Books

Summer Book Recommendations

I’m trying to read at least 50 books this year, but I’m a bit behind schedule with only 22 books so far. I have read some amazing books this summer though. Below are a few that I’ve really enjoyed.

Sleeping Giants
by Sylvain Neuvel

When Rose was a child she discovered a giant hand buried deep underground. Now as an adult, Rose and several others search our planet for the remaining pieces of this sleeping giant in hopes of uncovering the giant’s secrets. The entire novel is told in an interview format. Interestingly, I found the interviewer to be the most intriguing and enigmatic character in the book. It’s a quick read. I devoured this book in one day, and I highly recommend it. It’s the first in a series, and I’m excited to start the second in the series, Waking Gods.

Ninefox Gambit
by Yoon Ha Lee

This is a magnificently crafted military sci-fi novel. Ninefox Gambit is the story of Captain Kel Cheris a member of the hexarchate military. Kel Cheris must live with the consciousness of undead war criminal and brilliant strategist, Shuos Jedao, in order to reclaim a fortress captured by heretics. This novel is full of political intrigue and military strategy. Yoon Ha Lee’s world building is wonderfully detailed. The world itself is unique and complex. This book is also the first in a series. The second book, Raven Stratagem, was released in June.

The Golem and the Jinni
by Helene Wecker

This is a wonderfully written historical fantasy novel that tells the story of a newly created golem and a jinni. The jinni has recently been freed from an oil flask after a thousand years of imprisonment, though he has no memories of how he was imprisoned and why most of his powers have disappeared. The golem and the jinni form an unlikely friendship while they both deal with surviving in 19th century New York City. If you enjoy rich historical fiction, this book is perfect for you.
Mr. Splitfoot
by Samantha Hunt

A modern ghost story told with two timelines that ultimately merge. Cora, a woman who finds herself in an unhappy relationship, a dead-end job, and an unwanted pregnancy, decides to follow her silent Aunt Ruth across the country on foot on a mysterious journey Ruth insists upon. Neither the reader nor Cora knows where they are going. In alternating chapters, the novel also shows Ruth as a child and then a teenager, from her life as an orphan growing up in a religious cult to her work as a phony medium with a con artist. The novel is haunting and leaves you wondering what was real and what wasn’t.
The Lonely Hearts Hotel
by Heather O’Neill

I started to read this novel because I had read that it was similar to The Night Circus, but I didn’t find many similarities between the two. That’s not to say The Lonely Hearts Hotel isn’t a brilliant novel. It’s the story of two orphans, Rose and Pierrot, in Montreal in the early 1900s. The novel follows Rose and Pierrot’s lives as they grow up in an orphanage and eventually leave, going on to lead tragic and extraordinary lives. Both characters encounter a lot of hardships as they struggle to find one another again. This novel is written with such a distinct, unusual style. If you love beautifully written literary fiction with quirky characters, this novel is for you. (Warning: This novel contains depictions of sexual abuse.)