I may not be writing and working on my next novel and collection of short stories as much as I should be, but I sure have read some pretty good books lately. It’s been nice to read other people’s works as opposed to worrying about my own stories right now. Books are piling up on my nightstand, and I’m hoping to read a lot of them this summer as I sit by the pool. It’s one of the great perks of being a professor–summers are made for catching up on writing and reading.
Of late, I can recommend three books that I have thoroughly enjoyed.
The Dress Shop of Dreams by Menna van Praag
This quirky fantasy was a fun, light, and creative read. I loved the quirkiness of each of the characters, the bit of magic thrown in, and the way the story neatly ties together, because guess what? Sometimes we like a neat little package that makes us happy.
The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman
I’m not going to lie about this one–I was on the fence for many chapters while reading this book. Hoffman’s prose is extremely detailed and descriptive, and the book is low on dialogue between the characters. However, that being said, the melding of history and fiction is always exciting, especially in this drama. I found myself constantly looking things up to see what was real and what wasn’t. The story is interesting, and is definitely creative. I enjoyed being taken back to Coney Island in 1911 to an unusual museum with a cast of characters that includes a conniving and manipulative professor, the professor’s daughter who doubles as a mermaid, and a Jewish boy who is conflicted about his father.
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Jojo Moyes has quickly become one of my favorite authors. Her ability to tell a meaningful story is masterful, and she sucks you into the plot right away. This bestselling book is being made into a movie that is slated for release this summer, so if you want to read the book before it hits theatres, I suggest you get to it right away. You’ll follow the romantic story of Louisa and Will…and you will need your tissues nearby as you read this tearjerker. But it’s all worth it. (I also highly recommend The Girl You Left Behind.)
Here’s the trailer for the movie that’s due this summer.