What I’m Reading this Summer

Since I’ve been taking a break from writing as I enter the last phases of wedding planning, I have had more time to read. As writers, we know that reading is just as important as writing. You must immerse yourself in the world of letters much like you must immerse yourself in the WORLD to be a writer. That’s why this week, I thought I’d share with you some of the books that have been on my bookshelf this summer!

A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza
I have referenced this book in a previous blog post. But, I have to say it once again. This book is truly masterful. The prose, imagery and the way Fatima Farheen Mirza weaves together the lives of her characters is just superb. She is also a great example of how small moments strung together create a memorable story.

A Secret History of Witches by Louisa Morgan
This book first popped up on my radar when I was in Portland early this spring wandering through the stacks at Powell’s City of Books. My hand paused over this one, but I didn’t follow through with the purchase. Back in KC at Barnes and Nobles, I came across it again. I didn’t pick it up there either. I finally ordered the ebook this summer and, as soon as I read the first few pages, I knew I had made the right choice in reading it. I love stories about witches, particularly familial histories. This book follows an entire line of witches in a family and shows the ebbs and flows of their lives and their power. This was a great read and I highly recommend it.

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (anything Kristoff writes I devour)
I was super excited when this new series came out. I had not read anything from Amie Kaufman before (I know she and Kristoff have another series together, but at this point, I had not read it yet). But, I know how much I love Kristoff’s work, so I snapped this up as fast as possible and it certainly didn’t disappoint. A little bit sci-fi, a little bit fantasy, I really enjoyed this read and appreciated the fun characters Kristoff and Kaufman created. Can’t wait for the next installment!

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
I’ve been looking for books to read that feature LGBTQ characters and a quick Google search led me to this book. The main character seems to be asexual and one of her friends is a trans man. As a cisgendered heterosexual woman, the idea of writing a story about a woman who may or may not have been a lesbian (in the way we construct understanding of such things. Because, to be honest, the way things worked in Ancient Greece were quite different than they work in society today) may not be exciting to people who actually come from the LGBTQ population. But, I am dedicated to researching and doing it in a way that is thoughtful, kind and appreciative.

I must say, I enjoyed this book for much more than just being an example of how to write characters who represent different experiences than I have personally. It was a fun YA read and a very creative concept. I really enjoyed the story and would read more in the series.

I’ll Be Your Blue Sky by Marisa De Los Santos
Marisa De Los Santos is a poet and novelist and it truly shows in her prose. I’ve been devouring her books since I discovered her first book at Barnes and Nobles several years ago. Any time I see a new one by her, I snag it. I’m still in the middle of this one. But, I am certainly enjoying it.

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White
Given my Gothic literature roots, I can’t ever pass up the opportunity to read someone’s new take on the classics: Frankenstein, Dracula. You name it, I’ll read it. The modern version of Gothic literature is heavily concentrated in horror. Because of this, I typically don’t end up liking the modern takes on the genre. But, this book did a great job of being suspenseful without being overly gory. I also appreciated the author’s take on Elizabeth. She gives the character agency and she’s pretty conniving herself.

The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker
As you know, my next project is inspired by Ancient Greece and Sappho. Luckily, there is a new vein/sub-genre that is popular right now featuring stories similar to what I want to produce. Earlier this year, I read a book called The Song of Achilles which told the story of Achilles and the Trojan War from the perspective of Patroclus. This is that same story, but told from the perspective of Briseis, the woman who is awarded as a “prize” to Achilles by Agamemnon.

Upcoming Book Releases I am excited for

Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff
I told you I read everything Jay Kristoff writes. I LOVED the GodsGrave series. Kristoff’s writing is masterful and beautiful and gross all at once. One of my favorite things about him which I discovered in the Lotus Wars series is his ability to beautifully describe something ugly or disgusting. It’s a cool gift he has been given. Plus, his characters and his storytelling are just the best

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
You remember The Night Circus, right? Everyone remembers The Night Circus. It’s probably one of my favorite books of all time. Like everyone else, I’ve been dying to read something new from Erin Morgenstern and finally we will receive another gift from her beautiful imagination on Nov. 5! I’m planning to save this beauty for the very long plane ride when my soon-to-be husband and I take off for our honeymoon this winter!