Who doesn’t love summer? Vacations, beaches, watermelon, long nights and languid mornings. For me summer is all about books: new hardbacks, sandy paperbacks, ebooks and audiobooks in all shapes and sizes.
During my recent vacation I read “Under the Harrow” by Flynn Berry, a British physiological thriller that was entertaining if you liked “The Girl on the Train” but nowhere near as complex. I also finished a book I highly recommend – “Smoke, A Novel” by Dan Vyleta. It was like a Harry Potter for grown- ups with a Dickensonian feel to it. I think this might be one of favorite books of the year. I adore the premise. Set in what one assumes is 19th century England but in an alternate history. Don’t dismiss this as scifi (which I do love) because it is not. In it the human race “smoke” – that is if they feel any “impure” emotion, i.e. anger, desire, greed, smoke emits from them leaving behind a residue of ash. The upper classes have learned to control their “smoke” and wear bright white shirts to show their purity. London, on the other hand, is encrusted in layers of soot thanks to the base underclass who are always emitting smoke. It reminds me a little of Lev Grossman’s “The Magicians”. I also started “The Girls” by Emma Cline a novel about a woman reflecting back on her time in a 60’s Manson like cult. Terrible description, I know, but really quite good.
Now that I’m back and busier I find listening to books is easier because I can do it on the go and have multiple books going at once. In my car I am listening “The Fifth Wave” by Rick Yancey, the first book in a YA dystopian series about survival after a multi-tiered alien invasion of earth. At home I am listening to “Fates and Furies” by Lauren Groff a quirky love story. I checked this out because I really enjoyed her first book “The Monsters of Templeton”. She is a masterful writer with great character development. With our new app, hoopladigital, I have downloaded “The Husband’s Secret” by Liane Moriarty on my phone. (I know. I know. I’m a little slow on the uptake as am at least 2 books behind with this author). I love the Australian actress who reads the book and listen to it on my daily dog walks. Hoopladigital is an online library of over 400,000 eBooks, audiobooks, TV shows and movies with NO holds. Immediate downloads to your digital device or streaming. I love it! Your Upper Dublin Library card entitles to up to 7 titles a month. I usually only get through 1-2. Shameless plug over. In preparation for some poolside time this weekend I checked out “The Miniaturist” by Jessie Burton on Playaway. What is a Playaway you ask? Well, it’s a nifty, (Did I really just use “nifty”?!) device smaller than a deck of cards that is preloaded with an audio book. Best thing is that it keeps your place in the audiobook. You can listen directly with ear buds or use an AUX cable in your car. Sorry, 2nd shameless library plug. Enough blogging – I have listening to do!