Young Adults’ Recommended Reading (by Kate)

As the primary IT guy for our website, one of the benefits my family enjoys is ordering books when I make code changes to DiscoverBooks.com. After a change, I always order a test book (to make sure everything still works properly). My daughter and wife fight about who gets the next “free” book (free to them – of course I pay for books just as everyone else does, after checking our social media and email campaigns for a coupon code). My 11-year-old daughter wrote a blog post about the books/series she likes the most:

Greetings, fellow readers! My name is Kate. I am in the sixth grade, and here are some of my middle school reading recommendations:

Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

I started to read the first (of five books in the series) in the summer before fifth grade. It had been sitting on my shelf, and I decided to bring it along on a trip. Once I started reading it, I could not put it down. It is beautifully written and absolutely hilarious. I finished it at the beginning of the school year, and I was very excited to read the next book in the series. While reading, you will learn about Greek mythology. I already knew some Greek mythology before I read this series, but Riordan brought the characters to life for me. You’ll learn about Poseidon, Zeus, Medusa, Athena, Hera, Demeter, Ares, and many more including cool monsters and Titans. One of my favorite chapters is about Aunty Em’s Gnome Emporium, which turns out to be statue shop – with statues that Aunty Em (Medusa) created with her deadly gaze. I gave the books to my mom when I was done and she likes them, although she has to fight my friends for them because they’re all reading them too! Rick Riordan has four other different series right now and I’ve enjoyed them all as well. I’ll talk about them in my next post.

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Harry Potter by JK Rowling

The Harry Potter series is very well known to readers all around the world (more than 400 million copies sold, in 55 languages — including Latin and Ancient Greek). JK Rowling is the first author to make $1 billion. The series is about a boy who finds out he is a wizard. In every book he goes on a new adventure, usually with his two best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. I like to watch the movies after having read the books to see how they are different. The book is always better. My favorite book from the series is The Goblet of Fire.

In this book, Harry has to compete against wizards from other schools in many challenges. My favorite characters in the books are Hagrid, Cho Chang, and Fleur Delacour. I was lucky to have my mom take me for a weekend to Universal Studios in Florida. We visited the World of Harry Potter. I had butterbeer (it’s like an ice cream float – so good!) and we had a lot of fun exploring Diagon Alley. I highly recommend reading the books (first), watching the movies (second), and visiting Universal (if you can- get the butterbeer and chocolate frogs).

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The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games series is probably my favorite series so far this year. It is thrilling and action-packed. The only problem is younger readers may be frightened by the violence that’s described. The story takes place in the future with a country divided into 12 districts that are harshly ruled by an evil president in the capitol. Every year, two children from each district participate in the “games.” They fight each other until only one person is left alive. As the series continues, there is a revolt. The main character, Katniss, becomes the face of the revolt and is nicknamed the Mockingjay (which is the name of the third/final book in the series). For Christmas last year, I got a bow and arrow set – sometimes my dad calls me Kate-nis when I’m practicing. I don’t mind too much. I watched the movies after reading the books. They were good but left out a lot of parts I enjoyed from the books.

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Other series I recommend:

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney – I read all these a year or two ago. Easy to read, funny. Good for younger readers.

 

 

 

Divergent by Veronica Roth – I’m reading this now. It is similar to The Hunger Games in some ways.

 

 

 

The Maze Runner by James Dashner – I’m reading this next.

 

Your 2018 Summer Reading List

Every year for the past 30-something years, my mother’s side of the family has come together for a week at the beach. We’ve ranged in numbers from 15 to 45, with ages from one to 75. And while we’ve added family members and lost others, while bathing suit sizes have crept up, and while more folks have reading glasses perched on top of sunglasses, on every beach day, you’ll see a line of us on the shore with books in hand.

Summer reading lists for the beach mean different things to different people. For some it’s picking up a classic they didn’t quite finish in high school but always meant to tackle. For others, it means they now have time to wade deeper into a mystery series.

And there are always one or two uncles with a Tom Clancy or John Sandford paperback pulled waterlogged and dog-eared from the bottom of a bag. But for the majority of us, beach reads equal something lighter in nature, or catching up on the latest New York Times Best Seller that everyone is talking about.

Beach reads can be the paper versions of Lifetime holiday movies. You can generally figure out the plots early and know who is going to end up together. But exploring the complexity of family relationships and travelling to different places feeds right into the summer mood.

In my teenage years, my summer reads were written by Rosamunde Pilcher who, in addition to her most famous book, “The Shell Seekers,” wrote more than 30 novels and story collections over her career.

From there I moved on to a couple of mystery series, choosing a couple of Janet Evanovich or Sue Grafton letters and numbers to pass the time. And now it’s whatever the book club has selected (which can admittedly go either way…).

There are endless online lists of recommended summer reads where you can select by genre or choose based on an author you’ve enjoyed previously. Local libraries often have summer reading programs to encourage reading and are a great source of information as well. We’ve assembled a Popular Reads section where you can browse our top-rated and best-selling books. And when you’ve found your titles to pack in your beach bag, remember to check discoverbooks.com to make your beach budget stretch even further. Stock up on all of the best books for summer with our selections below:

Rainbow Six by Tom Clancy

Tom Clancy’s classic techno military thriller, Rainbow Six, focuses on an elite counter-terrorism unit led by one of Clancy’s lesser used characters, John Clark. This is one Clancy’s more standout novels and a great example of the tech thriller of the late 90s early 2000s. It’s a beast at around 900 pages, but a veritable page-turner.

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Broken Prey by John Sandford

John Sanford is the king of the serial novel genre, and perhaps his most notable series is the Prey Series which features Lucas Davenport as the main protagonist. Stretching across 28 books, the Prey Series, follows Davenport as he navigates life in the Minneapolis Police Department. Broken Prey is the 16th book in the series and puts Davenport and the reader in a chase with one of the most ruthless killers in the Prey series.

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Two For The Dough by Janet Evanovich

Two for the Dough is a book by Janet Evanovich in the Stephanie Plum series and spent 36 weeks at the Top 150 best-seller list. This novel features corrupt funeral home owners, embalmed body parts in the mail, and not-to-be-underestimated grandmothers, as well as the introduction of “Big Blue,” the only car to remain unscathed throughout the Plum series.

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Shell Seekers by Rosamond Pilcher

Shell Seekers is a time agnostic novel that follows the main character, Penelope Kneeling, as she examines her life in her 60s. Told through impressionistic flashbacks and multiple points of view, this novel has been a long-running best-seller, especially in author Rosamond Pilcher’s home in the UK. While not a page-turning serial thriller, this is a great summer read if you’re looking for something with a little bit more emotional depth and less action.

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X (A Kinsey Millhone Novel) by Sue Grafton

Sue Grafton’s Alphabet Series features detective Kinsey Millhone and is set in California. X is the only title in the series to not have been followed by a word in her now famous title styles (A is for Alibi). Written in the classic hard boiled detective genre, X is set in 1980s California and follows Millhone as she tracks down a sociopathic serial killer.

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May is Short Story Month

For those of us without a lot of time to read – or perhaps readers like me who have books all over the house and want to be able to pick up and put down something if we have a few minutes to spare – short story collections are the perfect solution to get your reading fix without having to read hundreds of pages.

Most of us were introduced to short stories in high school. Whether the suspense of Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery, the heartbreaking brilliance of Kurt Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron or the mind-bending consequences in Ray Bradbury’s A Sound of Thunder, short stories introduced younger readers to the possibilities of fiction without sacrificing language, plot, or characters.

Today, short story collections are everywhere. They allow you to explore new genres and authors without the commitment of wading through a longer novel, but with all the satisfaction of finishing a great story. Once you’ve got short story authors that you really like, you can expand your reading list to novel authors you’ve enjoyed and of whom you’d like to read more.

Since May is Short Story Month, we’re showcasing some of our favorite short story picks for our readers.

Ernest Hemingway’s The Nick Adams Stories

Ernest Hemingway is widely considered the grandfather of the modern short story. He has a number of famous short story collections, like In Our Time, but we’d like to point you in the direction of The Nick Adams Stories. This posthumous collection features stories published – and some unpublished – throughout Hemingway’s life. This is one of our favorite collections of short stories to read that are a little off the beaten path.

JD Salinger’s Nine Stories

JD Salinger is widely known for his anti-hero classic, A Catcher in the Rye. He followed his breakout novel with a collection of short stories called “Nine Stories.” It included “A Perfect Day for Bananafish,” which was originally published in the New Yorker Magazine a couple years before Catcher came out. This collection was surprising popular (and financially successful) for a collection of short stories and kept Salinger’s literary star in the spotlight as the famous author slid into the seclusion.

Stephen King’s Night Shift

Night Shift was Stephen King’s first published collection of short stories. Published right after the success of the Shining, Night Shift features 20 of King’s stories, some previously published by various magazines, others unpublished. Unsurprisingly, many of these stories went on to get film adaptations in Hollywood, including Children of the Corn, Truck, The Lawnmower Man, Graveyard Shift, The Mangler, and Cat’s Eye.

Roald Dahl’s The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More

Roald Dahl has penned children’s classics such as James and the Giant Peach, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but what many Dahl fans don’t realize is that he also wrote several short story collections from the point of view of children. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More is a collection of short stories written for a slightly older audience than the majority of his famous children’s books, leaning more young adult than elementary school aged readers.

 

 

 

Honorable Mentions:

Short Story Categories:

Whether science fiction, classics, horror, Southern literature, or modern authors, there’s sure to be a collection out there that feeds your enjoyment of reading. Check out all of our short story collections here.