My summer 2017 book list

Caption: Our new kitten is smaller than one of the books on my reading list. 

Is there anything better than summer reading? Airplane flights, beach vacations, mornings listening to the birds while enjoying a cup of coffee…ahhh. To stay on track and read 52 books in 2017 I need to make sure I read 10 this summer, but that should be easy with this list, which includes some of my favorite subjects: Russia, politics, and dystopia. Not that those three things have anything to do with what’s happening in the world right now, right? Ahem.

What’s on your summer list? I have room for a couple of additions!

First up, dystopian fiction, because I need to believe there could be a worse situation than the world in 2017:

The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood – even before the Hulu series, which I haven’t seen, this was on my list. I always love Atwood’s obsession with population control and environments destruction. My favorite subjects to teach!

Red Rising, Pierce Brown (the Red Rising series book #1) – This series gets high marks from other readers so I’ll give it a try. In the first few pages it appears we’ve ruined Earth and have exported our social dysfunction to Mars. Plausible. 

Ode to Russia:

Lenin’s Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire, David Remnick (non-fiction) – I heard about this one on NPR and was enthralled. I think it will pair well with the following

A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles – another NPR suggestion, this one chronicles life in Stalinist Russia through the story of a Count under house arrest in a Moscow luxury hotel. 

 

Female detectives (as I stay motivated to finish writing my first mystery novel):

Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her, Melanie Rehak (non-fiction) – I have shelves full of old Nancy Drews from the 1920s editions to the 1990s ones. I hope reading this will bring up memories of the best parts of adolescence. 

Bloodroot, Susan Wittig Albert (China Bayles book #10) – Because I love a good cozy mystery. 

Indemnity Only, Sara Paretsky (V.I. Warshawski book #1) – Warshawski is often mentioned by Albert’s protagonist, China Baylee, so I figure if that fictional detective likes her I will too. 

Beach reads:

The Shadow Land, Elizabeth Kostova – From the author of The Historian, which I loved, this novel begins with a young American arriving in Bulgaria only to become entangled in a political controversy with roots in Soviet times. 

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, Brene Brown (non-fiction) – Because I always need parenting help. Always. 

Dispatches from Pluto, Richard Grant – my sweet friend from Mississippi gives this rave reviews and she’s the most authoritative source I know. There’s no odd like odd in the South so I’m sure I’ll find myself nodding approval at Grant’s descriptions. 

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