10 book picks to keep summer hot

Recreational summer reading can keep the brain growing while school is out. Taken from studies by Anderson, Wilson, and Fielding 1988; Greaney 1980; Guthrie and Greaney 1991; Taylor, Frye, and Maruyama 1990. (Graphic made by Chuck Dearden)

Summer can be a good time to sit outside and read a book; most students are out of school and have more free time to catch up on the recreational reading they don’t get done during the school year.

Here are a few book picks from people who work with books all day, as well as some other fun choices with descriptions from Goodreads.

Professional Picks

1. “The False Prince” by Jennifer A. Nielsen

This young adult novel is the first installment of the Ascendance Trilogy, set in a kingdom on the verge of civil war. A nobleman of the court comes up with a plan to bring in someone to pretend to be the long-lost prince. Four orphans come to the castle to compete for the role, one of them being a boy named Sage. The novel follows his journey to win the role and the competition, treachery and lies that come along with that.

HBLL circulation clerk Shaelee Nielson said she loved the book and that it wasn’t too intense to handle.

“It’s interesting and exciting,” Nielson said. “There is a lot of intrigue and political stuff going on but still kid friendly.”

2. “Under a Painted Sky” by Stacey Lee

This fun fiction novel takes a different look at the Oregon Trail. It follows two girls as they journey to California on the Oregon Trail. Because the trail isn’t safe for female travelers, they dress up like boys and forge on, building a strong and lasting friendship.

Provo Library reference librarian Marcie Beard loves recommending this book to people because it is a fun look at the Oregon Trail.

“It’s diverse, which you don’t find much of, especially with the Oregon Trail stories,” Beard said. “It’s a new take on a western and just lots of fun.”

3. “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” by Jonathan Safran Foer

This book follows 9-year-old Oskar Schell after his father is killed in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. He finds a key in his father’s closet and sets out to solve the mystery of the key, leading him into the lives of strangers in New York City.

There is a movie adaptation known to be a tear-jerker, but HBLL circulation clerk Elizabeth Lew, who is currently reading the book for the fifth time, said the book is amazing.

“The writing is gorgeous,” Lew said. “The story is really interesting and really relevant.”

4. “The Historian” by Elizabeth Kostova

This thriller novel starts when a young woman finds an old book and mysterious letters in her father’s library. The girl starts on an adventure, finding secrets about her family and their possible connection to an evil figure from history.

“It’s kind of a retelling of the Dracula story,” said Orem Library assistant librarian Art Nifong. “I read it a few summers ago and it is a great summer read.”

5. “Edenbrooke” by Julianne Donaldson

In this romance novel perfect for Jane Austen lovers, Marianne Daventry joins her twin sister in a country estate for the summer. She thinks she is going to spend the summer drama free while her sister tries to lock down a rich, handsome man, but she finds herself in an undesirable situation when she has not one, but two possible romances.

HBLL circulation clerk Karalee Fisher really enjoyed how fun the book was.

“It’s just a really cute story,” Fisher said. “It’s a fun summer read and you just feel good when you read it.”

Additional Picks

6. The “Harry Potter” Series by J.K. Rowling

This is an obvious choice, but with a new installment to the series coming out July 31, the Harry Potter series might be a good choice for the summer. Each of the seven books brings new adventures and trials for Harry and his friends as they all fight to defeat Voldemort in the end. Also, a movie marathon can follow the reading marathon of the series.

7. “The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas

High school students may be assigned to read this for school over the summer, but this classic novel is a great one to dive into. It centers around Edmond Dantes, a man who was put in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, and his plan to escape prison, find the hidden treasure in Monte Cristo and enact revenge on those who have wronged him. There is an abridged version for those who want a shorter read and an unabridged version for the more ambitious readers. There is also a film adaption of the novel.

8. “The Selection” by Kiera Cass

This is one for the “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette” lovers. This book is like the “The Bachelor,” but instead of a normal guy choosing a wife, it’s a prince choosing his future princess, and instead of taking place in the U.S. it takes place in a dystopian world broken into castes. This is the first book of a trilogy and focuses on a contestant named America as she reluctantly joins the competition and leaves her first love behind. It involves cat fights, a harsh king and multiple rebel attacks on the castle and the country is watching it all unfold.

9. “Mistborn: The Final Empire” by Brandon Sanderson

As a BYU graduate, Brandon Sanderson is a popular author in the BYU world, but his books have caught national attention as well. In “The Final Empire,” the world has become a dark place full of evil and it’s up to an unlikely hero and his apprentice to fill the world with color again. The book has action and magic and is just the beginning of the exciting “Mistborn” trilogy. This is just one of Sanderson’s many books, but it’s a good place to start.

10. “The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown

This inspiring book is for people who like stories based on real events. It follows the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew as they work to win a gold medal at the 1936 Olympic games in Berlin. It tells the stories of the boys defeating the German team rowing for Hitler and all of their personal journeys to achieve their dream together.

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