Beginning June 2015, Julieverse will host an exciting new series: Julieverse Reads. Every other Tuesday, I’ll welcome a book lover: an author, reader, blogger, publicist or marketer, who has submitted a themed book list to Julieverse. Upcoming lists include Favorite Novels Set During World War II, Books Sure to Pull at Your Heartstrings, and A Modern Comic Author’s Favorite Books.
Hey super readers! Thanks for stopping by Julieverse, where I share lifestyle tips for enjoying life with a heavy focus on ways to make life more simple as a mom. Be sure to subscribe to Julieverse by email, follow me on Pinterest and like the Facebook Page so you don’t miss any updates, including my upcoming book lists. While you’re here, check out Jamie’s book club list (82 books!).
To kick off the series, I’m sharing my Summer 2015 reading list as well as some recent books I’ve read and enjoyed. (All titles are affiliate links to purchase the books through Amazon.)
The Julieverse Summer 2015 Reading List
Best Kept Secret
The Hypnotist’s Love Story: A Novel
The Silent Sister
Keep the Ends Loose
An Untamed State
Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania
The Boston Girl: A Novel
Julie’s recent notable books
I find it hard to believe that I haven’t created a reading list since last summer. I found that during the past year, I’ve lost myself in books nearly every evening, often stealing time for chapters during the day. I’ve read a strong variety of books in the past year and am sharing only the books that I’ve found worth recommending.
The Circle This book had been on my reading list for quite some time, and I finally made the time to read it this winter. It will make you see digital media differently. A true foreshadow of what was yet to come, the book was published in 2013. Reading it now, just as Periscope and Meerkat awake on the Social Horizon, will open your eyes to possibilities, and, perhaps, turn you away from a path you may have taken. You’ll join Mae Holland as she enters workplace similar to Google or Yahoo, and soon becomes entwined in demands of her job, as they take over her life.
If you read this for book club, be your group will be lead to a fascinating discussion about sharing, over-sharing, ethics and privacy.
The House Girl A novel set in two time periods (modern and Civil War era), this book follows the path of a slave girl (Josephine) set on escaping to freedom and a lawyer (Lina), researching Civil War descendants for a special case for her firm. As points of view change through the time periods, the reader will learn about the lives, emotions and struggles of both characters, reaching for their own sense of freedom.
If you read this with your book club, you’ll discuss slavery, the rights of descendants (which is a fascinating discussion), as well as reflect choices of modern women.
Station Eleven I’m not usually a Dystopian fiction fan. Knowing that, Colleen still recommended Station Eleven as one of my winter reads. Set in the beginning of the collapse of civilization and following characters through decades to reorganize, readers follow the journey of a group of actors through cult-like towns and villages as the world works to rebuild society. The story also flashes back to times before and during the collapse, watching over lives of barely connected character. As with so many novels with multiple stories, readers yearn to see the character’s plots entwine over time.
If you read this with your book club, expect to discuss personalities, personal drive and many what-would-you-do scenarios.
The Secret Life of Violet Grant Beatriz Williams’ novel became my favorite book of the 2014, and it was definitely the most-discussed book during our book club last fall. Vivian Schuylar is a recent Bryn Mawr graduate in the 1960s, ready to take on the New York journalism world, much to her high society mother’s disappointment. While scoping out the perfect story, she comes upon a discovery that will take her back 50 years to trace the footsteps of her long-lost aunt, Violet Grant. Another read that travels through time, chapter to chapter (are you noticing a theme here? I love this type of book), this was a page-turning read with surprises in both the 1960s story and the 1914 story.
Protagonist Vivian Schuylar has become the favorite character I’ve read, and it took me some time to determine why. Her spunk, her free-spirit, her fresh beauty with words is written very similar to one of my favorite television characters, Veronica Mars.
Also, note that many of Ms. Williams books connect the Schuyler/Grant/Dane families. While this is still my favorite, fall in love with the family and know you can keep reading more. The author has shared that her books to be released in Fall 2015 (which I read as an early-release and loved) and Spring 2016 focus on Vivian’s sisters.
If you read this with your book club (and you should, it’s perfect for a summer pick), you’ll discuss famous scientists of the first World War era, life-changing decisions, and the twists and turns of the story.
Calling Me Home On Goodreads, I gave this book a one-word review: beautiful. And it was. A truly amazing debut novel, this is a story spanning, once again, two time periods: this time modern times and America’s civil rights era. With exceptionally developed characters, readers are captured by a story that they won’t put down. Follow the friendship of two unlikely friends as they road trip from Arlington, Texas to Cincinnati, Ohio, and become lost in the stories of modern relationship struggles, as well as a captivating interracial relationship that turned heads in some of most difficult circumstances.
If you’re reading it for book club, your book club will thank you for this find that discusses interracial relationships, friendships, bonds and inspiration. Also look to discuss how we find our own paths.
Thousand Dollar Tan Line For fans who just couldn’t get enough of Veronica Mars and miss the show tremendously, I have to recommend Rob Thomas’ novel. The story picks up where the movie left off, and doesn’t miss a beat. Expect everything you got from the show — the spunk, the sass, the mystery, the twists and turns.
My Goodreads review:
… I needed a book that I couldn’t put down to restore my faith that reading is enjoyable and that, yes, even at 40, I still can get lost in a book. I turned to my hero, Veronica Mars, to prove that, and she did. The book picks up just after the movie left off and you’ll read the voices, thoughts and imagery as if you’re watching another episode. Just as enjoyable.
Not necessarily a book club pick, but don’t miss this if you’re missing Veronica.
How to publish a book list on Julieverse
Julieverse and JMP Media is currently accepting book list article submissions for the Julieverse Reads series. Click here for more information.
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