It’s been summer for almost three weeks now… at least according to the solstice. Ottawa and many other cities are not experiencing much traditional summer weather, however.
Although our weather may not be cooperating with summer bucket lists filled with patio-sitting, drink-sipping, and general outdoor-fun-having, it does leave lots of room for one of my favourite summer activities, bocce ball. No, wait – reading. Of course, reading!
Although some may think of curling up with a good book as going hand-in-hand with inclement weather, I enjoy few things more than taking my love of books to a nearby park with a small picnic and posting up for the afternoon. You can achieve so many things at once: getting a healthy dose of vitamin D (while using appropriate sun protection, of course), people watching, eating summer produce, and crossing books off your to-read list. If you’re lucky you may even meet a fellow book lover. And by meet I mean check out what they’re reading and if you approve exchanging knowing smiles. Now that’s what I call a productive day.
So all this begs the question – what are we reading this summer? Well I asked the experts – the ladies of the UBC – and they responded with a vengeance! Of course, regular readers of our blog may know that we’ve already read Kristy’s pick, Me Before You (June) and are just now starting Sian’s farewell pick, Lolita (July). Some of us may be past our school days, but summer months go hand in hand with (finally!) getting to read whatever you want, and in that spirit we bring you the UBC’s Summer Reading List.
The Lost Girls by Jennifer Baggett, Holly Corbett, and Amanda Pressner
Goodreads Rating: 3.67
With a tag line that reads “Three Friends. Four Continents. One Unconventional Detour Around the World.” how can you not want to find out what adventures unfold?
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
Goodreads Rating: 4.00
This book has been featured in Julia’s post on books she can’t wait to read. If an endorsement by our president doesn’t convince you – I don’t know what will!
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
Goodreads Rating: 3.96
As the COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg knows a thing or two about women in leadership. This book is on my shelf waiting to be picked up, and as an all-female book club this is a great suggestion! If non-fiction isn’t your thing, you may want to check out her TED Talk on “Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders”.
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
Goodreads Rating: 3.90
This New York Times Bestseller is being re-read by one of our UBC members. It’s that good!
After reading Gone Girl in May, some of our members caught the GF bug! If you like a good mystery, pick up Flynn’s other novels.
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
Goodreads Rating: 4.14
Hosseini is a favourite author of many UBC members, including yours truly. And with titles like The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns to his name you know this book will not disappoint.
Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
Goodreads Rating: 3.96
One of our three main passions (along with books and wine) is food, so naturally this hilarious book by bad-boy celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain makes the list. This book goes behind the scenes when rock-star lifestyle meets food!
Winter of the World (Century Trilogy) by Ken Follett
Goodreads Rating: 4.22
Finally, the author that I come back to over and over again for epic historical fictions – Ken Follett and the second novel in his newest trilogy. You may know Follett from his mystery writing career or from the classics Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, but do yourself a favour and start the Century Trilogy before the third installment comes out in 2014 (the first is Fall of Giants).
One of the things that makes the UBC so amazing is how different all our tastes and styles are – and that’s pretty clearly exemplified by this list! As readers ranging from occasional/social to voracious it’s always fun to be introduced to titles and authors (not to mention genres) that you may not have ever considered before. So, if you’re looking to expand your literary horizons this summer, I’d encourage you to pick up one of these above extra-curricular UBC picks!
Tell us what you’re reading this summer in the comments – we’d love to hear from you!
Special thanks to all the UBC ladies who jumped at the chance to tell me what you’re reading. I’ll be looking into quite a few of these titles in the near future.