Archives for posts with tag: beach reads

One Summer: America 1927 by Bill Bryson

One Summer: America 1927 by Bill Bryson

The perfect non-fiction summer read. This is an engaging book from the king of popular non-fiction about many interesting developments that happened over the summer of 1927. By reading this book, you’ll learn about the early history of flight and why Charles Lindbergh was such a great pilot and why the 1927 Yankees were the best baseball team in history.  You’ll also read about a massive natural disaster and the President who went on vacation to the Black Hills during the aftermath. There are also some spectacular crimes detailed in the book, including a  horrible murder that gripped the nation, the trial of two anarchists which was very famous at the time but is unremembered now, and you’ll also read about how Al Capone consolidated his power in the criminal underworld of Chicago.

Bryson is adept at making the historical entertaining as well as informative, and you’ll come out of this book with many good cocktail conversation starters. This book is a series of loosely-related topics that were interesting to Bryson, not a linear tale, so if you don’t find one topic that interesting, you can always skip to the next chapter. Bryson also narrates his audiobooks himself, and he has a nice voice, so the audiobook version would be a great choice for a summer road trip as well.

 

From Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/One-Summer-America-Bill-Bryson/dp/0767919408

 

From King County Library System in Book, Large Print Book, Audiobook CD, Downloadable Audiobook, and ebook: http://kcls.bibliocommons.com/search?t=smart&search_category&q=one%20summer%201927%20bryson&commit=Search&CFID=33673684&CFTOKEN=c512db1bf5f70fde-16D65355-155D-225D-1D6BCD5B976C3CA5

Great Books to Relax With

These are the 10 “beach reads” I am looking forward to this summer, even though I often read them in a comfy chair on my deck instead of on the beach. If they haven’t been published yet the release date is listed.

 

Stuff Matters

10. Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World by Mark Miodownik

This looks like a great nonfiction book to read when I get sick of fiction. There are lots of short entries about the modern materials that make up our everyday lives. Easy-reading nonfiction is great to read before bed, as it is interesting, but does not lead me down the rabbit trail of “one more chapter!” the way a gripping fiction book can.

From Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Stuff-Matters-Exploring-Marvelous-Materials/dp/0544236041/ref=zg_bs_books_57

From King County Library System in Book and ebook: http://kcls.bibliocommons.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&t=smart&search_category=keyword&q=Mark+Miodownik+stuff&commit=Search

 

thrones

9. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

I have read all of the books of The Song of Ice and Fire series, but I’d like to re-read them, starting with A Game of Thrones, before I start watching the tv series.

From Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Game-Thrones-Song-Fire-Book-ebook/dp/B000QCS8TW/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1402370263&sr=1-1&keywords=game+of+thrones

From KCLS in Book, eBook, Graphic Novel Book, Audiobook CD, Audiobook Cassette(!),  Chinese Book, and Spanish Book: http://kcls.bibliocommons.com/search?custom_query=(contributor%3A(martin%2C%20george%20rr)%20AND%20title%3A(game%20of%20thrones)%20)%20-anywhere%3A(wall)%20-anywhere%3A(hedge)&suppress=true&custom_edit=false

 

thousand

8. Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas

I loved the Veronica Mars tv show because of the spunky teenage girl protagonist solving interesting crimes. I am excited to see if the first book in the series will live up to the show.

From Amazon in Kindle format: http://www.amazon.com/Veronica-Mars-Original-Thousand-Dollar-Paperback/dp/B00JIB7JHE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1402347794&sr=8-2&keywords=the+thousand-dollar+tan+line+veronica+mars+1

From Powell’s in paperback: http://www.powells.com/biblio/1-9780804170703-0

From KCLS in Book and Downloadable Audiobook: http://kcls.bibliocommons.com/search?t=smart&search_category&q=thousand%20dollar%20tan%20line&commit=Search&CFID=33676042&CFTOKEN=68c19e6e8575842b-179FCAB4-155D-225D-1D8785D646F3B30F

 

ocean

7. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

I actually have this book checked out right now, I just haven’t been in the mood to read it! It is a short read, but a little creepy, so I am going to read it when I feel in the mood for a darker title.

From Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Ocean-End-Lane-Novel-ebook/dp/B009NFHF0Q/ref=zg_bs_25_79

From KCLS in Book, ebook, Large Print Book, Audiobook CD, Downloadable Audiobook, and Spanish Book: http://kcls.bibliocommons.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&t=smart&search_category=keyword&q=ocean+end+lane+gaiman&commit=Search

 

Shine Shine Shine

6. Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer

This book looks fantastic! It is about autism, rockets, love, death, and a troubled marriage. It is the first book by the author and has been gaining popularity since its release in 2012.

From Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Shine-Lydia-Netzer-ebook/dp/B006ZL9DRO/ref=zg_bs_25_3

From KCLS in Book, Audiobook CD, and Downloadable Audiobook: http://kcls.bibliocommons.com/search?custom_query=(contributor%3A(Netzer%2C%20Lydia)%20AND%20anywhere%3A(shine%20shine%20shine)%20)&suppress=true&custom_edit=false

 

giver

5. The Giver by Lois Lowry

I read this classic children’s book in middle school, and I look forward to reading it again. It is a dystopian story that should appeal to readers of The Hunger Games and Divergent. The movie version will be released in August 2014. It stars Jeff Bridges as The Giver and Brenton Thwaites as Jonas (he played Prince Phillip in Maleficent).

The IMDB page for the movie: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0435651/

From Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Giver-Readers-Circle-Laurel-Leaf/dp/0440237688/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1402428471&sr=8-1&keywords=the+giver

From KCLS in Book, ebook, Audiobook CD, Downladable Audiobook, Preloaded Audiobook Player, Chinese Book, Japanese Book, Korean Book, and Spanish Book: http://kcls.bibliocommons.com/search?custom_edit=true&custom_query=%28contributor%3A%28Lowry%2C+Lois%29+AND+title%3A%28giver%29+%29+-title%3A%28son%29+-title%3A%28messenger%29&page=1&suppress=true

 

Landline

4. Landline by Rainbow Rowell – coming July 8, 2014

Rainbow Rowell is known for writing engaging books about love stories with all of life’s complications. This novel has a character with a failing marriage, and she finds that she can talk on the phone with her husband in the past. This seems like a good mix of romance and sci fi, and a great beach read!

From Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Landline-Rainbow-Rowell/dp/1250049377/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1402365069&sr=1-1&keywords=landline+rainbow+rowell

 

 

The Book of Life

3. The Book of Life (All Souls #3) by Deborah Harkness – coming July 15, 2014

I loved the first two books in this series, which is like Twilight for adults. I am looking forward to the final book in the series.

See my review of A Discovery of Witches, the first book in the All Souls trilogy:  https://30secondbookreview.wordpress.com/2014/02/20/a-discovery-of-witches/

From Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Book-Life-All-Souls-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00G3L6KQI/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1402347196&sr=1-1&keywords=the+book+of+life

From KCLS in Book: http://kcls.bibliocommons.com/item/show/1393249082_book_of_life

 

2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

fault

Since the movie version of this book came out, it has become even more popular than it was. I got tired of waiting on the hold list, so I went and bought it the other day. I am waiting for a free weekend so I can really sob my way through this tale of first love and cancer.

From Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Fault-Our-Stars-John-Green-ebook/dp/B005ZOBNOI/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1402349346&sr=1-1&keywords=the+fault+in+our+stars

From KCLS in Book, Large Print Book, Audiobook CD, Preloaded Audiobook Player, ebook, Spanish Book, and Chinese Book: http://kcls.bibliocommons.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&t=smart&search_category=keyword&q=the+fault+in+our+stars+john+green&commit=Search

 

Written in My Own Heart's Blood1. Written in My Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon

The book I am most excited to read is the latest volume in the Outlander series. I can’t wait to find out what has happened to Jaime and Claire since the last book!

From Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Written-Own-Hearts-Blood-Outlander-ebook/dp/B00C8S9W0G/ref=zg_bs_17_8

From KCLS : http://kcls.bibliocommons.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&t=smart&search_category=keyword&q=written+heart%27s+blood+gabaldon&commit=Search

Jeeves and the Wedding Bells: An Homage to P.G. Wodehouse by Sebastian Faulks

jeeves

Bertie Wooster is a rather foolish young man of the British upper class, and Jeeves is his highly intelligent and understated butler. The Jeeves and Wooster series is a British comedy institution, and P.G. Wodehouse wrote many books over the 60 years of their publication. For those who haven’t read them, the Jeeves and Wooster novels are comedies of manners, like A Room With a View, only more ridiculous, set in a similar time and place as Downton Abbey. The plots are fun and always tie up neatly at the end of the book and the wordplay is delightful.

Many praise Wodehouse as the finest comic English author, so Sebastian Faulks took on a tall order with his new book, subtitled “An Homage to P.G. Wodehouse”. It is a true homage, with a complicated plot of romantic comedy misunderstandings, Bertie messing things up, and witty banter between Bertie and Jeeves. It is not quite as good as the originals, however. The plot wrap-up was not totally up to Wodehouse standards, and though his writing is good, Faulks did not have Wodehouse’s flair for creating crafting each sentence to sparkle like a gem: the wordcraft was always the best part of Wodehouse’s books.

In the author’s note, Faulks says that the Wodehouse estate hopes that this new Jeeves & Wooster novel will introduce a new generation of readers to Wodehouse’s books. I think it does an ok job of an introduction, but if you are looking to get your toes wet with some real Wodehouse, I would recommend starting with Right Ho, Jeeves. You can get it from King County Library System in a number of formats, and you can currently get the ebook for free from Amazon.com.

Right Ho, Jeeves from King County Library System in Book, eBook, Downloadable Audiobook, , Audiobook CD, Audiobook Cassette (!), and the TV series on DVD: http://kcls.bibliocommons.com/search?custom_query=(contributor%3A(wodehouse)%20AND%20title%3A(right%20ho%20jeeves)%20)&suppress=true&custom_edit=false

Right Ho, Jeeves from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Rithmatist-Brandon-Sanderson/dp/0765320320

 

Jeeves and the Wedding Bells from KCLS in Book, Downloadable Audiobook, and Audiobook CD: http://kcls.bibliocommons.com/search?custom_query=(contributor%3A(faulks)%20AND%20anywhere%3A(jeeves)%20)&suppress=true&custom_edit=false

Jeeves and the Wedding Bells from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Jeeves-Wedding-Bells-Wooster-Novels/dp/1250047595/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1395884835&sr=1-1&keywords=jeeves+wedding+bells

 

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

The cover of A Discovery of Witches

A Discovery of Witches is a fantasy novel that feels like a combination of Twilight by Stephenie Meyer and The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, with far more witches. The main character, Diana, is a witch who wishes she was just a human. She studies the history of alchemy at Oxford University, and her world is shaken when she looks at a strange book and meets a handsome, brooding vampire named Matthew Claremont. Diana is quickly drawn into the supernatural world of witches, vampires, and deamons, and gets entangled in their politics.

Like Twilight, A Discovery of Witches takes a little bit of time to get the plot going, and it echoes The Historian with its scholar of European history stumbling into a supernatural world. The real delight in reading A Discovery of Witches is the unfolding relationship between Diana and Matthew. As they get to know each other, their walls start to come down, even as they both find out things that should make them reconsider. Diana is a more grown up and strong-willed heroine than Bella of Twilight, and seeing how Diana and Matthew negotiate an adult relationship is entertaining and authentic.

The author does spend too much time on the intricacies of alchemy for my tastes, but the specifics aren’t important to the plot of the book, so I mostly glossed over the in-depth descriptions of alchemical drawings.

Fans of A Discovery of Witches will be pleased to know that it is part of a trilogy. The second book, Shadow of Night, is out now, and the third, The Book of Life, is due out in July 2014. I gobbled up the first two books and I’m eagerly awaiting the third.

From Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Discovery-Witches-Novel-Souls-Trilogy/dp/0143119680/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie

From King County Library System in book, e-book, audio cd, large print book, and preloaded audio player: http://kcls.bibliocommons.com/search?custom_query=%28contributor%3A%28Harkness%2C%20Deborah%29%20AND%20title%3A%28discovery%20of%20witches%29%20%29&suppress=true&custom_edit=false=UTF8&qid=1389145973&sr=1-1&keywords=discovery+of+witches

The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

rithmatistAll Joel ever wanted was to study Rithmatics, the art and science of fighting with chalk drawings. Rithmatists draw defensive circles and offensive chalk drawings to duel other Rithmatists and to fight the dangerous wild chalkings. But Joel was not chosen to become a Rithmatist, so he attends normal classes at Armedius Academy, not trying at the classes he doesn’t like and watching the Rithmatic students jealously. Then the Rithmatic students start to go missing, and Joel and a fellow student, Melody, are assigned to help the professor in charge of the investigation into the crimes. Joel and Melody make some surprising discoveries on their hunt to find the perpetrator, a mysterious figure named The Scribbler.

This is a fast-paced and inventive fantasy novel by Brandon Sanderson, more known for his adult Mistborn series. There are some diagrams of the defensive circles by Ben McSweeney, which are very helpful for understanding the concepts of Rithmatics.  The Rithmatist reads like a combination of the Harry Potter school for magic idea, the Pokemon or Fullmetal Alchemist idea of battling, with a little bit of steampunk and chalkdust thrown in. This is the first book in a planned series, and I am excited to see the next.

From Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Rithmatist-Brandon-Sanderson/dp/0765320320

 From King County Library System in book, e-audio, audio cd: http://kcls.bibliocommons.com/search?t=smart&search_category&q=rithmatist%20sanderson&commit=Search&CFID=4407978&CFTOKEN=3fa8752e4600ccb3-61E73CD4-155D-225D-FADDE260E6419A9E