June 27, 2011

Melissa’s Summer Reading List

Hi fab friends! Get this – the SUN came out this weekend! And I heard it might stick around for three whole days! Color me stoked. (Yes, I was a child of the ‘80’s.)

So in the past week, I’ve been noticing some summer reading lists going around in various magazines and online, so I thought I’d toss my hat into the arena and let you all know what grown-up books I hope to be reading this summer!

An oldie but goodie, ‘I Capture the Castle’ is one that I’ve read before, actually. But I recently came across it at my mom’s house where it had been in storage for a number of years, and I thought, I need to read this one again.....

Believe it or not, Dodie Smith is also the author of the original ‘101 Dalmatians’, but this book is for adults. It was actually published in 1948, but had it been released now, this story would probably be considered YA fiction. (If you want to learn more about my love for young adult fiction, see here.)

The books follows sixteen year Cassandra Mortmain as she and her family move into a run down castle in the English countryside, and it focuses primarily on the rivalry between Cassandra and her sister Rose, and the romantic entanglements in which they become ensnared. But it’s MORE than that. Over and over, this book has been described as having one of the more charismatic narrators found in fiction -- Cassandra is a breath of fresh air, and so is this lovely book.

And there’s a movie! Not as grand as the book, but if you are an English period film buff, you should check it out!

‘The Cookbook Collector’ is the book I am reading right now. I’m halfway through, and I’m not sure what I think of it yet. But it has a pretty jacket cover, and I’m shallow, so that kind of sells a book to me right there . . .I’m a cookbook collector so the title spoke to me, but it seems to be mostly about some woman running a start up technology firm, which I’m not terribly interested in.

So with this one, I’m not sure. Did I mention it has a pretty jacket cover?

What I am REALLY wanting to read is this one:

My mom read it and loooooved it, every review I’ve read just looooooved it, and I’ve heard it described as being ‘Twilight’ –esque, only INTELLIGENT. Now I loved me some ‘Twilight’, believe you me, but a strain on the brain it’s not. Or maybe it is! Why is Bella so moany? Why do Edward and Jacob keep fawning over this girl? It’s a mystery. Anyhoo, I REALLY REALLY am looking forward to reading ‘A Discovery of Witches’.

Now speaking of jacket covers, I almost don’t want to read ‘Beauty Queens’, because I think the jacket cover is so lame. HOWEVER, it was written by the magnificent Libba Bray, and the book has been described as being like ‘Lost’ meets ‘The Hunger Games’. So, I’m there!


I’m willing to go with the buzz on this book, because Libba Bray wrote my beloved Gemma Doyle trilogy, which began with ‘A Great and Terrible Beauty’.

I tore through these a couple of years ago and then had to wait a year for the third book. In a nutshell, Victorian teen girls in a posh boarding school – and they have superpowers. Well, one of them does. No, don’t laugh! These books are GREAT and super fun and the perfect summer read! (I don’t love this jacket cover either. The books are far greater than the mundane romance-novel jacket cover style would lead you to believe.)

So those are some of the reads on my radar. Please clue me in – what are you all reading this summer? Or hoping to read?

(Image credits: http://capturethecastle1.blogspot.com/2010/04/i-capture-castle.html)


  1. Thank you so much for your sweet comments on my blog! I will definitely be following your blog! I love reading and my son has loved being read to since he was born so I'm always excited to find new books for him. I think I'm gong to have to try Beauty Queens. I read all three Hunger Games in like a week.

  2. Hi Jennifer! Yay! You came to visit! I seriously spent about a half hour looking through back posts of your blog -- loved it! Come back and see us soon and take care, Melissa

  3. I love I Capture the Castle as well, and did not know that Dodie Smith wrote 101 Dalmations. Interesting fact! I may give A Discovery of Witches a try- sounds like a fun summer read.

  4. Hey Miss B -- you and I need to be buddies!!! I just checked out yo blog and you sound like my kind of book-loving, treat-eating girl!! Isn't that funny about Dodie Smith?? I was blown away when I found that out! Apparently she was also a pretty successful (for a female at the time) playwright :) Chat soon I hope! ~Melissa

  5. Hi Melissa, great stuff! I loved the movie, I Capture the Castle, so I'll need to read to enjoy the even-better version, right? So, presently I'm digesting E.M. Forster's A Passage to India. I go for the cultural settings. So far, sad. Apparently, Forster was sympathetic to the Indian's treatment by the cold English "guests". I'm a third of the way through - will let you know more later.

  6. Oh I have ALWAYS wanted to read 'A Passage to India', I'm a huuuuge E.M. Forster (movie) fan :) I think I need to get a copy! I love books set in exotic locales, makes me feel like I'm going somewhere without really going anywhere (I'm lazy). ~Melissa

  7. Discovery of Witches was surprisingly great! I didn't want to like it, but found myself completely enthralled. The Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss is a great one, too.