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Recommended Summer Reads

What do librarians read when they are on vacation? Saskatoon librarians Jenny Ryan and Anne Foster give us some of their favourite summer reads.

Historical fiction:

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Like Groundhog Day, but instead of repeating one day, an Englishwoman repeats her whole life -- trying to fix all the mistakes the made the last time around. Born in 1910, she lives through both world wars (repeatedly) as she lives and dies, repeatedly, in many different ways.


Letters From Skye by Jessica Bruckmole

Just prior to World War I, a young American writes a fan letter to his favorite poet. Little does he know that the poet is a lovely young woman. As the letters go back and forth, we learn more about Elspeth and David, and their unfolding, very complicated love story. Years later, Elspeth's daughter Margaret, in the midst of her own love story, tries to piece together what really happened.


Fall of Giants by Ken Follett

This first book in his Century trilogy tells a fictionalized version of the major events of the beginning of the twentieth century, including the First World War and the Russian Revolution. Perfect for an armchair traveller, or to read during a European holiday.

 

The Chaperone, by Laura Moriarty

A few years before she became a 1920s film star, teenaged Louise Brooks is excited to go for a month of dance lessons in New York City - but annoyed to have middle-aged Cora as her chaperone. Ultimately, the five weeks they spend together will transform their lives forever. This book is a great pick on audiobook,Especially good in audiobook format, narrated by Downton Abbey's Elizabeth McGovern.


Mystery/Horror:


The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

An unusual serial killer story. A serial killer in the 1930s finds a mysterious house with doors that open to different time periods which he enters long enough to kill a girl, and then leave. The one girl he can't get is Kirby, who becomes determined to figure out who this serial killer is.

 

Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

A mother tries to figure out why her teen daughter killed herself - or is it murder? Like Gossip Girl crossed with Gone Girl. A social media mystery.

 

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

The new novel by Stephen King's son, Joe Hill, this is a suspense horror novel about a woman who, as a girl, was the only person to ever escape from a terrible serial killer. She escaped because she has a supernatural ability -- but the killer hasn't forgotten about her, or her young son. The killer's license plate number is NOS4A2.

 

Until It's Over by Nicci French

As the line between attraction and danger thins, six roommates--unsure if there's a killer in their midst--guard against becoming his next victim, in this steamy and suspenseful thriller.


Nonfiction:


Wild by Cheryl Strayed

After her mother's death and her marriage falling apart, 22-year-old Cheryl Strayed decided to hike the Pacific Coast Trail, despite having no hiking experience or equipment. As she takes this unusual trip, she tries to piece her life back together.

 

The Astronaut Wives by Lily Koppel

A biography of the wives of America's Mercury Seven astronauts Overnight, these women were transformed from military spouses into American royalty. These wives formed a club to provide support and friendship to one another. These women have been friends now for more than fifty years.


Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman

A parenting book that describes how and why French children seem so much better-behaved than North American children.

 

The World's Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne

The true story of a how a Mormon kid with Tourette's syndrome grew up to be both a weight-lifter and a librarian.

 

How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran

This is a non-fiction book that is part memoir, part humour, and part feminist manifesto by a hilarious and bitingly intelligent British/Irish journalist.

 

Young Adult:

The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey

A dystopian book perfect for fans of The Hunger Games or World War Z, for teens and adults alike. It's about a teenage girl who is one of the few survivors left after a terrible plague struck the Earth, and she struggles to rescue her brother and save herself.

 

Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

This young adult novel is the laugh-out-loud, fish-out-of-water tale of First Nations boy sent to attend an all-white school.


Fantasy:

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

A historical fantasy novel about two supernatural creatures living among immigrant turn-of-the-century New York. The two creatures - the golem and the jinni - do their best to blend in with the other immigrants while hiding their supernatural affiliations. They become unlikely friends and come up against a magical challenge that only they are able to overcome.


Short Stories:

Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris

The latest essay collection from the hilarious memoirist. This is another great pick on audiobook, narrated by the author in his inimitable style.


Sex and the City by Candace Bushnell

The basis for the TV series, great to read during a trip to New York City.


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