Summer Reading: The Good, The Bad, and The Meh

Summer is my favorite reading season.

First, I’m a teacher, which means that I have two months of unemployment(10 month employee=2 months unemployed, summers off are a myth). Instead of letting this get me down, I use my summers to recharge, relax, and read. I don’t want to brag, but there is something luxurious about spending an afternoon reading or forgetting what day of the week it is.

Secondly,  I live in the South, and summer is too hot and humid for tons of outdoor activities(except the beach and pools and the lake and camping). This means that staying inside and reading is the best option. Believe me, I finished several books in one sitting. It was delightful.

Today, I wanted share what I have been reading this summer. I promise NO SPOILERS! Just short little reviews of what I pulled off my bookshelf or bought.

The Good:

Rabbit Cake by Annie Harnett: If the cover doesn’t make you buy this book, the quirky narrator and authentic first person voice should. The novel touches on some tough topics like grief, the death of a parent/spouse, and moving on past tragedy. The narrator must learn how to deal with a sleepwalking sister  and a father who wears his deceased wife’s robe and lipstick. Funny and warm and well-written.

 

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders: In this novel, Saunders pushes the novel form into a cross between a play and stream of consciousness. The best way to describe this book would be if Thornton Wilder’s Our Town and William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury had a baby. It would be this novel. A word of advice, this book needs to be read in print.

 

 

 

 

 

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner: Every summer, I read Faulkner. This was the most challenging novel that I read. Imagine the first 95 pages as a stream of conscious foray into the mind of a mentally challenged adult. With each new section, a new narrator begins sharing his or her experiences, and the novel ends with a broadening from 1st person POV to 3rd person POV.

 

The Bad:

The Espressologist by Kristina Springer: I received this book as part of a book swap. This book combines things I usually love: coffee, YA, and hints at Jane Austen. This was the worst book that I have read this summer. First, there is no conflict. Everything goes according to plan for the main character, and when there are minor obstacles, like a mean girl in her high school, the tension never increases. Secondly, the characters are cliche. I liked the narrator, but every character was typecast and played the part too well. Plus, this writer uses so many adjectives.

 

The Meh:

He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly: I loved the premise of the book. Eclipse chasers being hunted down by someone they tried to help. I found this recommendation from The Modern Mrs. Darcy Summer Reading Guide 2017 .  Usually, I love Anne’s thoughtful suggestions, but this book fell flat for me. Three quarters of the way through the book, I just skimmed because the plot began feeling contrived, and the ending was too gimmicky for my taste.

What have been some of your good, bad, and meh summer reads? Tell me in the comments.

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