Summer is here, and I'm looking forward to long, lazy days of reading. My hammock chair has been installed in our maple tree, which will throw of plenty of shade on even the hottest of days. The only thing left to do is choose my reading material. Here are six new titles that have caught my attention and I hope you'll enjoy them this summer. Make yourself some Pimmsicles, select your summer reading spot, and get ready to go on an adventure with one (or more!) of these books.
Credit: Denise Krebs
The Astronaut Wives Club
Lily Koppel's new nonfiction book, The Astronaut Wives Club, is the book I've most been looking forward to this summer. I was able to grab a copy from the library a week after it was released, and after I started reading I barely came up for air. I loved it. While American men were racing to the moon, the eyes of the world were not only on them but also their families. The wives of the astronauts had profiles in Life and had tea with Jackie Kennedy, but there was a lot more to their lives than celebratory Champagne. The life of an astronaut wife was not one that was free of fear, hardship, and the pressure to perform perfectly. They turned to each other for support, and those friendships have now lasted more than 50 years. Their husbands may have been the ones lauded as heroes, but it's really the wives you'll wish you could know.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Mention the words "Neil Gaiman" and "new book" together in the right circles, and you can expect to hear some excited squealing. The much-beloved author is back with a new novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, just in time for your summer reading fun. As soon as it showed up on bookstore shelves and people's doorsteps, readers dove in to see what he treats he had in store for us this time. Allison at The Allure of Books is a reader who pounced on the book when it arrived. She had this to say about it:
"The Ocean at the End of the Lane is an intriguing little oddity of a book. It wears a lot of different hats -– mystery, horror, coming of age, tradition, fantasy, tragedy –- and Neil Gaiman juggled them all with mountains of success. You could hand it to someone middle-aged and watch them muse over what the story says about remembering one’s childhood and about memory itself. You could hand it to a mature-minded pre-teen and let the story send shivers up and down their spine."
Sounds like a perfect summer read, don't you think?
Mirror, Mirror Off the Wall
Summer seems to be a time that throws body image insecurity into high gear for many people. But what if you simply didn't look at your body? Would you hate it, or would you learn to see it and love in a whole new way? That's what Kjerstin Gruys asked herself when she embarked on her experiment to avoid mirrors for a whole year. She blogged it, and now you can read the whole tale in Mirror, Mirror Off the Wall: How I Learned to Love My Body by Not Looking at It for a Year. Lindsay at Trial by Sapphire read the book and said this about it:
"This book is a genuine look into an extreme personal experiment, and it is such a bold reminder that looks alone are such a small part of life. If how we feel about our looks brings us down, it's because we're forgetting (or worse, neglecting) what really makes us us."
Read it poolside and share it with all of your friends.
With the third season of Sherlock still in production and Star Trek Into Darkness already in theaters, I'm guessing that some of you are going though Cumberbatch withdrawal. I prescribe one reading of John O'Connell's Baskerville: The Mysterious Tale of Sherlock's Return. Based on true events, it is a fictionalized tale of friendship, rivalry, and the writing of The Hound of the Baskervilles. You know, the one where Sherlock comes back from the dead. Read it, gear up for the return of the Cumberbatch, and maybe get a few ideas for how the next series of Sherlock will play out. Note: Previously published under the title Baskerville Legacy: A Confession.
The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls
There's always one debut novel each summer that gets people talking. This summer, that novel is Anton DiSclafani's The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls. It's the 1930s and Thea Atwell, age 15, has been turned out of her family home in Florida. She's sent off in a sort of exile to a Southern equestrienne boarding school, where social status is defined by money, beauty and friendship. But why was Thea cast out of her home? What role did she play in the family tragedy? And what role will it play in future? Bibliomouse said that with the board school, a mystery and horses The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls felt like "a grown-up version of her favourite childhood books." To really transport yourself back to those childhood days, stay up late reading this one under the covers with a flashlight.
I know for many people, baseball is synonymous with summer. I have to confess that I've never been a huge fan of watching it, but I absolutely love to read books about baseball. Larry Colton's Southern League: A True Story of Baseball, Civil Rights, and the Deep South's Most Compelling Pennant Race combines my love of both history and books about baseball. It's the story of the Southern League's 1964 Birmingham Barons, the first integrated sports team in Alabama. Publishers Weekly says that "Colton's account of the Birmingham Barons is a tribute to determination and courage in the face of overwhelming adversity." Maybe after I read it, I'll even go see a local baseball game. (I can always bring a book to read, right?)
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