Summer Reading

Maisie DobbsMy men and I have just returned from a wonderful few days spent with cousins and aunts and uncles and grandparents. In addition to some good family photos and great new family stories – the kind that will get funnier and more absurd with each retelling – I came home with a list of good summer reads.

My older sister and her tween and teen daughters are all reading the Matched series by Ally Condie. They likened it to The Hunger Games, which was all I needed to convince me to try it.

My aunt told me about Before I Go to Sleep by S. J. Watson. She read it for a book club she belongs to and had me hooked when she told me no one in her group figured out the ending before the author revealed it. Who doesn’t love a good mystery?!

My mother belongs to what I call a backwards book club – members take turns presenting a book or series of books they’ve read, rather than everyone reading the same book and discussing it. The next time it’s her turn to present, she plans to share several of the Maisie Dobbs mysteries by Jacqueline Winspear. A young British housemaid, whose keen intellect is recognized by her employer, ends up attending Cambridge, becoming a nurse in WWI, and then setting up shop as a private investigator. If I like Maisie, I’m set for life, because there appear to be scads of books in this series!

Nearly every female family member chimed in with a positive review when someone mentioned Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks. I’m hoping my library has an older version of the paperback, something without the movie-poster-cover (sorry, but Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel are just distracting).

Last, but not least, one of the many podcasts we listened to while traveling was Stuff You Missed in History Class, from HowStuffWorks.com. One of the episodes told the story of Sarah Emma Edmonds, a woman who disguised herself as a man so she could serve in the Civil War. Apparently hundreds of women disguised themselves and fought for both the North and the South (who knew?), but Sarah is the only one known to have a written a memoir recounting her experiences, Memoirs of  a Soldier, Nurse, and Spy: A Woman’s Adventures in the Union Army.

Surely that’s enough to keep me going for a few weeks. But it’s never too soon to add more books to my list, so tell me what you’re reading this summer!