My friend Kate is one of the most voracious readers I know, and she’s been recommending books to me since we first learned to read together in Kindergarten and Grade 1. Charlotte’s Web and Bunnicula certainly did not disappoint.
Kate loves fiction (often with a gothic/medieval leaning), whereas I gravitate towards nonfiction, so she often recommends books that I would never even consider reading. Here are a few of her recent book suggestions, followed by some nonfiction reads I’m looking forward to making my way through this summer.
Equal parts mystery and comedy, this is a perfect beach read. Down on her luck, the heroine takes a job as a bounty hunter thinking it will be an easy way to some quick cash. Mix in a couple of sexy male complications, an evil bad guy, and a family that should be committed, and you’ve got a great read. Even better? This is the first in a series, so you can get a full summer’s worth of entertainment.
Moore is a prolific writer with a quirky style and a dark and sarcastic sense of humour. You could pick up any of his books and be immensely entertained; I’m talking laugh out loud in public entertained. Bloodsucking Fiends is one of my personal favourites. Imagine waking up in an alley and discovering that much to your disbelief, you’ve been turned into a Vampire. The only solution? Charm a simple and trusting human male into helping you adjust to your new lifestyle while hunting down the one that turned you. Hilarious and bizarre, you’ll enjoy this book cover to cover.
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Though published posthumously, Northanger Abbey was actually the first novel Jane Austen ever completed. The publisher decided against releasing it; holding it while her other novels such as Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Emma were published to wide acclaim. But this charming novel is just as delicious as these other books and is a perfect read for someone looking for something fun, but still classical. Swept up in the Gothic novel craze of the age, the young heroine finds mystery and intrigue around every corner. But when she makes a splash in London society and catches the eye of an eligible bachelor, her overactive imagination might just cost her the love of her life.
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
If you’re a fan of series like Harry Potter or the Dark Materials, this series could be your next favourite. After losing her mother in India, a young girl is shipped off to a finishing school in Victorian England. There she discovers she is a descendant from a long line of powerful witches. Now she must prepare for a life as a well bred lady, while learning to harness her powers and keep the magical world from taking over. Full of twists, adventure and drama, this is a great choice for a poolside, cabin, rainy day read.
Mistress of the Sun by Sandra Gulland
Set during the reign of Louis XIV, this novel follows the life of his favorite mistress Louise de Valliere. Similar in style to books by Philippa Gregory and Margaret George, this novel seamlessly blends intimacy, courtly intrigue, and historical fact. Gulland plunges her readers into the opulent world of life at Versailles and what it meant to love one of the most powerful men of all time.
My Two Nonfiction Picks:
I’ve heard so much about this book and after reading this essay I knew I had to read Paul Kalanithi’s story. His memoir chronicles his diagnosis with terminal cancer, transition from doctor to patient, and reflections on leading a meaningful life.
I watched all of Master of None in pretty much one sitting, so putting this on my reading list this was a no-brainer. I’m now an Aziz Ansari superfan and can’t wait to read how he tries to make sense of the current state of romance with the help of an NYU sociologist.
What do you plan on reading this summer?