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Summer Reading

I love hearing about people's summer reading. President Barack Obama's annual list always causes a stir, as does crime-fiction-aficionado-President Bill Clinton's. Celebrities and book people of all kinds have been releasing their lists and I've made some good discoveries recently, though my husband is concerned about the towering TBR pile on my bedside table.

My family and I just returned from a week completely offline (no cell service, no wifi, no electricity) in the Adirondacks. Besides time together, hiking, swimming in ice cold water, and listening to loons as we drift off to sleep, my favorite thing about vacations like this is the hours and hours of reading time. I always try to curate a holiday book stack so that it has some exciting, propulsive plots, some more leisurely character studies, and some meaty non-fiction.

Here's what I read during our vacation (and just before). Each of these books was fantastic in its own unique way. I loved catching up with some of my favorite series characters (Kate Atkinson's Jackson Brodie, Adrian McKinty's Sean Duffy, and Caz Frear's Cat Kinsella). I loved learning more about two important periods of history, the WWII years and 1606, the year William Shakespeare finished King Lear and wrote Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra).

McKinty's new thriller is chilling and plumbs the depths of parental sacrifice and devotion in a way that's still resonating.

I started reading -- but didn't finish -- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone . . . in Irish. (Harry Potter agus an Órchloch.) I'm an Irish language learner and I thought this would be a fun way to improve my skills. It is, but it's slow going, or ag dul go mall.

I loved Sally Rooney's on-again, off-again friends and lovers. Michele Campbell's lovestruck pair kept me guessing until the absolute end of her twisty thriller. I found myself chilled, in the best possible way, by Miciah Bay Gault's debut, a haunting novel about ghosts, family, and overcoming our fears. Brian Panowich's Bull Mountain continues the bloody saga of the Burroughs family in North Georgia.

Finally, I was blown away by Attica Locke's Bluebird Bluebird, the first in her Highway 59 series starring Texas Ranger Darren Matthews. I couldn't stop thinking about this novel and was over the moon to find out that the next Darren Matthews comes out on September 17!

Happy reading, all! What were your favorites from the summer stack?

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