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Summer Reads

 
Summer Reading

 

For many of us, summer is our vacation time, time away from the hustle and bustle, time to relax, time to dig in to that TBR stack (To Be Read, for those who don't have one piled three miles high) and read all the delicious books we've just been itching to devour. To help you choose some great reads this summer, we asked our Mast family what they will be reading and shared that with you here. Whether you're looking for a steamy escape, an engrossing whodunit, or a thought-provoking nonfiction piece, our recommendations offer a little something for everyone. So, take a gander at what we're reading, and maybe you'll find something to add to your own TBR pile this summer! 

Suzanne from the Home Office recommends Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston, calling it, “a personal account of a dark time in our country.” Suzanne adds that it’s also a favorite of hers because “the author preserves Kazoola's natural speech patterns as well as his story.  The ‘parables’ he tells will be interesting to anyone who enjoys regional storytelling.” Sounds good to us! We love regional storytelling.

Down at the Asheville store, Sam suggests getting your reader claws into The Wright Brothers by David McCullough. Sam said, “If you're looking for an inspiring story, then this biography of the Wright Brothers is sure to get the job done. McCullough's deep research and novel-like prose make for a read that is just as informative as it is entertaining. What stands out to me especially is McCullough's fabulous skill at bringing every person in the story to life, from the Wright family and their friends in Dayton, Ohio, to the denizens of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, where the brothers began their journey to the sky. In my own experience, it has been easy to take for granted all of what the Wright Brothers accomplished. After reading this book, it is now clear to me that their story is one of the most extraordinary in American history.” With roots right here in our home state, this book will be sure to please the history buffs among us.  

Amber at our Knoxville location shared her pick for a summer read, Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson. Amber recommended this one because she loves the author’s first book Let’s Pretend This Never Happened! Amber notes, “Much like that one, this new one is all about family and mental health. One sentence at a time, it is removing stigma about mental health and teaching us through daily action how to deal in a very comedic and real way. Her real-life stores are amazingly interesting and humorous. This one and her other book are amazing!”  

Mandy from Greenville said she recommends White Oleander by Janet Fitch because “it's a great read about a woman who ends up in prison, leaving her adolescent daughter in the foster care system. This book chronicles her different experiences from foster home to foster home, the people she builds relationships with along the way up until her release from the system. If you've seen the movie, the book is much better.” Isn't the book always better? Okay, almost always. : )

Over in Waynesville, Joey shared his pick that is a popular series with many, Harry Potter by JK Rowling.  Joey says, “It is great for the whole family!  My 6-year-old son and I are trying to read the whole series together over the summer!” We love it too! 

Sandy from Asheville offered her suggestion for a serious summer read, Angela Davis: An Autobiography. Sandy notes, “I recommend the autobiography of Angela Davis because everything I have read of hers has added to my understanding of the world and our history, has challenged my thinking, and has given me the opportunity to read the thoughts of a person who has led a life quite different from my own.” And that’s what reading often offers us, a glimpse into other worlds and lives, an opportunity to share that lens for a while and come away changed.  

Sandy also offered up this favorite, The Animals: Love Letters of Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy complied by Katherine Bucknell.  Sandy shares her sentiments behind her recommendation: "These two had a 3o+ year romance, and their letters are such an interesting log of a relationship! I admire Isherwood's play (and film) "Cabaret" and loved getting to know him better through these letters. Maybe you will, too." 

Down in Columbia, Dave brings us his choice for this summer in the Song of the Lion by Anne Hillerman. He says, “The crime novel takes place on an Indian reservation and has a good deal of folklore spun into the story. Anne Hillerman is the daughter of the author Tony Hillerman who wrote several novels himself. His daughter is carrying on the tradition. This is an easy summer read that you may enjoy.” 

Kim, Knoxville, sent in her recommendation of Hygee by Meik Wiking. She touted that it “gives you a different view of life, inspiring you to change your lifestyle in a simple way. Doing things that have a purpose and an impact. Taking the time to really enjoy the little things in life.” We could all stand to do a little more of that. 

Back at the Home Office, Sheri gave her suggestion, The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga of the Donner Party by Daniel James Brown. I talked to her about this selection, and she wants to be sure to note that some readers may be disturbed by it, so be sure it's a read for you. Here's what she had to say about it: "While I would not call this light reading, I couldn't put the book down. It is a tragic story but also reveals how determined those adventurous souls were who heeded the call for western expansion. The author shares the story through the eyes of a young bride as she, her family, and her new husband leave their home for the unknown. Not only was the Donner Party deceived with the "shortcut" to California, they encountered record snowfall and cold temperatures. Exhaustive research provides more background into what was happening around the country during this point in history, information on organized search parties and their challenges, and what happened once the survivors made it to California. I will read it again."   

We hope you found something to whet your reading appetite. Have a great summer. Happy Reading!