Summer Reads

Image courtesy of Lauren D’Ambra.

By Lauren D’Ambra, Jade Glaister, and McKenna Larson

Now that the academic year is coming to an end and Mines students will finally have some free time, it’s a great opportunity to start picking up things that aren’t homework. While that Nature & Human Values textbook is fascinating, in case you want something else to read, our staff put together a few reading recommendations for the summer.

Confessions of a Crap Artist by Philip K Dick (fiction)

This is PKD’s only non-science fiction book, and it is one of my favorites from him. It’s a story about a drama filled family trying to deal with each other all through the lens of one man who sees the world differently from everyone around him. This book is funny at times, disturbing at others, and just a fun way to escape for a few hours. 

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (fantasy romance) 

Okay, just about everyone and their grandma has heard of this series by now, but it is one of my favorites and got me out of a reading slump. If you’ve been missing the fantasy books you read as a teen this is the series for you. A compelling fiery heroine, fun faery world building, and really the first book is just the tip of the iceberg. This series is a great one to get lost in and recover from burnout with some classic romance tropes in a new setting.

The Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony (memoir, conservation) 

This is the story of a man and his wife buying the Thula Thula reserve in South Africa and taking on the responsibility of housing a group of elephants that were deemed too troublesome by their previous reserve. This book is very heartwarming, shows the struggles of conservation, and demonstrates both the good and bad sides of humanity as the fight against poaching threatens animals daily. The stories about these elephants and other animals on the reserve really makes you think about how animals communicate and just how intelligent and sensitive they can be. There are sad moments, no book about animals could be without them, but the story is so compelling and ultimately gave me some hope for the future of conservation. 

Haunted Castles: The Complete Gothic Tales by Ray Russell (horror, short stories) 

Gothic Horror is typically a genre from the 1800’s, but this 1980’s showcase from Ray Russell has all the drama of old horror without the dry language. Each story is impossible to stop reading until you get to the final dramatic twist of the knife at the end. I would recommend this book so highly to any fan of stories that go bump in the night. 

The Impossible Imposter by Deanna Raybourn

I have literally had this on my TBR list since it came out back in February, but it’s been so popular I haven’t been able to get my hands on it yet! This is the seventh book in the Veronica Speedwell series. Set in London, England during the Victorian era, Veronica and her rough looking associate, Stoker, solve mysteries, uncover secrets, and hinder despicable plots all while acting as caretakers to an ancient museum. The plot of this novel centers around a case of amnesia in a long lost noble and a shadowy figure from Veronica’s past who threatens to upheave her life. The whole series is absolutely fantastic and all of the books will keep you on the edge of your seat. If you love a good Victorian era mystery, this is definitely the series for you! Here’s hoping my hold from the library turns up soon!

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

I actually read this book about this time last year, and it was a big comfort to me with everything going on in the world, which is why I’m looking forward to rereading it as the school year begins to wind down. In Five Years starts with the main character, Dannie Kohan, feeling like she’s on top of the world. Dannie lives in New York City, has just earned a position at her dream law firm, and has just been proposed to by her long time boyfriend. Dannie goes to bed that night perfectly happy, but when she wakes up she’s in a completely different apartment with a different ring on her finger with a different man. She spends one hour five years in the future before waking up back in her own home. She tries to shake the dream, but can’t, and spends the next five years with her vision of the future hanging over her. This book is definitely an emotional read, I’d be lying by saying I didn’t cry a little, but it has a beautiful and important take home message: you can’t let your fear of the future stop you from living fully in the present. 

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab

I read this book during a snow day last year and have not stopped thinking about it since then. It’s simply a very beautiful book full of emotion, painting every scene perfectly. This book follows the life of Addie LaRue, who was so afraid of being trapped that she made a deal with the devil, making her immortal but causing everyone she meets to immediately forget her. Her story begins in France in 1714 and you get to read about her experiences as a bug on the wall through many historical events. Her entire life changes when, in present day, she meets someone who remembers her. With curses, history, troubled love, and incredible themes, it’s’ impossible not to love this book.

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