Monday, August 29, 2016

A Page-Turning Summer

I don't remember summer reading programs being around when I was a kid, but boy howdy, I would've been all over that. Lucky for me, my county library has an adult summer reading program - you read books, review them on the program's website, and for each one, you're entered in a random drawing for weekly and monthly prizes. Last year, I won a drink tumbler. This year, I won a basket of books! Not only that, but apparently the number of participants exploded. The more people reading the better!

I read some amazing books this summer, and since I love to talk books, here are some of my favorites from June through the end of August: 

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh - okay, I'm cheating here because I finished this one at the end of May, but I can't stop thinking about it. You want twists? Get ready. 


*****

The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis - the description on Goodreads says it all: "True Grit meets The Road in this postapocalyptic psychological thriller--narrated by a young girl who has just learned that her adopted father may be a serial killer, and that she may be his next victim." I mean, come on! How awesome is that? I passed this ARC along to my husband, and he was blown away as well. 


*****

All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda - I love a good suspense novel, and this one had the added bonus of being told in reverse. Yes, you read that correctly. Reverse. It's well worth your time as both a reader AND a writer.


*****

One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus - I first read this historical fiction novel years ago for a book club. I loved it so much, it's lived on my bookshelf all this time. When it was chosen for a new book club, I re-read it. And you know what? Still loved it. Absolutely loved it. 


*****

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware - a locked room mystery reminiscent of Agatha Christie's works? A murder on a luxury cruise ship yet all passengers are accounted for? I am so there! 


*****

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys - I've been a fan of this author's ever since I read Between Shades of Gray, a young adult historical fiction novel. Here, according to Goodreads, the author "returns to WWII in this epic novel that shines a light on one of the war's most devastating—yet unknown—tragedies." I pretty much wept through the last chunk of the book. An excellent - and important - read. 


*****

Watching Edie by Camilla Way - I was going to rate this a solid four stars over on Goodreads, but the last chunk bumped it up to five stars. The structure - two alternating points of view, one in the present, the other in the past - really amped up the suspense. It's a dark story, but one that delves into the concept of what is real, what is our perception - how we see ourselves, how others see us, and the possibility of change. 


*****

If you've read any of these, what did you think? Will you be adding any to your TBR list? What have you read this summer that blew your mind? Looking forward to any new releases in the Fall? If you're not already a friend/follower of mine over on Goodreads, come find me!

*****

(Even though I received an ARC for one book, the opinions here are honest and presented purely because I enjoyed all of these books.)

32 comments:

  1. They all sound interesting. I'm scribbling some titles down. Our library has a summer reading program for adults also with prizes. I've gotten a mug and a tote bag.

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    1. Good!

      And what fun to have reading programs for adults! Glad you won some things, too. :)

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  2. I wish there was a reading program like that where I live. All of the books you highlighted sound really great.

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    1. I read other good ones, too, but I had to pick and choose, otherwise the post would have been even longer! :)

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  3. I also wish we had a program like that. I might be able to finish more than one book if properly motivated.

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    1. It's not the same, but you could create a program for yourself - for every book - or three books or five books - you finish, you treat yourself to something.

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  4. I have All the Missing Girls (I even went to Megan's Book Launch for it) but I haven't read it yet. It does sound awesome though. I really hope this book gets the attention it deserves—it sounds like it's well on its way!

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    1. Fun! The first thing I read by her was a YA title, and I enjoyed that. I'm jealous she can write for both YA and Adult. :)

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  5. These all sound good! I'm especially intrigued by the cruise ship murder. Sounds like a fun one. :D

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    1. But maybe not one to read right before you go a cruise.... :)

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  6. Wow! What a great collection - they all sound amazing! Hmmm, which to choose first??? :)

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    1. You can't go wrong! You might want to consider what you feel like at the moment - historical fiction, mystery, suspense? :)

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  7. Cool that they do an adult reading program! I don't believe we have one, but they have one for kids and one for teens, so my kids both do it each summer. These books sound great. There's not one that didn't pique my interest.

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    1. Good for you kids!

      So glad these sound good to you. I hope you enjoy them. :)

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  8. Thanks for the tips, Madeline. I'm adding several of these to my TBR list -- I've been using the Goodreads "Want to Read" list to add new books and already the list is out of control.

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    1. I hear you! I have a hard copy TBR list as well as the To Read Shelf on Goodreads, and thankfully, they're pretty well matched up. I do cull both lists now and then, though, so it's manageable. Somewhat. :)

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    1. I thoroughly enjoyed them, and I hope you do, too. :)

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  10. All of those sound really good, and totally up my alley! Love a good suspense thriller.

    Thanks for the recommendations!

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  11. I'm definitely adding them to my TBR list! And, I needed to read your reviews. I, unfortunately, just read a book handed to me by my mom that was truly awful. I'm not going to name it - but it switched from 1st to 3rd POV, had a cardboard cut-out character, and was traditionally published. Agh. My mom usually has slightly better taste.
    Anyway, I'm happy - so happy - to read your reviews and get a different idea of what could/should be on my TBR shelf.
    And, a book that blew me away - on the good side - would be The Crown Tower by Michael J. Sullivan. I read it in one day - could barely put it down to make dinner - and I loved it. I admit, it was "my" genre, fantasy adventure, but still, it was well-crafted, had excellent character development, good pacing, great action scenes (I love a good sword fight), and just the right amount of world-building.
    In other genres, I really enoyed The Orchardist - a historical literary novel set in Oregon. I admit that it took me about a hundred pages to get really into it. I didn't know if I could handle what felt like the literary trope of two young girls who had been raped by their father struggling to survive - but the orchardist, the character behind the title, and all of his struggles to help them and to regain a sense of family after his own tragic losses - he made the book shine, and it climbed in my estimation until I loved it by the end.

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    1. Glad to be of service! :)

      I'm pretty sure I already have The Orchardist on my TBR list so definitely good to know you enjoyed it.

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  12. I have to say, I've never read any of these books! A couple of them look really interesting though.

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    1. I would definitely check out the ones that sound good to you. :)

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  13. I haven't but I do want to take a look at the mystery. :-)

    The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

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    1. I also read Ware's IN A DARK DARK WOOD awhile back and enjoyed it, although I liked this new one better.

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  14. "All the Missing Girls" sounds really interesting. I can't quite imagine how it works telling it in reverse. Thanks for the book tips!

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    1. That type of structure has always intrigued me, and it really works here.

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  15. You DID have a thrilling summer reading season! Watching Edie and All the Missing Girls look so good. I admire authors who successfully play with novel structure. It's hard to do well but so worthwhile when it works.

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