An Eclectic Summer Reading List


I love to sit on my porch and read in the summer. As a kid I could not wait for school to be out for the summer, so I could read what I wanted to read instead of what was required. I would spend every rainy day curled up with a book. I spent most summer nights reading until I fell asleep with the book in my hands.
I still fall asleep with my book in my hands sometimes, and I don’t get to curl up and read as much as I would like to anymore, but summer is still made for reading. I put together a list of some of my favorite books. Some have been featured in my Year of Women’s Voices Series, some were published a while ago, and some are new. It is a pretty eclectic list, and if you are looking for something to read I hope you find something here.

Intense and Sexy Reads

By Fiona Zedde
Broken in Soft Places
Dangerous Pleasures
Every Dark Desire
Desire at Dawn
For more about Fiona here is the link to my review of  Fiona’s books .

By Megan Hart
Tear You Apart
Everything Changes
Ride with the Devil
Out of the Dark
Lovely Wild
Precious Fragile Things
All Fall Down
For more about Megan here is the link to my interview with Megan .

By Tiffany Reisz
The Siren, and the rest of the series. Beware, this book is the beginning of an eight book series, don’t say I did not warn you.

The Headmaster
Seven Day Loan
The Mistress Files
Submit to Desire
The Last Good Knight (Serial Novel)


Memoir: if you only read one memoir this summer, make it one of these two:

Just Kids by Patti Smith. Here is the link to my review .
Let’s Pretend this Never Happened by Jenny Lawson. Here is the link to my review .

Science Fiction/ Fantasy/Urban Fantasy

Everything ever written by Octavia Butler, no seriously, and here is a link to my list to get you started .

By Helen Oyeyemi
Boy Snow Bird
White is For Witching
The Icarus Girl

By N. K. Jemisin
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms Here is the link to my review .
The Broken Kingdoms
The Awakened Kingdom  

By Jacqueline Carey
This is another long series (collectively Kushiel’s Legacy) but it is so worth your time. “Love as thou wilt”.
Kushiel’s Dart
Kushiel’s Chosen
Kushiel’s Avatar

Kushiel’s Scion
Kushiel’s Justice
Kushiel’s Mercy

Naamah’s Kiss
Naamah’s Curse
Naamah’s Blessing

By Katherine Dunn
Geek Love  Not for the squeamish, here is the link to my review.

Here is to lazy summer days, reading and summer fun, and an adult beverage or two.


Why I love The Bloggess AKA Jenny Lawson


Hanoi Airport, 2009

This is the second installment in the year of Women’s Voices series and the featured voice belongs to Jenny Lawson aka The Bloggess. Her book Let’s Pretend This Never Happened ( A Mostly True Memoir  is funny, heartbreaking and full of weirdness.  Her memoir is an open discussion of her struggles with depression, distraction, and anxiety. I adored her twisted tales of family, love, death, and taxidermy.

As someone who has had my share of weird adventures that are tragic/comic, reading this book felt like I was a sitting in a bar with an old friend. In our family and in my circle of friends, when things are bleak, we always find something to laugh about, even if we end up crying at the same time. This book is like that. Be warned, some might find her humor and style offensive. If you are at all freaked out by discussions of taxidermy, this is not the book for you.  If you want to sample her writing style before committing to the book, check out her blog here .

As a writer, the lessons of story and craft that I gleaned from this book are:

  1.  Be honest, except when an exaggeration will make better copy.
  2. Swearing is okay if done artfully, and she is a freaking Picasso with curse words. For those of you who know me: she swears more than I do, which is saying a lot!
  3. Do not be afraid to talk about the hard things, for example: exhuming dead pets, losing a baby, and taxidermy puppets.
  4. No matter how weird it gets, it can get weirder, and funnier.
  5. Truth can be funnier than fiction.
As a fiction writer I don’t have any plans to write a memoir, but after reading Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir),  I know that if I did, I would strive to be as funny and as honest as Jenny Lawson.