Mike Uncorked: Summer Reads 2018

Mike Uncorked: Summer Reads 2018
By Mike Butler

Do you know when my favourite time of the year to read is? Well, if you know me then you know the answer is ANY TIME! I love to read! I love to get engrossed by a piece of literature and I love recommending books to other avid readers. We have so many wonderful booksellers in this province and the summer is a perfect time to gather up some cheap reads at yard sales too. Here’s a little list to use when selecting some choice summer reads:

New to the bestseller lists are: Census by Jesse Bell, Sunburn by Laura Lippman, The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah, Need to Know by Karen Cleveland, Calypso by David Sedaris and A Long Way From Home by Peter Carey.

With the recent passing of acclaimed novelist Tom Wolfe, why not check out some of his classic accomplishments including The Right Stuff (see the movie too!), The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, and The Bonfire of the Vanities (don’t see the movie!)

One of my favourite authors of all time is Michael Chabon. The Pulitzer-prize winning novelist has built a career on consistently brilliant books and I suggest you check out one and eventually all his works including The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Wonder Boys, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Telegraph Avenue, Moonglow, or his latest work Pops: Fatherhood in Pieces.

The bestselling Red Queen series by author Victoria Aveyard has drawn to a conclusion and I suggest you pick up the quadrilogy to take your through the next few months. Pick up Red Queen, Glass Sword, Kings Cage, and the final installment War Storm.

July was Pride month and there’s never a shortage of great Queer literature to keep you busy. Check out Jordy Rosenberg’s Confessions of the Fox, Rebecca Makkai’s The Great Believers, Rebecca Brown’s The Gifts of the Body, Alan Hollinghurst’s The Line of Beauty, Bill Konisberg’s Openly Straight, Sandy Hill’s A Little Something Different or her other great read Been Here All Along, David Levithan’s Boy Meets Boy or his beautiful Two Boys Kissing, S.J. Goslee’s Whatever, Stephen McCauley’s My Ex-Life, and finally, the now classic youth read (that’s just as meaningful to adults) George by Alex Gino!

For the beach bum in all of us, here’s some great sandy reading material for you. Start with An American Marriage or Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones, Warlight by Michael Ondaatje, There There by Tommy Orange, How to Love a Jamaican by Alexia Arthurs, French Exit by Patrick DeWitt, A River of Stars by Vanessa Hua, How to be Famous by Caitlin Moran, Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman, All We Ever Wanted by Emily Griffin, and a debut novel of pure excellence, Providence by Caroline Kepnes!

Do you like psychological thrillers? Those page turners of heart pumping suspense? Me too!!! Here’s some great chilly reads to beat the heat this summer. The Good Son by You-Jeong Jeong, The Outsider by Stephen King, Black Chalk by Christopher Yates, Twisted River by Siobhan MacDonald, Thr3e by Ted Dekker, Rattle by Fiona Cummins, Chop Shop by Tim Downs, The Last Harvest by Kim Liggett, The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena, The Girl Before by JP Delaney, and The Drowned Detective by Academy-Award winning screenwriter Neil Jordan (The Crying Game!).

And a new release getting tremendous buzz right now is the debut novel by Amber Tamblyn called Any Man, which depicts a group of men who’ve been sexually assaulted by the same woman, raising compelling questions about gender, power, and the #MeToo era. Once I find this hot read, I’m not putting it down until it’s finished.

And with each summer, as much as I love to read new material, I always take a trip back to two of my all-time favourite novels. I start my summer with Alice Walker’s acclaimed The Color Purple. This classic never gets old and I am over the moon excited to see the musical at Neptune Theatre in spring 2019 (tickets are on sale now!). And then, to finish my summer (about late September), I dive into Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway and I am surprised each time with new details I didn’t catch the first 18 times! Ha ha! If you haven’t read these classics, pick them up!

Stop by The Box of Delights Bookshop, The Odd Book and Rainbow’s End in Wolfville, Books Galore in Coldbrook, Shelf Life in Berwick , Reader’s Haven in Windsor and Blue Griffin Books in Middleton to support local and read plenty! Enjoy these novel ideas! Have a great summer!