by Lydia Ruth
For many of us, summer is the time to kick back, relax, and immerse ourselves in a new book! I’m a pretty eclectic reader. If the writing is good, I’m not too particular about the genre. I thought I would share some of my favorites that cover the spectrum – from non-fiction to horror and everything in between. Whether you are looking for a good beach read or something to help you relax during your staycation, I certainly hope this list puts you on the trail of a new favorite summer read!
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
I read this book last summer on a cruise, and I immediately fell in love with the main character, Flavia de Luce. She is a precocious, 11-year-old chemist who solves murders in the surrounding area of her family’s crumbling estate. I love the setting of the book – 1950s British countryside. The writing was excellent, the characters were quirky and unique, and the story was told in a compelling manner that made me want to keep reading!
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
I read this book a couple of years ago when Jurassic World was released in theaters. It was the perfect book to read by the pool. If you’ve seen the movie, don’t discount reading the book. There are some startling differences that still allow for it to be a new experience. The characters and the story itself are fascinating, and the non-stop action kept me reading long into a sunburn!
Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
I listened to this while driving to the beach on a recent vacation. Audiobooks are a great way to keep kids (and adults) occupied on long drives. The story is based on the premise that ghosts are walking the earth and some of them are very dangerous. However, only children and teenagers can see them, which means that children are basically the ghost law enforcement protecting everyone else. The story focuses around one organization and its efforts to remove a ghost from a home. The dialogue is witty, and the plot is awesome! I’m not always a big fan of Young Adult novels (they can feel like “same story, different setting” at times), but I really felt like this was a unique story that was well crafted.
‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
First, let me say. I am a total ‘fraidy cat. The movie Halloween still terrifies me if I think about it too long. However, Stephen King is one of my all-time favorite authors. I can put up with the fact that his books scare me because I love almost everything about his writing style. If you’ve ever read Dracula, then you will love this book. Stephen King loved Dracula so this is sort of like a modernized version of the classic. The story is definitely creepy, but the plot is so intriguing that you’ll want to keep reading.
Dr. Mutter’s Marvels by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz
I stumbled onto this book by chance while visiting a friend in Philadelphia. I had heard about the Mutter Museum located there, but I had no idea who “Mutter” was. I wasn’t able to visit the museum, so I decided to Google him, and I stumbled across this book. It turns out he was an incredible man who was an advocate for compassionate medicine in a time where a lot of medical practices were just a few steps away from barbaric. The book follows the life of Dr. Mutter, and it reveals his impact on the world of modern medicine. Whether or not you typically gravitate towards non-fiction, this is a compelling read that shows how one man’s hard work paved the way for changes in how doctors treat patients.
Lydia Ruth Contact
Lydia is a recent UT Grad working as a Business Analyst in the IRIS Department. She did an internship with Disney (no, she wasn’t Mickey, and no, she can’t get you in for free) where she gained a love for helping people, along with an inordinate number of Mickey Ears. She’s always happy to receive a book suggestion (or make one)…just don’t offer her Brussel sprouts. She thinks they’re baby cabbages.