Thursday, June 2, 2011

Early Summer Reading List

Taz Caracal is in favor of a lazy summer afternoon
Thanks to my daily bus ride commute to and from werk, I have plenty of time to either read, edit or take naps.  Lately, the two choices that have nothing to do with writing have been winning.  This as, in part, been due to having found several very good books to read.  The napping part, well, let's just say that naps, like youth, are wasted on the young.

(You can quote me on that, too.)

The weather was actually being relatively mild until last week, so regardless of what the calendar or the tilt of the earth's axis might have to say about it, I'm considering last week to be the first week of my summer reading.  As such, I've read two books I heartily recommend:

The first book is Hannah Moskowitz's INVINCIBLE SUMMER.  Told over the course of four summers by Chase, a teenager in a broken family that's maintaining, barely, during their summer vacations at their Bethany Beach summer house.  It's a story of family, friendship, differences and the tragedies live brings through everyday living.  What impressed me so much about INVINCIBLE SUMMER was how long the book has stayed with me.  The emotional chord stuck was like the end of is still vibrating in a way that makes me respect Moskowitz's skill as a writer almost enough to forgive her for being so good while being so danged young.

The next book was something quite different: KAT, INCORRIGIBLE by Stephanie Burgis.  This is a book set during the Jane Austin era and mixes the social mores and sensibilities of that time with a family whose daughters have a touch of witchcraft in their veins.  This power is most strongly given to the youngest daughter, the headstrong and willful Kat, who through the course of the story makes a convoluted and oddly magical story even more complex and problematic.  What I liked most about KAT, INCORRIGIBLE was Burgis' way of making Kat's headstrong solutions to problems rarely work out for the best and how Burgis kept making things worse and worse and worse for all of her characters throughout the book.  It was a fun read and I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.

Last week Christine Brodien-Jones wrote an entry over at the new middle-grade writers blog, Smack Dab in the Middle, about ten of her favorite fantasy books.  Most of the ones on the list that I haven't read yet have just arrived in the library for me, so I have my next few weeks' worth of reading already mapped out.

What about you?  What have you read that you've liked lately?  What's on your summer reading list?

-- Tom