Most adults don't have the luxury of allowing seasons to dictate their reading schedule. I, at least, no longer get the luxury of summers off. For those that do: reading isn't just for summer! Just because the seasons change doesn't mean you have to put down the books. Here are some books to work through during your down time:
I've tried to cover a variety of categories and, for your convenience, have included links to corresponding Goodreads pages.
- The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver - This coming of age story follows Taylor Greer, a twenty-something trying desperately to get out of doge. Having foresworn parenthood, Taylor neverthless finds herself the adoptive mother of a young Native American daughter and begins navigating her own ancestry and parenthood with the child.
- The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbary - Originally written in French, the English translation of this novel maintains steady levels of beautiful language, ideas, and characters. Renee, an ugly old concierge, and precocious pre-teen Paloma find solace in a unexpected friendship. Hedgehod will make you see beauty in the everyday world.
- Hyperion by Dan Simmons - If you took Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, mashed them up with a crime drama thriller, and set the story in a beautiful built sci-fi world, that would be the closest you could get to Hyperion. There's nothing quite like Hyperion, but it's depth and scope hold something to appeal to a variety of readers, though is is especially a must read for Sci-Fa fans.
- On a Pale Horse by Piers Anthony - Follow Zane, who, after accidentally shooting the Grim Reaper, takes up the mantel of Death himself. While expertly mixing magic and science, Piers Anthony balances heavy moral discussion with entertaining word play and characterization. The first book in Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality series, On a Pale Horse also works perfectly fine as a stand alone book.
- Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughn - Comic book/Graphic Novel -Vaugh's Saga has been receiving a lot of well-deserved attention recently, but Y: The Last Man is still one of my all time favorite series and a worthwhile read for new fans of Vaugh, or a good introduction for readers who haven't played in any of his worlds yet. In a tragic, world-wide event all beings on Earth which a Y chromosome are slaughtered, leaving only Yorick and his pet monkey behind. What's left of humanity is coping with losing brothers, sons, and husbands and friends, while doing what they can to rebuild. Some communities flourish without their men while others dwindle; extremist groups thrive on being freed from the patriarchy and destroy masculine monuments and try to great a new Amazonian regime. Yorick, with the help of a government agent and some friends along the way, tries to navigate it all while looking for other men, the cause of the "plague," and all the while searching for leads to his girlfriend Beth (stranded in Australia before the plague).
- Guardians of the Galaxy by Brian Michael Bendis - Comic book/Graphic Novel - Bendis' 2008 run of GotG predates the movie, but carries the same tone and basically the same line up that James Gunn brought to the big screen. If you want to get an idea of how GotG fits into the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe, loved the characters and want to see more without waiting for GotG2, or just like some good writing, this is a must-read. Bonus: Iron man hangs out with the GotG gang for this one. Two trades currently available with a third due soon.
Feel overwhelmed adding reading on top of the rest of your to-do list? Carrying a book with you wherever you go makes it easier to read in small moments between things. Standing on line at the grocery store? Pull out a book. Lunch break at work? Pull out a book. Waiting for the ATM? Pull out a book. Pumping gas? You only need one hand to hold that gas nozzle. You know what your other hand could be holding? That's right. A book.
Do you have any suggestions I should add to my list?