July is finally here, which means it’s time to kick off my summer reading! I know it’s felt like summer for a few weeks already, but to me, summer will always be July and August; it’s one of those things from being a student that I just can’t shake. And making summer reading lists has always been something I’ve loved doing.
Happy Towel Day to all my fellow hitchhikers!
I managed to find some time over the holidays to read a couple new books, but one of them was far more compelling than the others. I’m talking about Sleeping Giants, a debut novel (and the first in what will become a series) by Canadian author Sylvain Neuvel.
Happy World Book Day!
I am terrible at blogging! But whatever, less time spent writing about books means more time reading books, right? Right!
In celebration of World Book Day (which should really be every day), I shall share with you all my favourite book of 2016 (so far).
Gold Fame Citrus is probably one of the best sci-fi novels I’ve read in a while. I usually like my sci-fi full of aliens, adventures through space and complicated scientific theories that I only kind of understand (or at least pretend to understand), but this book is on a whole new level. It’s science fiction in a new way that I had never considered before. Imagine if an extreme period of climate change and ecological decay, predicted to take tens of thousands of years, was sped up and happened in the span of roughly 10-15 years.
What happens when the state of California, and its surrounding areas, are completely dried up, and everyone is forced to move to the east coast if they want any chance of survival? What happens to the people who decide to stick it out and forage for food, live off the land, and become one with the desert?
That’s what the two main characters, Luz and Ray, decide to do. Luz and Ray have a complicated relationship, but it’s beautiful. They only have each other. Their situation is clearly not ideal, but they take care of one another and always share their rationed cola.
After finding a toddler, clearly neglected by her caregivers, they decide to try and make it east to start new lives for themselves. But crossing a desert, which has already swallowed up an entire mountain range, is not easy. Especially when you get caught up with a group of people who truly believe that the desert chose them; they also may or may not realize that they’re in a cult.
Gold Fame Citrus is a harrowing story, but Watkins presents it with beautiful prose. I recommend reading this book if you’re looking for an original story packed with emotions.
Everyone loves reading in the summer — you can read in the park, read on a patio or read on the beach. What’s not to love? I read a lot of books this past summer, but two of them really stood out from the rest. Both of these books have been adapted to the big screen, but I promise you, the books are better.
The War of the Worlds, H. G. Wells
The aliens that invade Earth in The War of the Worlds were Martians, or so the unnamed narrator says. They come down in their spaceships at night and land near Woking, Surrey. Humans are of course naturally curious, and start hanging around the landing sites to see what’s happening.
Little do they know these are not friendly aliens. The Martians stay within their cylinders, which transform into functional, combat-ready tripods (complete with heat rays), because their bodies can’t cope with Earth’s atmosphere. Then, they begin to kill humans, cause endless chaos and drain all hope from humanity. The countryside also gets covered in red weed, which is a plant from Mars that was, perhaps accidentally, brought to Earth.
The novel takes place over the span of a few days, where the unnamed narrator is fleeing from the Martians. He witnesses brutal attacks on fellow humans, failed retaliation attempts from the military and narrowly escapes death himself.
If you’re into science fiction or classic literature, or want to prepare for an alien invasion, you should read this book.
Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton
Hold on to your butts, because this book is one million times better than the movie! Plus, there’s more dinosaurs. I’ve seen the movie more times than I can count, but only got around to reading the book this summer (and yes, the book did come out first).
The plot is generally the same (old, rich white guy creates a dinosaur theme park) but the book is just SO. MUCH. BETTER! It has more backstory, more dinosaur facts and more action. Yes, you read that correctly: the book is more exciting than the movie. It has quite a few violent scenes that didn’t make it into the movie, likely because it would have ruined the family-friendly vibe that many blockbusters strive for. Spoiler: some of the dinosaurs make it off the island!
Crichton’s novel also contains more scientific explanations, and plays up the philosophical questions of “should we be bringing back prehistoric creatures and cloning them?” The book definitely makes you think, which may seem daunting, but remember: dinosaurs.
If you’re into science fiction or popular fiction from the early 1990s, or dinosaurs, you should read this book.