Sunday, July 31, 2016

Recommended Reads, July 2016 (Summer Book Bingo Edition)

Two months of Seattle Public Library Summer Book Bingo down and one to go! Despite my good intentions it's going to take a push to fill in the remaining nine squares by Labor Day. I've got a couple of poetry collections out from the library, but I'm eying them askance, since I rarely read poetry, and I'm far from enthusiastic about "Read Out Loud," not least because we haven't read aloud as a family since Miss Fraser started reading chapter books on her own in second grade, and she starts seventh grade this fall. It's so much slower than just reading, you know? But I'm more than halfway to a blackout, so I'll make a push.

July reads are marked NEW.
  1. Recommended by a Librarian 
  2. Cookbook or Food Memoir: Yes, Chef by Marcus Samuelsson - a worthwhile read, especially if you like Samuelsson as a Chopped judge.
  3. You've Been Meaning to Read
  4. #We Need Diverse Books: The Lawyer's Luck by Piper Huguley - African-American historical romance novella, and a quick, sweet read currently free to download on Kindle.
  5. Collection of Short Stories: Under My Hat, edited by Jonathan Strahan - anthology of short stories about witches by noted fantasy authors, many of whom are new to me authors I mean to try again. NEW
  6. From Your Childhood: By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder - This wasn't my favorite Little House book as a child, but re-reading it now as an adult and the mother of a 12-year-old (Laura is 12-13 over the course of the book), I was struck by how Laura's adolescent restlessness and uncertainty is mirrored in the family's circumstances. NEW
  7. Prize-Winner: The Radicalism of the American Revolution by Gordon S. Wood - I really intended to pick a Rita, Hugo, or Nebula winner for this category, but when I saw that the nonfiction history I was reading as research for my new manuscript was a Pulitzer winner, I just counted it. I will show my respect for the fantasy and romance genres in other ways. NEW
  8. Set in a Place You've Always Wanted to Visit: The Graveyard of the Hesperides by Lindsey Davis - historical mystery set in Rome. (While present-day Rome is certainly on my bucket list, believe me I'd jump at the chance to visit the ancient city if the TARDIS happened by.) NEW
  9. Recommended by an Independent Bookstore
  10. Banned: Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin - a thoughtful and thought-provoking book profiling six transgender teens.
  11. Collection of Poetry
  12. Young Adult Book: Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant by Tony Cliff - a graphic novel full of pure swashbuckling fun in the early 19th century. Gorgeously illustrated, too.
  13. FREE! Recommend a Book to a Friend: Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines - I've been recommending books to my fellow former Sleepy Hollow fan friends that hit some of the same sweet spots as Season 1 of that show, but without falling apart as the story goes forward, betraying and shredding their premises, and killing their heroines in a particularly disrespectful and painful way. (Not that I'm BITTER or anything.) This series definitely qualifies (and would make awesome TV for a network that would be sufficiently faithful to the source material).
  14. Translated from Another Language
  15. Non-Fiction: The Other Slavery by Andrés Reséndez - about the enslavement of Native Americans, especially in Spanish-colonized areas before and after independence.
  16. Novel: Fortune Favors the Wicked by Theresa Romain - character-driven historical romance, at once tender and hot.
  17. Local Author: The Triumph of Seeds by Thor Hanson - I found this book on a list of recommended reads at Powell's and therefore meant it for the independent bookstore category, but when I saw that the author lives on one of our Puget Sound islands and used his experiences gardening there intensively in this history and biology of seed plants, I decided it belonged here instead. NEW
  18. Written by a Seattle Arts and Lectures Speaker
  19. Reread: The World of Jennie G. by Elisabeth Ogilvie - A favorite from my teens that still holds up well to rereading, and I've just discovered it's back in print! But it's the middle book of a trilogy, so you'll want to get Jennie About to Be first.
  20. You Finish Reading in a Day: League of Dragons by Naomi Novik - a satisfying end to a wonderful series, though I thought the denouement was too short and didn't spend enough time on the characters I liked best. 
  21. Read Out Loud
  22. Out of Your Comfort Zone: Girls and Sex by Peggy Orenstein - I decided this qualified for the category insofar as reading it as the mother of a 12-year-old daughter filled me with horror to think of the gauntlet of sexism, misogyny, and even rape adolescents and young women all too often endure.
  23. Memoir
  24. Written More than 100 Years Ago: Anne of the Island by LM Montgomery - published in 1915, so it just qualifes. This was one of my favorites of the series when a college friend introduced me to Anne, possibly because I was the same age as the characters.'s fun, but I'd put it behind Anne of Green Gables, Anne's House of Dreams, and Rilla of Ingleside.
  25. Recommended by a Friend