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What I Read This Summer

Summer’s supposed to be a great time to kick back and read a book.  I brought seven books with me when I went to the beach for a week, but only managed to finish two.  So I might’ve overestimated my ability to read fast…just a little bit.

That said, I did manage to read a lot of books over the course of the summer.  Most were very good; some, not so much.  If you’re looking for any recommendations on what to read next, here are some of my thoughts on a few of the titles that I read:

The Heroes of Olympus, by Rick Riordan

I loved the Percy Jackson books, but my life became busy with work and graduate school when Rick Riordan started the follow-up series, Heroes of Olympus.  This summer, I finally put aside everything else on my reading list and devoted time to finishing all five books.  To be completely honest, I prefer the first-person narration of Percy.  But there’s plenty to love about the sequels: a good story with fun, modern interpretations on Greek mythology, and a wonderful, multicultural group of heroes.  Riordan’s books are perfect for kids and teens and they’re a nice introduction into different ancient mythologies.

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World, by Vicki Myron

This is a true story about a library in Iowa that adopted a kitten after they found him abandoned in their book drop on a freezing morning in January.  He had a special relationship with every person he met and became so loved that families from halfway across the country would come out to meet him!  The book has many sweet, funny stories about his antics, while Myron also writes about her life before Dewey and how he changed it.  It’s a perfect book for cat lovers!

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, by Jack Thorne, J.K. Rowling, and John Tiffany (SPOILERS AHEAD!)

Yes, it’s a script, so it doesn’t read like a Harry Potter book should.  Yes, those plot twists you heard about on the Internet really happened.  Yes, Draco Malfoy’s son, Scorpius, is the greatest addition to the Harry Potter universe since the theme park opened.

My biggest problem with the story was the lack of other characters from Hogwarts: The Next Generation.  We get to follow the lives of Albus Severus Potter and Scorpius, but barely see any of Albus’ brother and sister, Teddy Lupin, or Rose Granger-Weasley.  Otherwise…yes, the plot’s silly, but I was so happy to be back in Harry’s world that I didn’t mind that much.  It didn’t destroy my childhood and I don’t regret reading it.

Confessions of a Teen Sleuth, by Chelsea Cain

According to this satire, Nancy Drew was a real person whose life story was stolen by a bitter roommate named Carolyn Keene.  As she reaches the end of her life, she decides to tell the world what her adventures were really like.  I loved reading the Nancy Drew series while growing up and still play some of the computer adventure games.  Chelsea Cain does an excellent job of recreating the writing style and illustrations from the original series.  Some parts are pretty funny, i.e. Encyclopedia Brown demanding that the people around them guess how he figured something out every time he solves a mystery.  But I guess it just wasn’t for me because I didn’t laugh very much throughout.

The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances, by Matthew Inman

I chose to read this book because I enjoy some of the comics from The Oatmeal and I recently started running myself.  Although I couldn’t relate to all of Inman’s experiences, I loved reading about them.  It’s very funny and even has some interesting side facts about how our bodies work and why we should run like crazy if we ever see a Japanese hornet.  Those who like to run and train for marathons will probably love it!

What did you read this summer?  We at the West Chester Public Library would love to hear about it!

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