Tuesday, May 31, 2022

2022 Summer Reading Guide

I love doing these guides even if it's just my family that reads them. I think it's so fun to put together a good book list, don't you? I'm going to keep generally the same categories so hopefully it's a wide variety to give you something to look forward to reading this summer.

Check out 20192020, and 2021 Summer Reading Guide if you want more recommendations!

History Comes to Life

Fallout by Steve Sheinkin: Sheinkin is the king of YA nonfiction and this one nails it again. If you wanted a 'sequel' to his earlier Bomb then this one is for you. It goes into the ins and outs of the Cold War with plenty of espionage to keep you engaged.

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann: True crime is not normally my fare. This dealt with the murder of some of the members of the Osage tribe and the investigation that followed in the 1920's.  Even though this did have those creepy vibes to it, I was pretty fascinated with it all. The movie is set to come out soon. 

Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman: This reigns in very recent history with the pandemic and that's what makes it unique. Words are so powerful and the way Gorman is able to craft them so well together is an amazing feat. She knows how to pack a punch. 

Let's Hear it for the Ladies

Sitting Pretty: The View from My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body by Rebekah Taussig: This brought the disabled community to my attention and I'm so grateful for that. I'll admit that how to make things more accessible for them is not on my radar all that often but since this book I've definitely paid more attention and want to advocate more for them. 

Dancing at the pity party: A Dead Mom Graphic Memoir by Tyler Feder: I don't know how a book can be both equally sad and funny but Tyler does an amazing job of sharing her mom with us that you wish you knew her too (she sounded SO cool.) This has some great thoughts about grief as well. 

These Precious Days: Essays by Ann Patchett: I listened to this one on audio and Patchett reads it herself. I tend to enjoy Patchett's nonfiction essays more than her novels and this one was so so good. If you have read her latest novel The Dutch House then you will love learning more insight with her friendship with Tom Hanks and how he got to narrate the book. And it was a delight to hear the friendship that emerged with his assistant because of that meeting and how it changed her life these last few years. 

Beach Reads

Finlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano: Okay, I'll admit these books are kind of ridiculous but you can easily breeze through this one. I suggest going into it blind. Let's just say that Finlay is about to get herself into a whole heap of trouble without meaning to. And if you liked it enough then her 2nd book came out earlier this year and you can read that as well. 

The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton: A story involving three women in 1935 who arrive to Key West under very different circumstances but paths cross when a hurricane hits. I love books that have multiple narrators but somehow they all converge together to make a really fascinating story. A fast paced engaging read. 

Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal: Not Exactly a Memoir by Amy Krouse Rosenthal: I decided to put this on my list because I had such fond memories reading it that I want to read it again. Rosenthal is already known as a fantastic author in children's lit but this blends wit, creativity, and joy in sharing her wisdom of life. You may need to bring a tissue with you knowing that Amy sadly passes away after writing this. Makes it all the more meaningful.

Middle Grade Magic

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson: Astrid is trying to survive junior high and just when she thought she was going to be doing roller derby camp with her best friend Nicole, her friend bails on her for dance that summer. Now Astrid has to navigate this whole new sport on her own. This graphic novel was a lot of fun to read and I loved Astrid's character and her development over the book. 

Red White and Whole by Rajani LaRocca: This novel in verse is quite sad so know going into it. It's about an Indian American girl who grapples with her mother's cancer diagnosis. Heartbreaking but beautiful too. 

New From Here by Kelly Yang: Yang's latest novel centers around a family who immigrated to the United States from Hong Kong to get away from the coronavirus. Of course, that follows them there as well and now they are dealing with battling racism and other challenges that come from it. Yang always sets up a great story and heavier topics but handled very well. Would make for some good discussion. 

Audiobooks For The Road

The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green: If you want a collections that go from a wide spectrum like Dr. Pepper to Canadian Geese to Googling People, this is for you. He gives every essay a 1-5 star scale (to also point out some ridiculousness of rating books like this) but I found this so fun to listen to. I think this would be a great one to chat with a friend or partner and compare what rating you would give certain topics if you could. 10 hours.

All the Lonely People by Mike Gayle: This is about Hubert Bird who lives alone in his London flat. His daughter Rose checks up on him every week and to make sure she doesn't worry about him, he tells her about his pretend friends. She decides to make a spontaneous trip to see him and now he has to go make friends to cover up his story. This book was such a delight and I loved all the characters and loved learning about Hubert's backstory. He was a Jamaican immigrant so it was fun to get that accent in the audio version. This will make you want to reach out more to neighbors and those in your community. 12 hours.

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz: This one is hard to describe except that it's a mystery within in a mystery. Editor Susan Ryeland has the manuscript for Alan Conway's newest novel that investigates a murder at Pye Hall but the last chapter, the ending of how the mystery is solved, is missing. The more she reads the more is hidden within these pages. We listened to this on a road trip and was absorbed in the story. Cleverly done. 16 hours. 

Nonfiction Worth Discussing

Good Morning, Monster: Five Heroic Journeys to Emotional Recovery by Catherine Gildiner: As a therapist for decades, Gildiner has had many clients come through her office but she only highlights 5 stories here of those she considers 'heroes' because of their journey to overcome their past. Each one has significantly traumatizing childhoods so know that going into it but you will be rooting for all of them by the end. I learned so much too. 

Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez: I read this years ago but still think about. Her main focus is that we collect data to make create inventions or use for medical treatment but we don't factor in gender because we see men as atypical. She points how troubling this is when making cars to what treatments we use for medical procedures to lack of access of bathrooms. And how women are the ones paying the price. 

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande: I think this would make an interesting family book club discussion. It revolves around what is most important for end of life care for a loved one and how to navigate that. Very eye opening. 

Have you read any of these? What are you looking forward to reading this summer?

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