Jessica Green is a book addict and library card holder since the age of 3. She’s a librarian at the Ottawa Public Library and currently the Apartment613 Librarian-in-Residence, sharing a compendium of literary thoughts and tips.
Now that summer is on its way, with the weather hopefully changing for the better, everyone starts thinking about patios, beaches and vacations. I love taking along fun books while on vacation, so here are some great reads, all available from the Ottawa Public Library. Some are light and fluffy, others are action packed, and still others are incredibly thought provoking about humans and our effects on the planet. Without further ado, here’s my list for Summer 2015:
- Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
While waiting for the arrival of China Rich Girlfriend, you can always read Crazy Rich Asians, a tale about three super-rich families in Hong Kong and what happens when the heir in one family brings home his American born Chinese girlfriend to the wedding of the season. Hilarious and satisfying.
- A Matter of Breeding by Michael Brandow
This is a very interesting book all about how the quest for so called “purebred” dogs is creating very sick animals. Many of the breeds we know today are creations of the past 200 years (or even less), and all the selective breeding which has gone into accentuating certain characteristics has also caused major health complications for many breeds. Although having purebred pups might make us feel noble, we’re actually causing many of the issues in man’s best friend.
- The Rook by Daniel O’Malley
The sequel, Stiletto, is coming out this year so get yourself ready by reading The Rook, a wild fantasy where your main character, Myfawny, has amnesia and has to uncover the conspiracy in the secret government organisation she works for. The organisation is top secret as they deal with all events supernatural and have agents with particular peculiar skills. Action packed and terribly fun.
- Charlie Glass’s Slippers by Holly McQueen
This is a fractured fairy tale for adults, complete with shoes, evil stepmothers and a happy ending, where we follow the adventures of Charlie Glass, the youngest daughter of a renowned shoe designer, as she inherits the company instead of her older and more glamorous sisters. Charlie decides to give herself a full makeover in order to be ready to run the company, but eventually learns that she already has everything she needs to succeed in life and love.
- The Intern’s Handbook by Shane Kuhn
John Lago is an unremarkable intern at a large Manhattan law firm. What sets him aside from all the other interns at the law firm is that he’s actually a highly trained assassin who was sent in to kill the head of the firm. John tells his story as he lays out the rules for being a part of Human Resources Inc., the company where you hire assassins that hide in plain sight. It’s darkly funny and full of guns and explosions.
- The Great Zoo of China by Matthew Reilly
VIPs and journalists have been invited to China to a special zoo for the unveiling of a secret species of animal never seen before. Yes, you might think it sounds awfully like “Jurassic Park” but it has some great twists and a fabulous lead female character. The characters often say “We saw ‘Jurassic Park’ but that would never happen here”, and well, you know how it goes…..
- The Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac by Sharma Shields
Eli Roebuck watches his mother walk off into the woods with Mr. Krantz, a sasquatch, when he is nine. Thus begins a lifelong quest that turns into an obsession for Eli where he tries to find the sasquatch that stole his mother and discover why it happened. It’s a funny look at obsession and how it impacts the relationships around you.
- The Last Unicorn by William DeBuys
William DeBuys joins on an expedition to find the extremely rare saola in Laos. The saola, a type of antelope, lives in the rainforest very close to the border Laos shares with Vietnam and there are major concerns about the viability of the populations of saola and other four footed creatures in the area due to smuggling and poaching in the area. It’s an interesting read about conservation, human effects on a ‘pristine’ area of the world, and how hard it is to understand rare animals.
- The Bees by Laline Paull
Flora 717, a member of the lowest caste in her hive, is different from the other sanitation worker bees and quickly finds herself with new roles in the hive like working in the nursery, and foraging for pollen outside. Each change of job finds her asking more questions about what is really happening at the hive, and when Flora finds out she has a secret that could overturn the hive completely, she risks everything to protect it.
- Pretty Ugly by Kirker Butler
A satirical look at a dysfunctional Southern family where the mom is obsessed with her daughter’s winning streak at child beauty pageants, the daughter is trying her best to sabotage any pageant as she wants to retire at age 9, the husband is a nurse with both a drug addiction and secret teen girlfriend and the grandmother talks to Jesus all the time….needless to say, it’s a hot, funny mess.