List-O-Rama: Thinking About Summer Reading
Summer reading tends to be feast or famine for me.
My work schedule gets a bit weird, so I alternate between no free time and loads of it. As a result, I tend to be a bit more random with my reading choices (which is saying something, since I specialize in random and don't keep a reading "schedule" like many folks do) and binge on series or authors and try a lot of stuff out that piqued my interest that I previously passed up due to business, etcetera.
Here are a few (actually, a whole lot) of books I'm thinking about tackling this summer.
Darkest London Series by Kristen Callihan
I picked up the third book in Kristen Calligan's Darkest London Series at ALA earlier this year, not realizing that it was part of an ongoing series (I started reading Winterblaze and was promptly confused). I find myself more and more intrigued by historical fantasy (is that what the sub-genre is called?) and this one while having pretty trashy covers, comes highly recommended by several folks whose taste I trust.
The Paranormal YA Series Enders
I have a weird habit with series endings: I kind of hate them. There's so much pressure for series to end "right" and in the case of paranormal YA, since there's not a lot that I love, love, love, with Jeri Smith-Ready's Shade trilogy, Rachel Vincent's lengthy Soul Screamers series and Kim Derting's Body Finder quartet, it's not just series ending stress I'm facing--I'm also looking at not having a lot left in the genre that intrigues me.
The Contemporary YAs
Here's how restrained I am: I have had a review copy of Sarah Dessen's latest, The Moon and More, on my nightstand for months and haven't started it, because I knew once I read it, I wouldn't have any more new Sarah Dessen to read, since she doesn't announce her projects until they're done-done. The same is true for Lisa Schroeder's Chasing Brooklyn--I've had Laura's copy at my house for ages and ages (like a year-ish), because once I read it, I won't have anymore Lisa Schroeder to read. I'm ready to break the glass on both. I know nothing of Elana Arnold's writing, but I have a review copy of her new novel, Burning, and it features a Gypsy/Romani protagonist, which I hope is handled well.
The Guaranteed Good Reads
My four favorite urban fantasy series each have/had new installments this year. I'm currently reading Oath Bound, the final in Rachel Vincent's fabulous Unbound series, and am going to read the other three ASAP. Binding the Shadows is the third in Jenn Bennett's fantastic Arcadia Bell series, and I think this installment has the best cover yet. Shapeshifted is the next in the Edie Spence series (think E.R. plus crazy WTF paranormalcy), which is currently sitting on my Kindle waiting to be devoured. And I've held off on reading the latest Mercy Thompson novel, simply because there was such a huge gap between it and the previous one, that I'm not sure I can handle it.
The Roaring '20s
I'm really hot and cold with historical fiction, but I have a weakness for novels set in the 1920s. My book club picked The Diviners for June and even though we had an extra month to read this, I'm only a chapter in and I'm pretty intimidated by the sheer length of this novel. We'll see if I get through it (Sandra read it and loved it, and has a review forthcoming). Allison Rushby pitched me about her novel that's billed as "New Adult" set in the 1920s, The Heiresses, and she did a damn fine job because it really piqued me interest--I have this review copy on my phone and have blown through the first few chapters, so I'm excited to read further. Finally, Born of Illusion comes out i June and I've heard great things about it already, and I believe the author, Teri Brown, is local to me (and actually from Oregon like me too--woohoo!), so I will definitely be checking that one out, since I try to support Oregon authors as much as possible.
The Tea Rose Series by Jennifer Donnelly
I adore Jennifer Donnelly's books, but I have a HUGE problem with them: there simply aren't enough of them! I held off on reading The Northern Light for years after I read and loved Revolution, but I'm considering a binge on her adult historical series this summer, because her books affect me in a way that few do.
The Paranormal YA Series Starters
Since I'm committed to actually reading the last books in three paranormal YA series I really like, I'm now seeking replacement series (that doesn't sound crazy at all). I know y'all will be shocked that I haven't read Maggie Stiefvater's fairy books, since I adore her books so much, but I've held off because I wasn't sure if the third and final book in the series was ever going to happen. However, the last one is supposedly coming this year, so I'm going to be all over the first two books this summer. I saw Ingrid Paulson at the Fall in Love with Teen Fiction event at Powell's this spring and she was so witty and her book sounded so original, that I'm excited to try it. Finally, everyone and their aunt has loved Cynthia Hand's Unearthly series, and since it's now finished, and I have the first book on my Kindle from one of the daily deals (I am such a sucker for the $2.99 price point), I'm going to give it a whirl this summer.
Any & All Books by Sarra Manning & Liza Palmer
You know when you read a book by a new-to-you author and you just know that they're a new favorite? That's the way I feel about both Sarra Manning (Unsticky) and Liza Palmer (Nowhere But Home). I've mentally allotted a substantial portion of my summer reading to devouring their backlists.
There you have it--my agenda for summer binge-reading.
I do wish there were some frothy summer contemporary novels on this list (especially a fun beachside romance-centric book or two). Any suggestions? What's on your summer reading agenda?