Check out recommended summer reads

Summer of 2011: Hot Summer Reads

Our “Top 10”

  1. Bacigalupi, Paolo. (2009). The Windup Girl. San Francisco, CA: Night Shade Books. (Winner of the 2010 Hugo Award for Best Novel and Winner of the 2010 Nebula Award for Best Novel)

Set in a future when calories have become currency and bio-terrorism and genetic modification have robbed the world of its biodiversity, The Windup Girl follows the story of Emiko, a genetically modified member of the “new people,” who is not considered human in a future where extinction is the norm.  Emiko becomes entwined with Anderson Lake, a company man from AgriGen, who is seeking access to Thailand’s sandbank, and the struggle between greed, survival, and an unknown future.

  1. Coehlo, Paulo. (1993). The Alchemist. San Francisco, CA: Harper San Francisco.

In this moving fable, Santiago, a young Spanish shepherd,  travels from Spain to Egypt in search of his disnity.  Coehlo’s modern classical launched him as a strong voice in Brazilizan literature who selling over 160 million copies of his books in 160 countries around the world.

  1. Collins, Suzanne. (2008). The Hunger Games. New York, NY: Scholastic.

The world as we know it is over. The Capitol is in control and the Hunger Games are on. Every year, the Capitol selects on boy and one girl from Panem to compete in a televised event—the prize… survival. Follow Katniss as she competes to stay alive and win the sympathy of game viewers. This is extreme reality TV.

  1. Collins, Wilkie. (2005). [1860]. The Woman in White. New York: Barnes & Noble Classics

One of the great mystery thrillers of all time, The Woman in White is also among the first mystery novels ever published.  Hired as drawing master for the privileged Miss Laura Fairlie of Limmeridge House and her half-sister, Miss Marian Halcombe, Walter Hartright prepares to journey to the English countryside when he encounters a frightening vision—a woman all in white who speaks of terrible things. Filled with mystery, deceit, and madness, this classic Victorian thriller will keep you guessing as you try to figure out who’s telling the truth and who’s trying to get away with murder.

  1. Jamison, C., & Jamison, B. (2008). Around the World in 80 Dinner. New York, NY: Harper.

A travelogue to delight the senses and the palate. Join the Jamisons as they journey around the globe on a three month tour to experience the best dishes the culinary world has to offer. Part narrative, travel guide, and cookbook, this work will be sure to delight anyone with a passion for food and a bit of wanderlust.

  1. Falcones, Ildefonso. (2006). Cathedral of the Sea. New York, NY: Dutton.  (Winner of the Euskadi de Plata 2006 for the best novel in Spanish)

Fleeing the medieval feudal system, Arnau Estanyol arrives in Barcelona and begins working hauling stone for Santa Maria de la Mar while his adopted brother studies to become a Priest.  Arnau prospers and falls in love with a forbidden woman.  He faces the Inquisition and his brother in this sweeping epic of love, war, betrayal, and friendship.

  1. Follett, Ken. (2010). Fall of Giants. New York, NY: Dutton.

This powerful 20th Century historical fiction novel brings characters from Russia, Wales, England, the U.S., and Germany together as they face the Russian Revolution, the First World War, and the struggle for women’s suffrage, a period spanning from 1911 until 1923.  Rich, complex, and full of historical detail and drama.

  1. Mandela, Nelson. (2010). Conversations with Myself. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Learn about the private Nelson Mandela through this series of letters, notes, transcribed conversations with friends, and journal entries.  After a lifetime of writing, Mandela opens his personal archive and gives readers a rare chance to engage the man.  “…the cell is an ideal place to learn to know yourself…” (Letter to Winnie Mandela from Kroonstad Prison, February 1, 1975.).

  1. Pirandello, L. (1998). [1921]. Six Characters in Search of an Author. New York: Signet Classics.

First performed in 1921, this Italian tragicomedy follows the story of six characters looking for someone to write their stories. Interrupting an acting company’s dress rehearsal, the six characters demand to have their stories written and begin to tell their tales. Agreeing to the scheme, the Director indulges the Characters and invites the actors to play the parts set by them.

  1. Tsukiyama, Gail. (1994). The Samurai’s Garden. New York, NY: St. Martin’s.

Traveling to Japan to convalesce after an attack of tuberculosis, Chinese-born Stephen is caught between two worlds when the Japanese invade his homeland. Homesick, Stephen must learn to move beyond his narrow worldview and experience life. Culture, friendship, and love are explored in this moving coming-of-age novel.

Summer Reading Honorable Mentions

Allende, Isabel. (1991). The House of the Spirits. New York, NY: Knopf.

Andrews, Coleman. (2009). The Country Cooking of Ireland. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle.

Borges, J. L. (1962)  Labyrinths: Selected Stories and Other Writings. New York: Modern Library.

Carey, M. (2006). The Devil You Know. New York, NY: Grand Central.

Cela, C. J. (1992). La Colmena. Alianza.

Chilton, G. (2009). The Curse of the Labrador Duck: My Obsessive Quest to the Edge of Extinction. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

Choi, Annie. (2007). Happy Birthday or Whatever: Track Suits, Kim Chee, and Other Family Disasters. New York, NY: Harper.

Egan, J. (2011). A Visit from the Goon Squad. New York: Anchor.

Ellison, Ralph. (1995). Invisible Man. New York, NY: Vintage.

Gaiman, Neil. (2008). The Graveyard Book. New York, NY: Harper Collins.

Giordano, Paolo. (2010). The Solitude of Prime Numbers. New York, NY: Viking.

Grant, J. (2010). Come, Thou Tortoise. Trebinshun House, England: Old Street Publishing Limited.

Green, Simon (2007). The Man with the Golden Torc. New York: Roc Book.

Harding, P. (2009). Tinkers. New York, New York: Bellvue.

Hawking, S., & Mlodinow, L. (2010) .The Grand Design. New York: Bantam.

Marable, Manning. (2011). Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention. New York: Viking.

Mieville, C. (2009). The City & The City. New York: Ballantine.

Mistral, G. (1976). Lecturas Para Mujeres. Mexico: Editorial Porrua.

Mukherjee, S. (2010). The Emperor of Maladies: A Biography of Cancer. New York, NY: Scribner.

Perez Galdos, B. (1968). Fortunata y Jacinta. Madrid: Librería y Casa Editorial Hernando.

Vargas Llosa, M. (2010). El Sueno del Celta. Doral, FL: Santillana. (By the Winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize for Literature)

Weinberger, E. (Ed.) (1990). The Collected Poems of Octavio Paz: 1957-1987. New York, NY: New Directions Books.


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