Melissa's 4th Annual Summer Reading List!

May 29, 2014

It's my favorite time of year, my lovelies! The time to UNLEASH ANDREW. Unfortunately, I can't unleash him as much as I would truly truly love to (way too many Very Bad and Offensive Words), but even just a little off the leash, he is still full of the hilarious.

I really really should just let my husband loose on the internet. He'd have 10k Facebook fans and Twitter followers overnight. I asked him over to come sit by me, to help me on a 'project'. He eyed me suspiciously and sat down.

"What am I doing here?"

I asked him if he remembered helping me with last summer's list.

"No."

I prompted him to think very hard.

"Oh I kinda remember that now. Alright. I like judging books by their covers....."

So here we go with my first book pick! I usually have a theme going with my summer book lists. Note: THESE ARE FOR GROWNUPS. It seems obvious, but you never know, and I can just see someone writing to me being all "you know, THAT book really wasn't appropriate for my CHILD."

Anyway, last year's theme was East Coast prep schools. Yes, that's a theme. This year's theme is the struggling rich country estate. 'Black Lake: A Novel' is by Johanna Lane and centers around a family's quest to preserve the legacy of their Irish cliffside mansion.

Andrew says: "Is there anything more pretentious than throwing in 'A Novel' into your title??! 'I wrote a NOVEL.' The writer probably had to say that because 'Black Lake' sounds so generic. Is this some BS coming of age thing?"

'We Were Liars' by E. Lockhart looks AWESOME. It's a YA fiction book about a girl on some private island, owned by her family, who was in some accident and can't recall the past few years of her life.

Andrew says: "The main girl's name is CADENCE SINCLAIR EASTON. Isn't that the name of a My Little Pony? All your books consist of rich kids at rambling country estates or private islands."

I asked him, 'Do you see why I want to read it??'

He said: "Unfortunately, I do."

'The Lost' by Sarah Beth Durst is one I really want to read. It's about a girl who winds up in an isolated, mystical town filled with broken, thrown away things. Whenever she tries to leave, dust storms force her back. The townfolk tell her she has to figure out what she's missing before she can leave.....

Andrew says: "Is this town Storybrooke?"

"Is it supposed to SYMBOLIZE something? *bleep*. I almost feel like the word 'Lost' is some kind of ALLEGORY of some kind. Maybe she's lost too!!!  She needs to find HERSELF. *more bleeping*. 

Is there an estate?"

For some reason, this book elicited a LOT of colorful language from him.

I'm always excited by anything from Maggie Stiefvater, I ADORE her books. 'Sinner' picks up with a character from her 'Shiver' werewolf trilogy. The main character, Cole St. Clair, heads to California to pursue the girl who got away, after their lives were nearly ruined by all the werewolf biz.

Andrew says: "Cole St. Clair?? *BLEEP*. Is he related to the girl in that other book? Who writes the synopsis blurbs on Amazon? Maybe the book is good, but I wouldn't know based on the Amazon synopsis. Going off that, I'm pretty sure this is the worst thing to ever happen in the literary world."

(he has a point. you must read the Amazon plot summary. it is.....pretty absurd. you deserve better, Maggie Stiefvater!! i'll still read the book because I'll read anything she writes.)

'The Book of Life' by Deborah Harkness is the last book in her 'All Souls Trilogy'. These are pretty fun books that I've been reading as they come along, all about a lady scholar who turns out to be a witch, who ends up marrying a vampire/scientist (apparently that's a thing), and they time travel together.

Andrew says: ........*stunned silence*. "Why not? I feel like all these writers who create books like this have dice or cards with random things written down, like 'werewolf' or 'vampire' or 'time travel' and whatever combo they roll, that's the plot they write. Vampires + Time Travel + Mysterious Family Estate....Ok let's get to work!"

'Empire Girls' by Suzanne Hayes & Loretta Nyhan is set in the 1920's and focuses on two sisters, Ivy and Rose. They are polar opposites of each other, but must seek middle ground in order to find out why their father fell into financial ruin and left their beloved family house to a brother they never knew existed.

Andrew says: "Oh another estate! I've never heard of a plot like this before. I think it really is going to shed new light on the human condition. Ivy and Rose? Why are they named after plants?"

'The Witch of Belladonna Bay' by Suzanne Palmieri has been noted as a book that will appeal to fans of 'Garden Spells' by Sarah Addison Allen. (I LOVE THAT BOOK.) So I'm totally up to read this one about a girl returning to the Alabama town from which she once fled, in an attempt to understand why her brother would murder her best friend from childhood.....

Andrew says: "Oh, Southern fiction. You mean like William Faulkner?"

AND THERE YOU HAVE IT.  You know what? I tire of Andrew laughing at everything I read. I think next year, or this fall, I'll have HIM make HIS list, and then we can all gasp at the hilarity of his sci-fi book covers from the 1960's and whatnot. It'll be a great and interesting list that no one really wants to read.

His list will include poetry, Japanese memoirs, and existential tomes written in shifting narratives that are incomprehensible. We'll all stand around marveling at how his list is so cool and smart. And then we can go back to reading YA fiction about werewolves......


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21 comments:

  1. Im trying to pull together a list for Myles and Fiona, and I am having a hard time! This is great :)
    Let me know what Julia is reading! We are taking a break from HP!

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    1. I'll try and put together a list of books Julia and I might get up to reading this summer ~ I'll attempt mightily to get that ready for next week, k? We're taking an HP break as well, she and her daddy have been reading Oz books.....

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    2. Awww... Thanks :) No presh!

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    3. it's already done lovey!! just a little one. it'll run next week. I'll try and throw out book lists on a more consistent basis, I always like seeing that on other sites myself. :) More bang for the buck! (or the pageview? ha ha)

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  2. There's a couple on this list I'm looking to read, too!

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    1. I have to get through The Goldfinch (which is flat out amazing) and then I'm off to find some of these. Some of them haven't been released yet and are coming out at various times in the summer. :)

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  3. This was hilarious! Andrew should totally be on FB or Twitter! By the way, there is really a dice game with different prompts for writers/bored people to come up with stories. And I bought it for my kid to write random essays. I am not sure but I think there might be the words "witch", "vampire", "time travel" etc.... Hahaha Andrew is too funny. Great post Melissa! I want to read many of the books you have listed. Probably would only be able to get to one of them if I am lucky though (Black Lake!) Happy summer reading!

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    1. Ha ha this reminds me of some games for kids out there, I think there are 'story cards' with pictures on them and you pull a card out and create a story around the card you choose!

      I think I'm still trying to get through some of the books from last year's list....:)

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  4. Oooo, this is a good list. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. you're welcome Miss Jennifer ~ If you hear about or see anything awesome, let me know!

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  5. Your husband is hilarious. Sounds like he would get along good with mine with that sense of humor.

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    1. you know, last year I really had to poke and prod to get him to express his opinion. this year, he sat down and wow, the snark just immediately started to fly! I had to write down my notes very fast.....;)

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  6. Fun post, you make me wish I made more time for reading!

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    1. I read a book once that took me the better part of 6 months to get through -- Julia was a baby and I only had time to read maybe 6 pages a night. It took forever, but it was kind of fun, like...mini reading. And it was a good book ( 'Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell' ) so it made the book last :)

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  7. I tell you Melissa, I saw the cover of The Witch Of Belladonna Bay and I immediately thought of Garden Spells.

    This list looks awesome. I'm pretty sure your husband is awesome too but keep that to yourself, ey?

    Stephanie

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    1. Ha ha ha! What I'd really like to do is take a picture of Andrew and his cat-wife Sally snuggling together, and make that the profile photo of a Twitter account solely devoted to the bon mots that issue forth from Mr. Andrew ~ it'll never happen, but it's a beautiful fantasy!

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  8. Andrew is so freakin' funny.

    I want to read The Witch of Belladonna Bay, I think! And Empire Girls, because flappers are awesome. And maybe The Lost....

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    1. flappers ARE awesome!!! i'm so excited that the Harry Potter prequel books are going to be set in that era! (do i have that right??)

      I think I'm going to try and begin with 'Black Lake' because....Ireland. :) And then 'Sinner' because I seriously adore Maggie Stiefvater -- I am counting the days until the final book in the Raven Boys series drops next fall.....

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  9. Okay, so, I adore you but I think I might be in LOVE with Andrew's humor. Dying! Love it.

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    1. I'll have you know he's feeling VERY PLEASED with himself right now. (i also have to share that he did not just sit down by me and say, What am I doing here? He sat down and said WTF am I doing here?? It was first thing in the AM after we got Julia off to school and there was a LOT of swearing. I could barely take notes, I was laughing so hard....

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  10. Black Lake and Empire Girls look intriguing. Nelson DeMille had a great estate book- The Gold Coast or something? I really liked that one. Also- put that man on Twitter.

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Comments TOTALLY make my day! Let's keep everything friendly and polite and 'use our tea party manners :)

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