I can’t believe it is July already! With summer zooming along so is my reading challenge. I finished these books in the past couple of weeks and enjoyed them all. May I suggest the following books if you are looking for some awesome summer reads?
Book #20 A mystery novel
The Outsider begins with a horrific crime in a small town. All the evidence points to stand up citizen Terry Maitland. Terry is a teacher, a little league baseball coach, and a wonderful family man. He is one man that you would be proud to have as a friend. Anxious to get the person who committed the crime behind bars, the police investigating the case arrest Terry during one of his baseball games in front of the entire town. The town is shocked, including the investigators. To be sure they have the right man, they continue to dig into where Terry was the evening of the crime. What they soon find out turns the whole story upside down and takes you on a trip across the state in order to figure out “who done it.”
This was the most disturbing and horrifying Stephen King book of the decade! I love the man’s writing but this was the most sick and twisted book I have ever read. The whole time you are lost. Not in a bad way as King takes you all over the state of Texas. He makes it so that you really can’t be certain of who the true criminal is. It is a classic Stephen King move that makes this the perfect book for readers looking for a good scare!
Book #21 A book recommended by a friend
Ever wonder what it would be like to leave the city and live off the land. To leave the world behind and travel to the most remote place on earth? It begins when Leni’s father Ernt comes home from the war a completely different person. A PTSD struggling drunk, Ernt moves his family to a small town in Alaska where they have to do everything for themselves. Hunt, fish, grow veggies and live in harmony with their neighbors. For Ernt, that’s not so easy and the toll it takes on Leni and her mother is unspeakable. Luckily, the supportive town they find themselves in is the only thing keeping their family afloat.
The Great Alone really tugs at your emotions. The father is so messed up and confused from the war that you feel sorry for him. You want to forgive him but at the same time he does nothing to help himself. It really shows what war can do to a person and how a family dynamic can change once a soldier comes home. The alcohol and physical abuse was sometimes a bit too much for me. Too graphic. Hannah balances that out with the support the family gets from the town. Keep a tissue close by for this read.
Book #22 A banned book
High schooler Meg Murry’s life gets turned upside down when one day she is transported through time and space with her young brother and friend in order to rescue her father. The three kids are accompanied by terrestrial being, Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which. The group finds themselves on planet Camazotz where Meg learns her father has been taken prisoner there by the evil “Dark Thing.” It is there where Meg’s brother comes into contact with a giant brain called IT. They battle one another, but he is overpowered and becomes under IT’s control. The kids then travel to another planet only to encounter the three Mrs. W’s who take them back to Camazotz. It’s a story that has you constantly working with the kids on figuring out a way to free Meg’s father and get home back to earth safely.
I kept seeing a lot of hype around A Wrinkle In Time and wanted to know what the deal was. I knew Disney turned it into a movie and when I dug further, I saw that it is a banned book. So… why is Disney making a movie based on a banned book? I can see how the magical/extraterrestrial elements would upset very conservative Christians. Still, it was a book that I feel people made a mountain out of a molehill. It wasn’t as upsetting as I thought it was going to be. As far as a movie for children, I could see them enjoying it better than the book. In my opinion, it was a sophisticated read for someone under twelve.
#23 A book set in Africa
Set in Nigeria during the 1960’s, Half Of A Yellow Sun reveals what it was like when the country was struggling to become independent. The book follows three characters from one household. There is thirteen-year-old Ugwu who is the houseboy for a professor, Odenigbo. Olanna, the professor’s mistress, and Richard, a young Englishman who is in thrall to Olanna’s twin sister. Ugwu is a loyal houseboy and splits his time between his job and taking care of his mom and sister in a nearby village. Olanna and Odenigbo soon have a baby and their main motivation becomes to escape the violence in the city. As the country becomes more torn apart, the loyalty between these three is tested.
Half Of A Yellow Sun brings to light what happened during this period in Nigerian history. It was a true eyeopener for what happens when a country engages in civil war. Not to get political, but I felt this book gives the reader insight into what is going on in areas in the Middle East right now. Half Of A Yellow Sun talks about how people walked around in the streets with weapons and the fear people had about going out to a marketplace to get food. It wasn’t all guns and torture as you do see how the characters support one another and work together to survive.
A few more great reads to check off my list! What are your reading right now? I’d love to hear!