#218; out with the old

It’s summer time, and what’s better this time of year than a beach and a book? This year we see the end of some of the best, worst, most epic, least deserving, too-much-fun-to-handle series out there – Harry Potter‘s last stand opens tonight at midnight, Breaking Dawn arrives in November, last year’s I Am Number Four seems to have been turned down for a sequal, and after the release of the Gossip Girl prequal capping off that book series, it doesn’t seem like we’ll have any more gossip to get lost in. Yes, I love YA fiction,  particularly of the fantasy and science fiction varieties (though YA isn’t all I’m planning to read next, it’s just a delightful destraction from the real world of campaigns, office politics, and dishes to be washed). And so this summer I’m letting go of my old favorites (I admit to devouring the Twilight series when it came out. I also admit to laughing out loud at most of it, which feels incredibly good) and embracing some brand new (to me, at least) beach reading. With vacation next week, I thought it a good chance to look over what I’m hoping to read – leave me your favorites, guilty pleasures, and To Read piles in the comments!

First and foremost, I cannot wait to finish reading The Mortal Instruments series, including the just-released fourth installment. I’m nearly half way through the third (City of Glass) and despite its schmaltzy language, slightly twisted love triangle, and eye-roll inducing plot devises, I love it. Maybe I’ll look past just about anything if I like a story enough. Cassandra Clare comes from a writing background of Harry Potter fanfiction, so the lady certainly knows what fans want – pretty people, angst, intense, quick action, and the occassional swoon-worthy kiss. She even through in a clumsy, totally-doesn’t-think-she’s-pretty main character and a brooding, bad boy with a heart of gold love interest. It’s pure cheese. It’s morally questionable. It’s terribly written most of the time. But it’s fun, too, it’s captivating and full of bright colors and well-handled characters, and that’s what I look for in entertainment, so this is just my cup of tea (or maybe more my tall glass of strawberry daiquiri). Find more romance, history, and suspense below the jump!

Summer tends to be the time I give non-fantasy romance fiction a go. I’ve just never really liked non-supernatural love stories with very few exceptions (the work of Scott Spencer, Story of O, Shakespeare – though I like his histories the best of all his work), but during the summer I’m always up for new experiences and broadening my horizons. So I’d like to try a book that falls more into the classicalromance genre but I’ve never been a fan “bodice rippers” no matter the season and I figured I’ve heard great things about Nichols’ One Day, so why not?

I’m also feeling woefully light-headed lately – having celebrated 5 years since graduation last year – and am really excited to hit up some autobiographies and non-fiction tomes. I’ve got a pretty extensive collection of Republican biographies and analysis, but I’d like to read outside of that box (no matter the ideology) now that I’ve moved on from conservative politics. I’d like to read David Plouffe’s The Audacity to Win; George Bush’s All The Best (because he’s a Republican but it’s a more personal non-fiction); David McCullough’s 1776; Trotsky’s My Life; both Clinton’s autobiographies – Bill’s My Life & Hillary’s Living History.

On a slightly less serious topic, I’m excited to read one of the few Rainer Maria Rilke bios I haven’t ready yet, Rilke: A Life by Wolfgang Leppmann.

Finally, as far as the list goes at least (because I love just picking up whatever book or story that strikes my fancy – one of the reasons my To Read list will never be whittled down to nothing, I’m sure), I’d love to try an author that I’ve always been interested in but just never had the chance to check out. Carl Hiaasen writes “environmental thrillers” according to Wikipedia, based in Florida. What better to read in the summer than hot, corrupt, well-layered, comedy with thrills, suspense, lush backgrounds, laws broken and anarchists?

So tell me, what are you reading this summer?

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