I spent much of the summer working on book 3 of my Ranger in Time series with Scholastic and another project, so most of my reading was research related – slave narratives and other documents from the mid-19th century. But I did manage to sneak in some other great books, too.
Does anyone else have “reading seasons?” Most of my reading life centers around children’s books, from picture books to middle grade and YA novels and nonfiction. But in the summer months, I tend to drift toward books that were written for adults. My favorites this summer were THE MAGICIAN’S LAND and EDIBLE.
THE MAGICIAN’S LAND is the third in a trilogy from Lev Grossman. Aside from my passion for all things Harry Potter, I’m not much of a fantasy reader, but these books enchanted me from the beginning. The main character gets whisked off to a university for magicians in the first book (he thought he was interviewing for Princeton, but whatever) and that university, Brakebills, has all of the charm and wonder of Hogwarts mixed with the more jaded world view of those who have just entered adulthood. There’s a magical land as well, along with all the wondrous, frightful creatures one would hope to find there, plenty of heroic quests, and an exploration of the darker side of magic, ambition, and power, too. I loved visiting this world again, and I’m sad that the last book is over. If you’re a grownup fan of Hogwarts or Narnia, don’t miss these books. (Note: they are not for kids, but some older HS readers will love them.)
EDIBLE : AN ADVENTURE INTO THE WORLD OF EATING INSECTS AND THE LAST GREAT HOPE TO SAVE THE PLANET was probably my favorite book of the summer. I was reading it on the deck one day when my son walked by, looked at the cover, and got a terribly concerned look on his face. “Dad…did you see what Mom’s reading?” For days, the family looked more carefully at their dinner plates. Because yes…this really is a book about eating bugs. They’re full of protein and commonly eaten in cultures where it isn’t socially weird to do so, and they’re far more sustainable to raise than cows or pigs. What’s not to love? In friendly, fascinating narration, the author, budding entomophagist Daniella Martin, takes us along on her journey to explore insects as food – from a food truck in San Francisco to an Asian night market to a high-end Scandinavian restaurant. What would it take to get us to accept insects as a food source? I found this to be an intriguing question, and I’ve been looking at the grasshoppers in my garden a little differently ever since.
Now summer is over, and I’m wandering back toward my cooler weather reading habits. These two are up next on my book pile…
What about you? What were your favorite books of the summer, and what’s on your radar for fall?