Summer Reading 2011

Matched by Ally Conde is YA novel, and although this is not a book my husband would enjoy, my girlfriends would!  It’s a bit Twilight, and a bit Hunger Games, but one of the better in this genre.    I thought it was well written and engaging, and I already have the next book in the Trilogy in my Wish List.  Great summer read!
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness is a bit like Twilight for adults.  Again, not a book I would recommend my husband read, but if you read Twilight, and liked The Da Vinci Code, this is a bit like the two combined.    I have to admit I was engrossed; it’s a guilty pleasure for sure.  I did have one gripe with a plot turn towards the end.  One aspect that bothered me: I am not sure I understand the author’s take on time travel.    If you are going to go there, which I think is fine,  then at least try to have how it happens make sense.  That said, I will still read the second book when it comes out.
Across the Universe by Beth Revis is a YA scifi novel.  It’s the story of a ship that is launched for a 300 year journey to a new, inhabitable planet.  They call it a “generation ship” since it will take many generations to reach their final destination.   It is an interesting thought – how to run a society while trapped in a tin can for 100’s of years.  How would government work, how would society and the various jobs that must be done be handled, how to control population, how to try and not go mad while basically trapped?  It’s a good read, if not necessarily an extremely happy one.
Odd Thomas by Dean R Koontz is the first Koontz book I have read in probably 10 years.   I wasn’t sure what to expect, and at first had some trouble getting into it.  I would describe it as a combination of Sixth Sense and a mystery novel.  I eventually liked the characters, but not sure I will read the rest of the series. It’s a bit too sad for me.
Switched by Amanda Hocking is, yes, another YA novel. This one was a first a self published novel on, available on Kindle, then later got picked up by a publisher once the novel became quite popular on its own.  The writing and story were engaging enough for me to read all 3, but you have to liberally suspend your disbelief.    I may pick up a couple of her other books, which sound interesting
Emily, Alone by Stewart O’Nan was recommended by EW, if I recall. It’s the story of an older woman, living alone, and her internal monologue. With her children moved out with children of their own, a widow, it can be at times amusing, often times sad, sometimes a little slow, but worth reading.  Not sure it’s the best summer read, as it’s not exactly a happy, fun novel, but then, it is not meant to be.
A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin surprised me a bit. I read it because it was finally going to be on HBO (of course, since we don’t get cable I will probably have to wait another year to rent on iTunes – arg!).  I was expecting more of a fantasy novel, which I suppose it is to some extent, but it is more a story of warring tribes and strategy, loyalty, and trust, and fear.   I enjoyed it, but it is long, and I have yet to read the second book.  If you like epics, and battles, and strategy and interesting characters, it’s a good read.
The List by J. A. Konrath was a book my husband found.  Imagine if we could clone famous people from the past, only they didn’t know they were clones. Who would they turn out to be?  Would they be the same heroes or villains they were originally?  This is the bases of the book, which is mostly a thriller with some pretty good humor intermixed.  It’s a quick light read, good for beach reading.