Summer Reads | Some Old | Some New

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Yes it's still summer in Houston! Might we suggest that you pop-in to an HPL branch and checkout some books for the beach or road trip (or plane flight)? Come to think about it, if e-books are your forte, you don’t even have to visit the library. You can simply download your chosen titles to a mobile device. Not sure what to read next? Our staff would be happy to recommend some books based on your reading preferences. You can even do this online! 

Here are a few books that have made an impression on me.

City of Miracles by Robert Jackson Bennett – This is a science fiction title with strands of fantasy woven throughout. The author truly managed to create a unique setting. This immediately caught my attention. The other compelling factor is the main character – a fellow by the name of Sigrud. He is someone I would not care to meet in a dark alley (or in broad daylight for that matter). He is an anti-hero in the truest sense of the word.

If mysteries are more to your taste, then you might wish to try the trilogy written by Luke McCallin. These are historical mysteries set during and immediately after World War II. The main character is Gregor Reinhardt, a captain in the German army. The books are as much about the character’s personal journey of redemption, trying to find both a reason to live and a morally acceptable path, as they are about solving crimes. These books are definitely not cozy mysteries.

Given recent events in U.S. politics, I read some non-fiction that deals with earlier times when the United States was in turmoil. Watergate by Fred Emery is truly an interesting study of one of the great American political scandals of the twentieth century. The book was written in 1994; nevertheless, it does not seem dated. The author had access to many of the principle players in the scandal, as well as to various documents and tapes that were not publicly available in the 1970s. The book has extensive endnotes and makes for a very detailed read.

Recently I began to read The Smartest Guys in the Room which details the rise and fall of Enron. Several years ago, I watched the documentary with same name. The book goes into much more detail about the key players (Ken Lay, Jeff Skilling, et al). It also details the early history of Enron and makes the case that the company was cutting corners and engaging in risky behavior long before the it became a household name. 
Chris H., 
Adult Collection Develoment Librarian

Let's take a look at some of this summer's hot new titles.

Kevin Kwan's latest sounds quite similar to his last year's best seller. He seems to have created a niche for himself, a sub-genre, writing about newly rich in the buzzy, fast paced techno Asia.

Another title that's getting a lot of buzz this summer is People We Hate at the Wedding. The publishing industry loves comparisons and has named it this year's The Nest which I enjoyed a lot when I read it last summer. Its acerbic tone and dysfunctional family members made me LOL quite frequently. 

And finally, new fiction from a beloved writer! Arundhati Roy's latest, Ministry of Utmost Happiness has garnered steller reviews and based on our very long waiting list, it is one of the more popular books this summer (I'm still waiting to get my copy!).

Touch is another buzzy title of the summer. A cultural satire, set in the tech and trendy world of New York City. Some have compared it to Dave Eggers' The Circle

 Tell us what you are reading this summer - re-reading a favorite? Catching up with your to-be-read list? Or in the mood for the latest best seller? 

Saima K. 
Virtual Library Services

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