Summer Reading 2009

There are so many good books that come out in time for summer reading that my holds list becomes overwhelming. Especially since I don’t “have” to read the book discussion books.

When I look at my favorite authors, more than half of the top ten are fantasy novels.  (And some may argue that Jane Austen and Patrick O’brian are writing fantasy that is just set in the real world. ) One of my new favorites, Brandon Sanderson, has just come out with a new standalone, Warbreaker, which has a medieval feel to it with an unusual magic. Some people in the world can absorb other people’s life spark which gives them to ability to see colors, manipulate objects and, with enough power, to manipulate people. There are, of course, many people who are trying to grab power for themselves. Two princesses, from a country that refuses to use the life spark’s power, are thrown into the power struggle. Sanderson has a large cast — all of whom are shades of gray — and I found myself caring about several of them as they had to face their changing views of right, wrong and themselves.

Another really good read is Kate Morton’s Forgotten Garden, which is a family epic told out of chronological order. We first meet Nell, a four-year-old girl who is hiding on a ship bound for Australia in 1913, left there by someone she knows as The Authoress.  We soon are introduced to Nell’s granddaughter (present day) and The Authoress Eliza (late 1800s to 1900s) as well as some secondary characters. As we bounce through time Morton reveals more of what really happened in 1913, providing some red herrings, love and even a reference to Frances Hodgson Burnett’s inspiration for The Secret Garden. Throughout the story — one of my favorite parts — are the fairy tales the Authoress writes.