End-of-Summer Update

Hello, friends!

The end of summer is upon us–I know this because we’ve wrapped up our summer programming at work and will soon recategorize the summer reading books as they will henceforth be known: books. As such, I must also update you on my summer reading goals! My lofty prospects dwindled significantly after I started my wonderful new job as a children’s librarian, but I still got some reading done. I also read a bunch of books that weren’t part of my original plan, so I tacked them onto the end. Here’s my list, updated:

Maddie’s Summer Reading List

  1. In a Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
  2. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
  3. It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
  4. The Mothers by Brit Bennett
  5. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
  6. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  7. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
  8. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  9. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
  10. Final Girl by Riley Sager
  11. One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
  12. Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray
  13. Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay
  14. Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
  15. Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane
  16. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
  17. The Fact of a Body by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich
  18. Aftercare Instructions by Bonnie Pipkin
  19. The Archived by Victoria Schwab
  20. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
  21. Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova
  22. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  23. Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera
  24. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
  25. Who Could That Be At This Hour? by Lemony Snicket
  26. March #3 by John Lewis
  27. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  28. Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
  29. Inivisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching by Mychal Denzel-Smith
  30. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  31. Gemina by Amie Kaufman
  32. The Girls by Emma Cline
  33. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
  34. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
  35. Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
  36. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
  37. The Nest by Kenneth Oppel
  38. The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
  39. Thornhill by Pam Smy
  40. Compass South by Hope Larson
  41. Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

Now, I’d like to talk about some of my favorites (and least favorites). I have relatively thorough reviews of everything I read up on Goodreads, so I’ll only be touching upon the most remarkable ones here (aside from Dumplin‘, which I liked so much I gave it it’s own blog post!)

Let’s start with the good: I read a ton of wonderfully scary children’s books this summer! My girlfriend brought Anna Dressed in Black home from work for me (she’s also a youth services librarian) because she thought the description sounded right up my alley. She was correct! I’m obsessed with books about ghosts and haunted houses, and this book reminded me of the most delightful episodes of the CW’s Supernatural before it started to unequivocally suck. Another delightfully creepy read was The Nest, which I picked up while hunting for a good October book club pick. Despite being written for children, it was honestly one of the most terrifying books I’d ever read, which was very exciting and unexpected. This is also why I read The Screaming Staircase, which, while not as surprising as The Nest or as delightful as Anna, was still a very fun and spooky quick read. My favorite scary book, though, had to be Thornhill, which I just finished this week. The story, told through alternating images and diary entries, is elegant and haunting, and the simplicity of the narrative only serves to underscore that. Pam Smy is an incredible illustrator, and she had a talent for building dread across pages of wordless art.

I also managed to read some contemporary YA, as well! When Dimple Met Rishi and Bone Gap were both wonderful books I very much enjoyed. While totally different in tone and subject matter, both demonstrate that YA can be artful, intense, and groundbreaking.

Now, for the titles that left me wanting: First and foremost, I didn’t get very far into Shiver or Truly Madly Guilty. I found both to be cringe-worthy within the first one hundred pages and decided, “hey, life is too short to read books I don’t enjoy.” that’s one of the perks of being finished with school, after all. I managed to finish In a Dark Dark Wood and It Ends With Us but kind of wish I hadn’t wasted my time; both were predictable, boring, and badly written. While I am glad that I made it all the way through Hillbilly Elegy because it became something of a phenomenon earlier this year, I found it frustrating and thinly researched. The author used quite a bit of anecdotal evidence and, though he promised to do so, backed very little up with facts or other supporting evidence beyond his own feelings.

Moving forward into the fall, I do have some goals! I’d love to write more about my experiences as a fledgling librarian and the many things I’m doing and learning at this awesome library where I’m lucky enough to work. I’d also really like to write (or record) a full review of the Throne of Glass series once I’ve finished all the books. I might even get Kelsey in on that–we’re reading them together.

I hope everyone enjoys whatever summer they have left! Stay tuned!


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