Great Summer’s End Reads

. . by Renee Holden, Head Editor, INALJ Nebraska

Great Summer’s End Reads

77491_539638406062729_675693252_oWe often have patrons frequent the reference desk around this time of year who are looking for some great books to read before the summer ends.  Here are my top five books to enjoy before the summer passes us by and fall settles in.

The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes

This is a wonderfully written tale about a time-travelling serial killer.  Harper Curtis is unlike any usual serial killer.  Starting in Depression-era Chicago, he has found a way to travel through time, making his crimes almost impossible for the authorities to solve.  But his 1989 victim, Kirby Mazrachi, has somehow managed to survive her encounter with Harper.  Now Kirby is ready to give Harper a taste of his own medicine and make time run out before another person is killed.

The Execution of Noa P. Singleton by Elizabeth L. Silver

An unforgettable and unpredictable debut novel of guilt, punishment, and the stories we all tell ourselves to survive.  Noa P. Singleton sits on death row in a maximum security prison, just six months away from her execution date.  She is visited by a high-powered Philadelphia attorney who is a heartbroken mother of the victim and now wants to see the death penalty delayed…if only Noa reveals her motive.

She Left Me the Gun: My Mother’s Life Before Me by Emma Brockes

This is the story of a woman who reinvented herself so completely that her previous life seemed simply to vanish, and a daughter who transcends her mother’s silences and reclaims her past.  The author grew up hearing only pieces of her mother’s youth in South African and London.  Her mother Paula was a strong, self-invented woman; glamorous, no-nonsense, and out of place in their small English village.  Emma never asked why her mother emigrated to England or why she never returned to South Africa.  After Paula’s death, she began a search for the real Paula.  This book is a good read if you like Jeannette Walls’ The Glass Castle. 

The Universe Versus Alex Woods by Gavin Extence

Alex Woods was struck by a meteorite when he was just ten years old, leaving scars that marked him for an extraordinary life.  His mother calls him Lex because he’s bald.  The son of a fortune teller, bookish, an easy target for bullies, he hasn’t had the most ordinary childhood.  When he meets curmudgeonly Mr. Peterson, he finds an unlikely friend who tells him you only get one shot at life…so you better make it count.  So, when Alex turns seventeen, he is stopped at Dover customs with 113 grams of marijuana, an urn full of his friend’s ashes on the passenger seat and an entire nation in uproar, he’s fairly sure he’s done the right thing.  Or has he?

The 5th Wave by Richard Yancy

This is a great book for those who enjoy Invasion of the body Snatchers, Ender’s Game, and Independence Day.  After the 1st wave, only darkness remains.  After the 2nd, only the lucky escaped.  And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survived.  After the 4th wave, trust no one.  Now, it’s the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie, armed only with an old rifle, runs from Them, the Beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see; who have scattered Earth’s last survivors.  To stay alone is to stay alive…until Cassie meets Evan Walker.  Quiet and mysterious, Evan may be her only hope for rescuing her brother from Them or even saving herself.  She must choose before life and death and to give up or get up and fight.  This is a perfect book if you like end of the world stories.