Here’s a sampling of what we’re reading at Standley Lake Information Services this summer:
Among Others by Jo Walton
Summary: The story of a young woman struggling to escape a troubled childhood, a brilliant diary of first encounters with the great novels of modern fantasy and science fiction, and a spellbinding tale of escape from ancient enchantment.
What we say: “Like the character in the book, in roughly the same time period and at the same age, I was devouring science fiction. She discusses books I had forgotten I’d read.”
Greater Nowheres by Dave Finkelstein
Summary: A wildly funny journey through the outback - a forbidding adventure for even the most daring Aussie explorers.
What we say: “This book is hilarious at times. The vivid Australian characters that the authors meet along the way are entertaining, to say the least.”
Heads You Lose by Lisa Lutz and David Hayward
Summary: Pot-growing siblings Paul and Lacey Hansen must investigate why the headless corpse of Lacey's ex-fiancé turned up on their property, in a mystery where the authors disagree about how the story should progress, a contention that causes a higher body count, a host of quirky characters and more insanity than the Hansens can handle.
What we say: “An experimental writing technique made this an interesting read that may turn into a new series. It was a different kind of mystery with anti-hero detectives, but the novel still had that Lutz charm and humor I have come to expect from the author.”
Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy by L.A. Meyer
Summary: Reduced to begging and thievery in the streets of London, a thirteen-year-old orphan disguises herself as a boy and connives her way onto a British warship set for high sea adventure in search of pirates.
What we say: “I listened to this series on audio and the actor's accent and speech patterns were fantastic for that time period and place, and even demonstrated Jacky's growth on the ship. A fun romp of an adventure with much humor. It was fabulous.”
Fevre Dream - George R.R. Martin.
Summary: During the icy winter of 1857, riverboat man Abner Marsh is made captain of his own grand Mississippi steamboat by Joshua York, a vampire intent upon saving his maligned race from extinction. What we say: “Vampires hanging out on a steamboat on the Mississippi. One of the most interesting vampire novels ever.”
I Beat the Odds: From Homelessness, To the Blind Side, and Beyond by Michael Oher, with Don Yaeger.
Summary: The NFL athlete made famous by the book and movie The Blind Side reflects on the disparity between his youth and his present-day circumstances, sharing perspectives on his inner-city childhood, relationship with his adoptive family, and views on role models.
What we say: “If you enjoyed The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis, or the movie it inspired, you may also like reading about Michael Oher's inspirational story as told from his own perspective.”
The Source of All Things: A Memoir by Tracy Ross.
Summary: The author explains how her love for the outdoors--and her journeys to natural landscapes in Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming and Alaska--became her only source of redemption after being sexually abused by her stepfather for more than six years.
What we say: “I could not put this book down – I wanted to know what happened next in Tracy’s life. I also loved some of the familiar Colorado settings.”