 was a rough year for me and I hardly met any of my new year’s resolutions. That included reading 30 books, or whatever ridiculous and unrealistic number I had committed to.
It’s NOT that 2022 has been any kinder, but I’m in a much healthier state of mind. What does that mean for my favorite pastime? It means I’ve read more in these last 6 months than I did in all of 2021.
To Read or Not to Read…
I would like to share with you some of the books I have read. I’ve included a very short, simplistic summary to help you decide whether to pick up the book or not.
One more thing…
If you want a more substantial and profound book review and description, there is one website / App that might be useful. I like to use Good Reads to get an overall feel for a title, before I commit to its purchase. Additionally, it keeps track of what I’m currently reading, wish lists, reading challenges and you can even share lists with your friends.
Summer Reading Recommendations
The Paper Palace – By Miranda Cowley Heller
I almost didn’t buy this book, because I didn’t want to read about an affair, as someone described it. But this story is so much more! Elle’s flashback moments retell a complex and sometime difficult childhood. This leads us to understand her ultimate decisions with a feeling of tenderness and protection. Page turner!
The Alchemist – By Paulo Coelho
If you liked The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, then you might like this book. It’s about intuition and following omens to find your life’s purpose. Told in the form of a novel, this book is supposed to be inspiring. What can I say? It’s not my favorite book by Coelho.
The Girl With the Louding Voice – By Abi Daré
Another page turner, this novel exposes the violent effects of forced marriage, ‘honor’ killings, lack of education and domestic slavery. But don’t worry, there is a levity to these topics with the way Adunni narrates her story. Her humor and imaginative naïveté bring hope to these very harsh realities.
Where The Crawdads Sing – By Delia Owens
My favorite of 2022 so far, I could not put this book down. A beautifully written “coming-of-age” story where the North Carolina marsh comes alive, like never before. Kya lives with loss, poverty, rejection, self-preservation and love in this isolated setting.
Transcendent Kingdom – By Yaa Gyasi
A very moving story about “Gifty’s” family struggles of drug addiction and depression. At different points in her life, religion and science help her get through the anguish, as well as get a bit closer to understanding these very debilitating diseases.
The Water Dancer – By Ta-Nehisi Coates
Learning about slavery is important. The atrocities inflicted on black families for centuries help us understand American history. Coates’s characters, whose families were mostly ripped apart, sold, abused, persecuted… all for financial gain are a difficult but important story. Luckily there is a supernatural power that provides some redemption from so much cruelty.
A Brave New World – By Aldous Huxley
The first time I read this dystopian novel was back in high school. It is set in a society where humans are physically and emotionally manufactured. I think Mr. Huxley was way ahead of his time. At least when it comes to our thoughts being manipulated, as social media and fake news seem to be formulating for us nowadays.
The Winter Crown – By Elizabeth Chadwick
I encountered this trilogy while searching for more info on the life of Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine. Instead of textbook style publications, I opted to read this historical novel. I just finished reading the third and final book in this trilogy. Yes, it’s full of sex, war, politics and tragedy, but it seems to be a very accurate account of Eleanor’s life, who lived long enough to be Queen of France, Queen of England and to live through a very tumultuos time.
The Three-Body Problem – By Cixin Liu
Although the backdrop of the Chinese cultural revolution and idea of alien contact was interesting, most of the metaphysical concepts in the book transcend dimensions way beyond my understanding.
Zikora – By Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche
One of my favorite authors! Everything Adiche writes is “gold”!
The Nickel Boys – By Colson Whitehead
After reading The Underground Railway by Colson, I knew I had to read everything ever written by him. This year I finished The Nickel Boys and was even more impressed by his writing. Based on a real reform school in Florida, it’s incredible how much emotional and physical abuse was allowed and overlooked for over a century.
Well that’s it folks! A few more titles are not even worth mentioning here, but I think you have enough material here to entertain yourself this summer.
I would love to hear from you. Have you read any of the above? Do you have any books you would recommend? What’s on your summer reading list?
Credit: Featured Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash
Additional Summer Reading (on the blog)
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6 Things Expats Should Know Before Working in Germany
Expert Career Coaching Tips – Succeed Abroad as an Expat