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The best of your lighter summer reading  Which books of your summer reading would you recommend for the rest of us to enjoy?  Broken for You is a first novel that I found delightful.  Not great literature, but well written with characters I wanted to spend more time with than I was given.  I wanted to watch when one of the characters broke a tea cup thinking that when life is tough, breaking a tea cup might be a temporary solution. 

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I finally was able to readThe Helpthis summer.  I know that most people read it last year when the movie came out, but between being a student and being in school, this summer was the first chance I had to read it. I loved it! I enjoy books where the point of view changes (as in most Jodi Picoult books).  The multiple perspective is an exciting method of watching how a story slowly comes together piece by piece.

I've also just started John Hart's Iron House.  It's not really lightreading as it tends to take a more serious tone than most summer reads, but the mystery has been intriguing so far and has keeps me engrossed.  It also takes place in a town near me; I always like this as it adds to the realism for me.

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Disclaimer: I love fantasy, and I will probably read anything with dragons in it.

 

My favorite this summer has been Naomi Novik's Temeraire series, which is a retelling of the Napoleanic wars (between France and England) with one crucial difference from the real, historical fact--there are dragons.  If you like history, if you like fantasy (especially books like Anne McCaffrey's or the Eragon series), definitely check out Novik's books. There are five so far, and I'm on book three--and absolutely loving all of them.

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During the summer, I like to catch up on some of the latest young adult fiction that I can add to my own teacher bookshelf in my classroom.

The Beautiful Creatures series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.  I really enjoyed this series so far (there is one more book to come!) which combines southern gothic romance with a supernatural twist.  One of these things I like best about this series is how it combined Civil War flashbacks with students in a modern day high school setting.  This series is so good that I even have been able to hook some of my reluctant boy readers (8th grade) on the story line.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.  I absolutely loved this book, so much so that I ordered ten more copies for my literature circles this year.  The author takes an old legend about mythical water horses and creates a very suspenseful tale about these blood-thirsty races on a small island.  This novel has great characterization, but is suspenseful enough to intrigue even some of your more reluctant readers.

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I started reading The Chronicles of Narniathis summer, which are definitely light and quick. Weirdly, I never read them all as a child, and I actually think I like them better now than I would have when I was younger anyway.

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In addition to a lot of (required) non-fiction reading, I rediscovered the works of William Faulkner this summer. I had read many of his works at one point or another while in school, but it had been a while. I read The Sound and the Fury as well as As I Lay Dying. Not exactly light reading, but I enjoyed both books a lot. I also read a lot of Walker Percy. I've been on a Southern writers kick in the last couple of years.

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Loved the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, the Hunger Games series and finished a new Sookie Stackhouse novel which was great. Also, completed the Fifty Shades of Gray series. Anything that is light reading that can be done when at the beach, is fine by me.

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This is VERY embarrassing for me to admit but I moved away from fiction and gorged on historical non-fiction after having read the short but extremely sweet book What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew by Daniel Pool. It was published by Fox and subtitled Hunting to Whist-the Facts of Daily Life in Nineteenth-Century England.

Now, I have had this book for a while and completely forgot about it. When I read it, I was hooked. True, it is not the type of literature that will spark any literary motivation to write the novel you always wanted to write, but BOY was it fun to read. After that book I went into a frantic Antonia Fraser search to see if she has released anything similar lately, since she is my favorite historian.

I should return to fiction and learn from the greats but, for now, I am looking for all the historical gossip I can take!

http://www.enotes.com/what-jane-austen-ate-charles-dickens-knew-salem/what-jane-austen-ate-charles-dickens-knew

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I spent pretty much the entire summer catching up on Sherlock Holmes.  It’s kind of a funny story.  I was answering a question on enotes one day and read a story I had not read or taught in a few years. I enjoyed the story so much that I decided to make it a part of my curriculum.  My students will read some and then write their own mysteries.

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The best and lightest book I read this summer was also the first one I read - The Ask by Sam Lipsyte. Though the book is a little bit dark in subject matter, it is hilarious. I was laughing out loud. 

The book is about a man having marriage trouble, carting his son back and forth from preschool, and contemplating his professional failures. That might sound a bit depressing, and it is - a little. The style is great, however, easy to read, funny as anything else I've ever read, and insightful despite (or because of) its dedication to an almost purely domestic subject.

 

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I spent a lot of my summer reading e-books just for fun, but I don’t find these quite as enjoyable as traditional books. I revisited some classic favorites of mine including: Christy by Katherine Marshall and The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson. One book that I recently started (after avoiding for many years) is A Gathering of Old Men by Ernest Gaines. The central plot is truly enjoyable as are the character depictions, and it makes me wish that I had read it years ago so I could be reading it for a second time already.

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