When we sit back to enjoy our summer vacation, many of us choose to turn to the “old reliable” for enjoyment: books. Whether it is a wrinkled up old paperback, a brand new hardcover, or a riveting bestseller on your Kindle, books offer hours of entertainment and education that can grab hold of you and not let go until you have turned the last page.
As the organizer of the Minnesota School of Business-Elk River Campus Book Club, I am constantly on the lookout for worthy books to read. With the help of a few book club members, I have put together a reading list of sure-fire hits for your summer reading pleasure.
Check out these 6 reads for your summer book list:
“Confederacy of Dunces” by John Kennedy Toole: The Elk River Book Club is currently reading this oldie but-a-goodie title. In 1981 it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. It has been a classic read for book clubs since its publication, and has been highly recommended by all who have read it.
“Inferno” by Dan Brown: For a modern hit, check this book out, which is the most recent title in Brown’s Robert Langdon series.Robert Langdon wakes up in the hospital with no memory of the previous couple days. All he is aware of is someone is trying to kill him and he is in Florence, Italy. The next thing the reader knows is he is chasing down Dante’s ghosts and interpreting his poetry to find and stop a diabolical mastermind of evil. Just released this month, it is already a bestseller. Recommended by Michael Schneider.
“Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn is another more recent publication. It is a work of fiction about a marriage that has gone in an incredibly bad direction. Nick Dunne discovers on his 5th wedding anniversary that his wife is missing. Is Nick the great guy he is made out to be or is he much more sinister? Did his wife Amy just run away? Was she abducted? You will have to read to find out. Recommended by Nicole Rasmussen.
“Into the Wild” by John Krakauer is our first foray into the world of non-fiction. It is the story of a well-off young man who leaves all his worldly possessions behind and takes off for the Alaskan wilderness. After a few stops he makes it there, but never makes it back out again. This is his story, recreating his trip north, interviewing those who he knew and lived with along the way. It is a literary journey of discovery as to why a kid with so much would give it all up only to end up dead in an Alaskan forest. It is considered a modern adventure classic. Recommended by Janell Trocke.
“Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power” by Jon Meacham: For those who are more into biographies, this will fit the bill. Clear, concise and lucid are not the usual adjectives that are used to describe the narrative of a work of biography, but that is what Meacham’s latest work is. This is a thorough biography that is not too big to tackle by any reader’s standards. The difficulty that Meacham overcomes to make a life of Jefferson accessible and understandable to all readers is to me the greatest achievement this book attains. A great look into the most mysterious and perplexing Founding Father of our nation. Recommended by Michael Schneider.
“A Storm of Swords” by George R.R. Martin: If fantasy is your thing, this book would be a great choice. It is book three in the A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) series. You will need to read the first two obviously, to get what is going on in book three, but boy what a ride it is. A nation is at war. Kingdoms are battling for the iron throne, or in some cases, their lives. One family member has no one left but herself and her three dragons. Another family is scattered after the father is murdered by the ruling family who tenuously sits atop the iron throne. Other families are jockeying for positions not caring who gets in their way. Who will come out on top in this best seller and HBO series? Read and you will find out and see what the art of storytelling looks like. Recommended by Josh Young.
Written by guest blogger, Minnesota School of Business-Elk River Librarian Michael Schneider