Reading has always been a huge part of my life. I still remember the first time I picked up a Harry Potter book at my school book fair. Also known as the best day ever, with all the books to choose from and an ice cream social. A good book is a magical thing. It provides you with inspiration, detail, intrigue and emotion. That being said, I’ve compiled some of my favorite form of escapism for you to delve into. This particular collection is my summer reading list, Mystery/Fantasy/Sci-Fi edition. Two I have read and recommend, and two I am currently reading.
Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
I picked this up at a used book store in Oakland after finishing The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu (highly recommend). I do really want to read that as well, because the show is amazing, but I felt like starting with a fresh story first. From what I know about Atwood, she is a feminist and activist, acclaimed author and poet, specializing in Dystopian Historical Fiction. Right up my alley.
Alias Grace is on my summer reading list because of the psychological factor. I’m still just beginning it, but I love narratives with twists and mystery that keep my mind thinking. The story follows Grace, who is serving a life sentence for murder, and her journey with her doctor to unlock the memories of what really happened. Trouble is, she can’t remember any of it and potentially did not do it. Reviews say this is an intricate story, weaving together pieces of the crime, and is set in 1850’s Canada, based on a real case. I’ll post my full review on Goodreads when I’m done. They’re also making a Netflix mini-series based on the book I’ll have to check out.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
I read The Night Circus years ago, someone actually lent me the book (sorry, I forgot to return it and then moved across the country!) and I loved every page. This one falls into the fantasy category, illustrating the vivid tale of a circus that appears in a small town out of nowhere overnight, and one boy’s experiences and interactions with the inhabitants. This story may seem slow for some readers, it is extremely detailed with lush imagery and paints an elaborate vision of every aspect of the story. I love this type of writing, so of course I ate it up. The circus holds two illusionist, who have been best friends since childhood, and recants their tale of a mysterious competition leading up to this day. Neither knows the stakes of winning the contest, and the story connected is full of romance, passion, spells and magic.
Bad Monkeys is another borrowed book I never gave back, I can’t even remember from whom. I guess that’s karma, because I have lost so many books I’ve lent out! Book trading is probably the best kind of trading, in my mind. Okay- back to Bad Monkeys. This is a strange one, I actually want to revisit it because I found it so intriguing and also confusing AF. It’s more on the side of science fiction, think good vs. evil with laser guns. The lead is a female secret agent and assassin, who is amidst an interrogation in a psych-ward. She’s telling a tale full of twists and turns. Is she innocent, truly fighting for the sake of good humanity? Or is she crazy- full of paranoia due to the demented state of her guilty mind?
The Devil in the White City
One of my favorite bloggers and friends, Shannon of Champagne at Shannon’s recommended this book and I knew I had to read it. This entire premise and structure of this story is super unique and caught my interest right away. It’s actually historical non-fiction, but written in a novelistic style. Each chapter alternates between the two main characters, an architect, Daniel Burnham, and notorious serial killer H.H. Holmes. The plot is centered around both lives during the Chicago World Fair, and is full of thouroughly researched detail and plenty of gore. Not for the faint of heart, or those of you who hate detail, again. I can’t wait to finish, and will definitely let you know my thoughts.
So that’s it for this round, what are you guys reading this summer?