Sunday, July 24, 2011

summer reading

Hold up. Is there actually a post of educational value on Gingersnaps? Is some form of intelligence beyond my insignificant fashion musings and insatiable food-lust slipping through the "New Post" cracks? Perhaps, but it's only a minor glimpse of my nerdy nature; I've showed a lot restraint here in blog land. I wanted to post about a few of the fantastic books I have read (or re-read) lately that made me quite happy. I'm not going all classic lit on you; here you'll find only modern, easy reads that are perfect for the quickly waning summer. A friend was recently searching for some new, fun books, and these are a few of the winners that came to mind. If you have any beloved books to suggest, please leave a comment and let me know!

This is one of my absolute favorite books that I am actually re-reading right now. It is a story told from the perspective of an unusually smart, interesting and quirky nine year old boy who goes on an adventure throughout NYC following a clue left by his father before his death on September 11th. This book is highly entertaining, unique and interesting, and I highly recommend it.

The Glass Castle is an autobiography told by a woman looking back at her tumultuous and unorthodox childhood. Growing up in a family of often homeless nomads, and loosely "parented" by a mother and father whose mental illness becomes more apparent throughout her lifetime, has made this story truly unforgettable. My favorite part, however, is that Walls never seems to seek pity or condolences; instead she tells the story with a matter-of-fact humor that makes even the darkest points brightly entertaining.

I cannot rave enough about The Hunger Games. This book, the first in an amazing trilogy, captivated me from cover to cover. I started the book with some hesitation, as it was intended for the Young Adult crowd, but quickly found myself staying up until nearly 3am with pounding pulse to finish it in just over a day. The story is set in a post-modern society where the United States is obsolete, and a tyrannical dictatorship has taken its place, sacrificing innocent children in a cruel Capital-pleasing game. I want to give away nothing about this plot line, because it was absolutely wonderful to devour it blindly. The second and third books are also fantastic, but nothing compares to the first.
Following a disastrously failed marriage and the loss of his father, the dark and defeated main character, Judd, travels home for the funeral. He finds himself stuck in a house full of family that has clearly not seen eye-to-eye in many years for a full week of mourning. Judd's life is clearly at an all-time low, but his dark and witty sarcasm makes the story an entertaining and intriguing read. This book is definitely the dark and twisty black sheep of the bunch, but it was hilarious, extremely well-written, and worth reading.
If you love dogs, this book is for you.  If you love or have loved one very special dog, you will likely never forget this story. I know that I will remember it forever. I mean come on, there's a Golden Retriever on the cover; if you know me, you know my fondness for this beloved breed. The story is narrated entirely by a dog named Enzo, as he goes through life's twists and turns with his owner and their ever-changing family. It did make me cry... a lot. But I am also worryingly obsessed with dogs, especially if they look like that little sweetheart above.

This book provides the pure comic relief to round out the bunch. It is not an intelligent read, it is in no way profound, and you will gain nothing from it's pages but pure laugh-out-loud humor. When I first read the book in college, my roommate knocked on my door to ask what the heck I was laughing so hard at in a quiet room by myself. Chelsea has written several books, the others of which are just OK (in my opinion), but My Horizontal Life is hands down the best of them.


  1. The last one seams very interesting :D



  2. i love this post! the best part about it is that it was so unexpected...and the fact that every book you mentioned sounds so good! i've already read and loved hunger games, glass castle, and my horizontal life, but i am currently on B& and about to buy "everything is illuminated." thanks jordan!

  3. Well I'm glad you liked it! But just an FYI that Everything is Illuminated is by the same author as Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, but I have never read the first one. I plan to though in the very near future. Can only speak for the 2nd one though.

  4. Thanks for all the suggestions. Hunger Games has been on my To Read list for a long time... maybe I'll finally swing by the store and pick it up today!