Summer Reading Roundup

This year I challenged myself to read 25 books.  The count now stands at 38.

I grew up as a reader.  For much of my childhood, as long as the weather was pleasant I was outside.  My parents believed we should be out of the house as much as possible so I spent a lot of my time outside playing on swings, riding bikes, and climbing trees.  And for most of these I had a book in my hand.  I have vivid memories of crying over The Bridge to Terebethia while hiding in the corner of the yard, and deeply relating to The Girl of the Limberlost while laying on the driveway in early starlight.  Reading is just part of my DNA, but I lost it for a while, so this year I planned to take it back.  It seems I excel at comebacks.

I won't recap every book I read this summer, because that would go on for far too long, but let me hit some highlights for you.

Earlier this year I said that I was unsure about Kim Harrison's Hollows series.  I had just finished book two and was concerned by how early the demon shenanigans had begun.  But for some reason I decided to stick it out, and thank God I did.  The initial misgivings I expressed were quickly proven wrong as Harrison took the entire world she created in a completely different direction.  I should know better than to assume that an author will stick to the rules I already know, and Harrison reinforced that for me.  I have finished through Pale Demon, and let me just say that I am enjoying them as much now as I did at the beginning.  The only other current series I can say that for is Jim Butcher's Dresden Files.

Speaking of the Dresden Files, I preordered Skin Game and then read it in under 24 hours.  I could not put the book down!  I came to the series a little late, but it has been long enough that I truly appreciated the numerous call backs that filled the pages.  When Ghost Story came out I admit to a little skepticism, but Butcher has propelled this story to a fresh new place even within his own universe.

And no highlight trio would be complete without a little Rainbow Rowell who I discovered this summer.  I was fortunate enough to start with Fangirl, which filled my geeky heart with such joy that I am hesitant to recommend it to anyone lest they not love it as much as I do.  I cannot express how much I love this book, and not just because of my former work with fanfiction authors.  This is such a sweet and genuine coming of age story without the conceit of many more popular novels.  The handling of the various relationships, be they friends, family, or romantic, are perfectly realistic but infused with Rowell's charming sense of humor.  If you are a geek girl I highly recommend you give this one a read.

Looking forward to fall I seem to be heading back into a bit of a slump.  I just finished the latest Richard Castle novel which was not as strong, and I'm at the point that I am ready to try something not part of a series I'm fifty million books into.  Plus, now that summer is over I feel it is time for some meatier reading.  What have you been reading lately?  What are you looking forward to, and do you have any suggestions for me?