Summer Reading Recommendations 2017

In order to promote reading throughout the summer, Fairfax County Public Library incentivizes reading with its Summer Reading Adventure program, which the Foundation is proud to help sponsor. From June 23 to September 2, babies through 12th graders can participate in the program, and the reward is a coupon book with a variety of prizes and discounts. To help you keep up with the students,  we are spotlighting some of the summer’s latest literary releases!

If you are looking for a riveting historical book, Becoming Bonnie by Jenni L. Walsh is a high octane read.

“The summer of 1927 might be the height of the Roaring Twenties, but Bonnelyn Parker is more likely to belt out a church hymn than sling drinks at an illicit juice joint. She’s a sharp girl with plans to overcome her family’s poverty, provide for herself, and maybe someday marry her boyfriend, Roy Thornton. But when Roy springs a proposal on her, and financial woes jeopardize her ambitions, Bonnelyn finds salvation in an unlikely place: Dallas’s newest speakeasy, Doc’s.

Living the life of a moll at night, Bonnie remains a wholesome girl by day, engaged to Roy, attending school, and working toward a steady future. When Roy discovers her secret life, he embraces it―perhaps too much, especially when it comes to booze and gambling―she tries to make the pieces fit. Maybe she can have it all: the American Dream, the husband, and the intoxicating allure of jazz music. But her life―like her country―is headed for a crash.

Bonnie Parker is about to meet Clyde Barrow.” –Amazon

If you are seeking spiritual insight or wish to better understand diverse cultures, Omar Saif Ghobash’s Letters to a Young Muslim provides just that.

“In a series of personal letters to his son, Omar Saif Ghobash offers a short and highly readable manifesto that tackles our current global crisis with the training of an experienced diplomat and the personal responsibility of a father. Today’s young Muslims will be tomorrow’s leaders, and yet too many are vulnerable to extremist propaganda that seems omnipresent in our technological age. The burning question, Ghobash argues, is how moderate Muslims can unite to find a voice that is true to Islam while actively and productively engaging in the modern world. What does it mean to be a good Muslim?

What is the concept of a good life? And is it acceptable to stand up and openly condemn those who take the Islamic faith and twist it to suit their own misguided political agendas? In taking a hard look at these seemingly simple questions, Ghobash encourages his son to face issues others insist are not relevant, not applicable, or may even be Islamophobic. These letters serve as a clear-eyed inspiration for the next generation of Muslims to understand how to be faithful to their religion and still navigate through the complexities of today’s world. They also reveal an intimate glimpse into a world many are unfamiliar with and offer to provide an understanding of the everyday struggles Muslims face around the globe.” -Amazon

Experience an adult fairytale with Lesley Nneka Arimah’s What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky.

“In ‘Who Will Greet You at Home,’ a National Magazine Award finalist for The New Yorker, A woman desperate for a child weaves one out of hair, with unsettling results. In ‘Wild,’ a disastrous night out shifts a teenager and her Nigerian cousin onto uneasy common ground. In ‘The Future Looks Good,’ three generations of women are haunted by the ghosts of war, while in ‘Light,’ a father struggles to protect and empower the daughter he loves. And in the title story, in a world ravaged by flood and riven by class, experts have discovered how to ‘fix the equation of a person’ – with rippling, unforeseen repercussions.” -Amazon

Romance – and suspense – are prevalent in Exit West by Mohsin Hamid.

And if you enjoy this one, you can meet Mr. Hamid at Fall for Book on October 13!

“In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet—sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors—doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through. . . .

Exit West follows these remarkable characters as they emerge into an alien and uncertain future, struggling to hold on to each other, to their past, to the very sense of who they are. Profoundly intimate and powerfully inventive, it tells an unforgettable story of love, loyalty, and courage that is both completely of our time and for all time.” -Amazon

In yet another suspenseful read, mystery draws the reader into Paula Hawkins’ Into the Water.

“A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.

Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return.

With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, ‘The Girl on the Train,’ Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.

Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath.” -Amazon

And finally, if you are looking for a book for the little one, this July actor and author Chris Colfer concludes his children’s series with The Land of Stories: Worlds Collide (we recommend reading all of the books!).

“In the highly anticipated conclusion to the Land of Stories series, Conner and Alex must brave the impossible. All of the Land of Stories fairy tale characters–heroes and villains–are no longer confined within their world!

With mayhem brewing in the Big Apple, Conner and Alex will have to win their biggest battle yet. Can the twins restore order between the human and fairy tale world?

Breathtaking action mixed with laugh out loud moments and lots of heart will make this a gripping conclusion for many fans!”

-Amazon

More Summer Reading 2017 Resources

In addition to our 2017 summer reading recommendations, check out our 2016 summer reading tips blog post and infographic here!

…And for more information on the 2017 Summer Reading Adventure, check out the Fairfax County Public Library website!

 

Blog by Karenna.

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