Recommended Books for Summer Reading

Here are some of the books I’ve read lately that I would recommend for your reading pleasure. Summer is vacation time for many…time to get some reading done!

These links lead to Kindle versions of the books. Most of the books are available in other places though – for the Nook, Ipad, etc. They are also available in print.

I only include here books that I enjoyed reading and would recommend to others. Some are memoirs, some are sci-fi, and some are romantic fantasy. These are the genres I tend to read the most.

Happy Summer Reading!

World War ll London Blitz Diary (A Woman’s Revelations Enduring War and Marriage) (1939-1940) [Kindle Edition]
Ruby Alice Side-Thompson (Author), Victoria Aldridge-Washuk (Editor), Adele Thompson-Aldridge (Illustrator)

Imagine yourself seeing hundreds of Messerschmitt war planes overhead and hearing the explosion of bombs being dropped around you. Wondering if this is the day one will fall on your house. Ruby Side Thompson’s personal diary was written during the terrifying World War Two London Blitz. Her diary is a true and detailed account of what she experienced during that horrific time. The diary chronicles Ruby’s struggle to survive in the midst of a horrendous war, where London is bombed nightly. Ruby speaks candidly about her unhappiness enduring an unsatisfactory marriage. She was the mother of seven sons, two of whom were enlisted in the R.A.F. One of which became an amputee as the result of hitting a land mine and the other son was captured and sent to a concentration camp as a prisoner of war. Her tale is a mix of the commonplace and the historic as seen through her eyes. The diary was an outlet for Ruby’s thoughts and feelings that could not be spoken out loud; however, in publishing the diary it gives readers an honest and unfiltered look back at a time that may have been long since forgotten. Join Ruby on her trying journey as she tries to keep her life and family together during this difficult time in history. This is volume one of a four volume series written by Ruby Alice Side Thompson.

World War II London Blitz Diary, Volume 2, 1941 (A Woman’s Revelations Enduring War and Marriage) [Kindle Edition]
Ruby Side Thompson (Author), Victoria Aldridge Washuk (Editor), Adele Thompson Aldridge (Illustrator)

Do you find yourself watching reality tv? Well, if you do, click off that set and head for the real thing. These diary entries, written 70 years ago by Ruby Thompson, who had to simultaneously put up with the Blitz bombing of London and a marriage that was as damaging to a woman’s psyche as those Nazi bombs were to the city, will take you back to a time and put you in the middle of the history the way no boring textbook summary of the war could. What was it really like for the individuals who bore the fear, rationing, and destruction created by the Blitzkrieg against London? How were women stuck in bad marriages, held captive not only by convention, but by their own mindset that had been drilled into them from birth? Ruby’s fierce intelligence, powers of observation, clear writing, and analysis of her miserable husband and unhappy marriage provide insight into both history and the psychological state of a woman stuck partly by her era and partly by her own sense of what was possible. A fascinating revelation for anyone interested in World history and women’s history.Fascinating! This is volume two of a four volume series written by Ruby Alice Side Thompson.

World War II London Blitz Diary, Volume 3, 1942-1943 (A Woman’s Revelations Enduring War and Marriage) (World War II London Blitz Diary, (A Woman’s Revelations Enduring War and Marriage)) [Kindle Edition]
Ruby Alice Side Thompson (Author), Victoria Aldridge Washuk (Editor), Adele Aldridge (Illustrator)

This diary is the 3rd in a series of four volumes written by Ruby Side Thompson. They document her experience about World War Two in England and the London Blitz. The diaries are unique, written from a woman’s experience during war time. They include Ruby’s opinions written only for the privacy of her diary. Her views are often ahead of her time. She writes about the war in terms that would have been considered blaspheme if spoken our loud. We are fortunate to have this very personal and articulate perspective of that war of seventy years ago.

A Hard Rain: Book Two of the Shift Trilogy [Kindle Edition]
Michael Juge (Author)

“It’s been 5 ½ years since the Shift first plunged the industrialized world into darkness. Left with only a few old diesel engines and Classic Rock albums recorded on vinyl, the EMPs have forced the survivors to adapt to a world devoid of computers, bereft of a global economy and reeling without Facebook. Our favorite obsessive-compulsive Chris Jung has grown up (a little) and now leads the Vicious Rabbits Bicycle Mounted Cavalry through the necropolis of the DC Beltway region, protecting Rochelle and her allies in the Orange Pact from bandit raids. Meanwhile, Reverend Rita Luevano struggles to maintain an uneasy peace between the Unitarian majority and the Christian minority in Greater Monticello. The Orange Pact allies are threatened by foes all around. Outnumbered and outgunned, they stand against the rising tide of chaos and tyranny largely through the wily interventions of the intelligence organization known as the Swan, headed by Meredith Jung. But the darkness is closing in on this little slice of sanity in the Shenandoah Valley. Meredith knows it’s only a matter of time until the Lambs of God in Lynchburg decide to attack, and when they do, there will be no stopping them. Furthermore, Meredith carries a secret so potentially devastating that it dwarves the prospect of being overrun by religious fanatics bent on their destruction. Rita is called to join Chris and his Bicycle Mounted Cavalry on a mission of utmost urgency that leads them into the heart of darkness: suburban Maryland. Along the way, they discover that nothing is as it seems. Between Meredith’s secret and the revelations uncovered in Maryland, Chris, Rita and Meredith find themselves where they would really rather not be, at the center of the vortex where the entire fate of humanity hangs in the balance.”

Will Love For Crumbs – A Memoir [Kindle Edition]
Jonna Ivin (Author)

Raised by an alcoholic mother and without a father, Jonna learned at a young age to put her needs on the back-burner. After her mother dies of cancer, she goes on a spiritual journey looking for enlightenment and a purpose for her life. Eventually, she ends up as a volunteer in the relief effort following Hurricane Ike. There she meets a man who will forever change her life. In the swamps of Louisiana and the hills of Arkansas, Jonna follows her heart to build a life with an American hero – a 20 year veteran of the Army Special Forces. Only after uprooting her whole life, leaving everything and everyone she knows behind, do the pieces of this fairytale start to unravel. Realizing the man of her dreams is actually the stuff of nightmares; Jonna must once again go within and discover why she is a woman willing to love for crumbs.

Night of the Purple Moon [Kindle Edition]
Scott Cramer (Author)

For months, astronomers have been predicting that Earth will pass through the tail of a comet. They say that people will see colorful sunsets and, best of all, a purple moon. But nobody has predicted the lightning-fast epidemic that sweeps across the planet on the night of the purple moon. The comet brings space dust with it that contains germs that attack human hormones. Older teens and adults die within hours of exposure. On a small island off the coast of Maine, a group of teens and children struggle to survive in this new world, but all the while they have inside them a ticking time bomb — adolescence.

Dunaway’s Crossing (Historical Women’s Fiction) [Kindle Edition]
Nancy Brandon (Author)

One rural town paralyzed by disease,
Two women secluded in a remote cabin.
Only one man stands between them and death.
If you liked the drama of The Color Purple and the setting of Wickett’s Remedy, you’ll love Dunaway’s Crossing.

Extinction Point [Kindle Edition]
Paul Jones (Author)

Reporter Emily Baxter has a great job, an apartment in Manhattan, and a boyfriend she loves. All that changes the day the red rain falls from a cloudless sky. Just hours after the first reports from Europe, humanity is on the brink of extinction, wiped from the face of the earth in a few bloody moments, leaving Emily alone in an empty city. As she struggles to grasp the reality of her situation, Emily becomes the final witness to the end of our world… and the birth of a terrifying new one. The world she knew and loved is dead and gone. Now Emily must try to find a way out of New York as the truth behind the red rain is revealed: the earth no longer belongs to humanity.
*** Extinction Point is the first in a new post-apocalypse series by the author of Towards Yesterday ***

The Shifters of 2040, a Shifter Dystopia (Shifter Evolutions Book #3) (Shifter Evolutions saga) [Kindle Edition]
Ami Blackwelder (Author), Belle Magnolia (Editor)

This is Book #3 in the Shifter Evolutions series.
1-The Invasion of 2020
2-The SCM of 2030
3-The Shifters of 2040
4-The Hybrids of 2050
5-The Hunted of 2060
6-The Revolution of 2060
This series begins in the middle (Shifters of 2040, Hybrids of 2050) and then the reader decides to read the past (Invasion of 2020, SCM of 2030) or the future (Hunted of 2060, Revolution of 2060). America 2040. Three Species. Divided Lovers. The Race is on for Planet Earth. Set in Alaska in 2040, Melissa Marn and Bruce Wilder must work under the iron fist of the SCM, while still try- ing to maintain humanity. Discovering a world of shifters and hybrids, the scientists must struggle with human prejudice and betrayal. With the original ancestors, dubbed shifters, still living on earth, humans are in the midst of a fifteen year old war. As the eldest hybrids, Unseen and Diamond, learn about humans the hard way, with the loss of loved ones and sacrifices, love on planet earth proves challenging. With underlining themes of how prejudice breaks human connections and animal/wildlife conservation, this novel which has received rave reviews will leave the reader flipping through the pages.reading it I couldn’t stop!” -Jodie @Goodreads
“Not having read books one and two of the series, I wasn’t lost…I was quickly drawn in and broke out in tears a couple of times, which shows that the characters are so believable…Once I started reading this I couldn’t put it down. This is not what paranormal romance or urban fantasy fans are used to but I think they could enjoy the book. ” -Bitten By Paranormal Romance

Growing Up Amish [Kindle Edition]
Ira Wagler (Author)

Review
Filmmakers, academics, and novelists have offered depictions of Amish life. This memoir offers a nuanced account from a man who straddled both Amish and English (non-Amish) worlds. Wagler recounts his Amish upbringing, from dating conventions and worship services to local gossip and schoolyard bullies. The simplicity of everyday life may seem quaint on the surface. Yet Wagler bravely goes on to expose pervasive dissatisfaction among both youth and adult Amish living in what he characterizes as a stifling, formulaic world. Such unspoken displeasure sparked a cycle of coming and going for the author, who repeatedly crept away from his community only to return, if reluctantly, for its familiarity. It was a paradox that would haunt me for almost ten years: the tug-of-war between two worlds. His tale of restlessness looks acutely at the clash of family ties with love of freedom. The memoir is worthwhile as much for its Amish insights as for its exploration of one man s emotional turmoil, regret, and shame. Wagler, who now works at a building and supply company in Lancaster County, Pa., deserves praise for his honesty. –Publisher’s Weekly
About the Author
Ira Wagler was born in the small Old Order Amish community of Aylmer, Ontario. At 17, frustrated by the rules and restrictions of Amish life, Ira got up at 2 am, left a note under his pillow, packed his duffel bag and left. Over the course of the next 5 years, Ira would leave and return home numerous times, torn between the ingrained message that abandoning one’s Amish heritage results in eternal damnation, and the freedom and possibilities offered by the “English” world. Upon becoming a Christian at age 26, Ira left the Amish for good. He is currently general manager of Graber Supply, LLC and Pole Building Co. in Lancaster County, PA.

Rules for Virgins (Kindle Single) [Kindle Edition]
Amy Tan (Author)

In her startlingly sensual new story, “Rules for Virgins”—this 43-page jewel of a tale is the first fiction she has published in six years—beloved bestselling author Amy Tan (“The Joy Luck Club,” “The Bonesetter’s Daughter”) takes us deep into the illicit world of 1912 Shanghai, where beautiful courtesans mercilessly compete for the patronage of wealthy gentlemen. For the women, the contest is deadly serious, a perilous game of economic survival that, if played well, can set them up for life as mistresses of the rich and prominent. There is no room for error, however: erotic power is hard to achieve and harder to maintain, especially in the loftiest social circles. Enter veteran seducer, Magic Gourd, formerly one of Shanghai’s “Top Ten Beauties” and now the advisor and attendant of Violet, an aspiring but inexperienced courtesan. Violet may have the youth and the allure, but Magic Gourd has the cunning and the knowledge without which the younger woman is sure to fail. These ancient tricks of the trade aren’t written down, though; to pass them on to her student, Magic Gourd must reach back into her own professional past, bringing her lessons alive with stories and anecdotes from a career spent charming and manipulating men who should have known better but rarely did. The world of sexual intrigue that Tan reveals in “Rules for Virgins” actually existed once, and she spares no detail in recreating it. But this story is more than intriguing (and sometimes shocking) historical literary fiction. Besides inviting us inside a life that few writers but Tan could conjure up, the intimate confessions of Magic Gourd add up to a kind of military manual for the War of the Sexes’ female combatants. The wisdom conveyed is ancient, specific, and timeless, exposing the workings of vanity and folly, calculation and desire that define the mysterious human heart.

11/22/63 [Kindle Edition]
Stephen King (Author)

On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? Stephen King’s heart-stoppingly dramatic new novel is about a man who travels back in time to prevent the JFK assassination—a thousand page tour de force. Following his massively successful novel Under the Dome, King sweeps readers back in time to another moment—a real life moment—when everything went wrong: the JFK assassination. And he introduces readers to a character who has the power to change the course of history. Jake Epping is a thirty-five-year-old high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. He receives an essay from one of the students—a gruesome, harrowing first person story about the night 50 years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a hammer. Harry escaped with a smashed leg, as evidenced by his crooked walk. Not much later, Jake’s friend Al, who runs the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake on an insane—and insanely possible—mission to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson and his new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars and sock hops, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake’s life – a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time.

The Glassblower’s Daughter [Kindle Edition]
Frances Clarke (Author)

Greta’s life is carefree until the abrupt disappearance of her elder sister, and all her courage can’t save her from the sinister shadows that engulf her. Even when she finds a way out betrayal and treachery threaten her. ‘This is a wonderful first novel and Greta is a winning heroine. The writing is powerful, lyrical and funny… ‘

Turning Inside Out [Kindle Edition]
Phyllis Lily Jules (Author)

In an outer world that is impossible, an inner world grows out of the wreckage. Built by a little girl too young to know how it might be done, she did it her way and then lived with it all. This is her story. Searing, shocking, yet holding treasures deep where it matters.
Granddaughter to the man who invented The Lemonade Diet, the Master Cleanse, she knew a different man from what the world pegged as a new-age healer. Behind Stanley Burroughs’ public face was another one. That was the face she saw. That was the man she knew. Knew too well. This is an autobiography set in the present, during the time of its own writing, but rich with the experiences of a shattered childhood. It shows the consequences of abuse, corruption, and evil on a small child and the woman she grew into – a woman saved by her unique means of engaging with her own psychology. And equally saved by her unique appreciation of beauty. Beauty that can be found even in an ugly world.

Enemy through the Gates: A P. J. Stone Novel-Book 1 [Kindle Edition]
D. T. Dyllin (Author)

“P. J. Stone, like most eighteen-year-old girls, is a little boy crazy and somewhat obsessed with finding the perfect boyfriend. Some days she feels like she might be the last remaining virgin in her entire high school, and maybe even the entire tri-state area. After a traumatic night at a friend’s party, P. J. realizes what she truly wants has been right under her nose all along. Bryn O’Bannon, her best friend and partner in crime since age five, is head over heels in love with her, and she feels the same about him. But P. J.’s life isn’t that simple. She’s a member of a separate society that exists secretly among the rest of the world; the society raises gifted individuals to protect the world from interdimensional interlopers, and P. J. was taught to put duty before her heart. She is expected to choose a suitable mate in order to perpetuate the Seer line. Unfortunately, Bryn is a Guardian and is forbidden to date—let alone mate with—a Seer such as herself. As if figuring out her love life isn’t complicated enough, P. J. begins having visions of a threat to her world only she is able to perceive. Now, she must concoct and execute a plan to avert world disaster while at the same time avoiding the dissolution of her love life. ”

 

About Karen Y. Hamilton

Karen leads workshops in Creative Writing, Poetry and Journal Therapy, and Memoir Writing. She has studied genealogy and personal histories since 1987, lecturing and leading workshops on Memoir Writing and Journaling to the community since 1998. Karen holds a BA in English and has studied Literature, Business, and Education at the graduate level. She is a former college instructor of English Composition and Reading. In the past, Karen has worked as a high school & middle school teacher. She currently works as a Curriculum Specialist and is an MFA Creative Writing student at Florida Atlantic University.
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One Response to Recommended Books for Summer Reading

  1. Thanks for the idea. I think I’ll try to look up the Will Love for Crumbs. Sounds interesting.

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