Beat the heat with a good book
By Nina Falcos, Contributor
If you’re a book-lover stricken with the Goldilocks complex (the book has to be just right) but aren’t sure which book should accompany your summer adventures this month, fear not: here are 10 top-notch reads to satisfy your specific literary needs!
For the language lover
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
Towles’ expert skill in weaving this beautiful narrative into a modern masterpiece explores the decadent world of New York in 1938. Following the vibrant Katey Kotent in her quest for social stardom, you cannot help but get caught up in her complicated connection with the object of her desired affection: the compelling Tinker Grey. Page after page, this novel’s words melt like chocolate and concoct an absolutely mouthwatering story.
For the reader looking for 30 seconds of genius: The Line by Paula Bossio
Picture books are not just for kids; they can provide immense satisfaction for those of us in search of inspiration on the go. The Line explores the entire human spectrum of emotion by following a plot filled with playful scenes, monsters, heroes, friends, and boundless creativity.
For the maple-sweet Canadian: The Orenda by Joseph Boyden
This top bestseller navigates the world of pre-confederation Canada with expert narrative skill as we follow the lives of three provoking characters: Snow Falls, a kidnapped Iroquois girl; Bird, her Huron captor and warrior; and Christophe, a seemingly harmless Jesuit missionary. Boyden inserts the reader inside the twisted minds of all three protagonists so smoothly that by the end you have a more intimate knowledge of the inner workings of their minds.
For the poetry and latte connoisseurs: The Hottest Summer in Recorded History by Elizabeth Bachinsky
Douglas College’s own poet laureate, Bachinsky’s spunky humour and tender heart fill the pages of this brilliant collection of poems. From pieces inspired by the Fraser Valley to musings on the awe of being in other poets’ homes, she pulls us into emotional states that linger long after reading her work.
For the wonderfully weird: Self by Yann Martel
This novel explores the original storyline first presented in Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, in which a young writer finds that he is now a she almost overnight. The metamorphosis doesn’t stop our transformer from exploring hundreds of countries, testing countless career shifts, and enduring the most peculiar of relationships and thoughts.
For the light-literature dieters: Love the One You’re With by Emily Giffin
Giffin has a gift for taking characters with ideal lives and turning their worlds upside down, causing them to question every angle of their current version of perfection—and it’s all right there on the surface of the text. If you haven’t already indulged in her two works paired with movie contracts (Something Borrowed and Something Blue), take a whirl with Ellen and Andy in Giffin’s fourth book as a long-lost love, Leo, enters the picture and threatens to destroy a seemingly perfect marriage.
For the child at heart: The Case of the Missing Deed by Ellen Schwartz
If you’re a fan of the magnifying glass mysteries with a twist, Douglas College’s own children’s literature expert has written the summer mystery for you. In this Canadian-bred tale, a grandmother is dangerously close to losing her home to the evils of a mine development because her recently deceased husband has hidden the deed. The grandchildren stumble upon cryptic clues hidden within her famous recipe books, and together must help find the document before it’s too late!
For the sucker for the classics: Vanity Fair by William M. Thackeray
Whether you have already indulged in Victorian literature, or are looking for your first leap, this lighter satire on English and Continental Society during the Napoleonic wars is a fantastically dramatic read. Following the life of the viciously devious Becky Sharp, a quick-witted woman who matches her last name, we follow her scandalous methods of rising to the top of the social hierarchy. Filled with bombastic, life-like, and terribly flawed characters that you cannot help but adore and detest at the same time, experience the rollercoaster held within Thackeray’s exciting work.