Oh, how I love summer. Especially THIS summer, where I don't have a deadline until fall. And although I still am working on two books at once (because I'm such a super organized person *this is where I would insert picture of my laundry room to illustrate my sarcasm, but it's bad right now. So bad.*), my writing time is a tad more leisurely than it has been in awhile since only one of those books are contracted. This also means more reading time, reading for pleasure, reading without guilt, reading by the pool, reading during nap/quiet time (1 1/2 hour rule where kids either nap or play quietly. It's been 4 days of summer. I'm sure it won't last. But let me dream). And it is my hope you are enjoying similar tranquility. I wish you some relaxation, perhaps a nice carbonated beverage and a good book. I'm not going to ship out diet pepsi to everyone, largely because I get a little grinchey with my drinks, but I can give you book recommendations.
1. Unbreak my Heart by Melissa Walker
I tweeted a few days back that this book inspired me to buy a boat and that is the honest-to-goodness truth. No matter that we got a wakeboarding boat instead of a sailboat, that's all, er, logistics. Walker captures SO well that feeling of summer, of the family togetherness that happens (like it or not) in a contained space, as well as the self-reflection that boating creates. Loved the mood of this book.
2. The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder
So there is no disguising the fact that Lisa Schroeder is on of my best friends. But the odd thing is, Lisa as person is separate in my mind as Lisa as writer. I love both sides, of course, but even if I didn't know her personally, I can say I would still love her books. They get me in the gut, surprise me, emotionally challenge me. And I say this every time, but I really think The Day Before is my favorite. Set over the course of one day (on a beach!), this book had me sobbing on my airplane ride. But GOOD sobbing. Beautiful, beautiful book.
3. Something Like Normal by Trish Dollar
So I just started this one, like, two hours ago, but already the voice has me. Plus, I saw on goodreads that educator Paul Hankins said it's one of the best YAs he's read in awhile, and that man reads like whoa and always does great reviews. SLN is about a marine returning from Afghanistan to some messed up stuff, not to mention dealing with post-traumatic stress. As you can see from the cover, there is also a girl and... that's all I know so far. Read it and we'll find out more together, k?
4. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
So this book has been around for 7 years now, been read by millions, is a trilogy, apparently there was a movie made and... I never read it. I bought it on my nook because it was on sale for 99 cents. Naturally, I love mid grade stories that start in real world, then something mysterious reveals that the world wasn't as "real" as the character thought. I've already bought the next 2 books though, so the publisher is still making some much-deserved money on me. Well played, Scholastic. Well played.
5. Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis.
These books, along with IT'S RAINING CUPCAKES, are my go-to recommendation when a fan of Princess for Hire writes asking what to read next. Regency England mixed with adventure, magic and a spunky heroine. If you have a girl aged 10-14, this should be on your shelf. I'm taking this to book club tonight (Austenland!) as part of the annoying other books you should read speech. Just released in paperback. The sequel, RENEGADE MAGIC , is sitting here on my bedside table waiting to be read very soon.
6. The Classroom by Robin Mellom
So I can read a book by, say, Laurie Halse Anderson and set it down and think, cool, great book. I'm not filled with envy or angst because my writing in no way resembles LHA (okay, perhaps a little green). But when I read The Classroom? I cried when I wasn't laughing because I want so much to nail a middle school character like Robin did. The details were spot on, the voices hilarious. It's mockumentary style (pitched as The Office for kids). Brilliantly funny with authentic kids... I really can't recommend this book enough.
Oh, and less than TWO WEEKS until we can add A Farewell to Charms to that reading list too! Summer yay!