Summer does not officially begin until June 20th, but today welcomed the end of spring classes as I begin digging through an aggregation of books. My summer reading list, which originally consisted of 50 or so titles, expanded to into a larger pile of 74. Residing in that list of 74 are books upon books I am far too eager to start, such as The Alchemyst, The Hunch Back of Notre-Dame, and Un Lun Dun (to name a few). This week, however, I’m looking forward to three in particular:
- Sea of Shadow by Fuyumi Ono
Praise by BookLoons.com: “An exciting, fast-paced adventure that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.”
I hope so! At 459 pages, who knows if I can finish this by next Sunday, but it’s a story I have waited to read. In the first book of The Twelve Kingdoms saga, Yoko Nakajima is thrust out of her ordinary life and into a magical realm known as The Twelve Kingdoms. The set-up and environment of these kingdoms, I have read, reflect Chinese mythology — something I almost always find provides wonderfully engaging settings to get lost in.
- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
It is likely I never noticed just how frequently Dorian Gray references are woven into pop culture, but I feel the almighty mystical forces of the universe trying to transmit a message. Dorian Gray, Dorian Gray: oh, narcissism! (“How sad it is! I shall grow old and horrible and dreadful.”) Point of message: either I am incredibly vain or I need to read Wilde’s novel. Well, I hope it’s the latter.
More and more, Dorian Gray is popping up in my life. In this week alone, I encountered near a dozen (or more) incidental mentions: from book reviews, TV shows, and everyday conversations. Okay Universe, I hear you.
- Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Even before its official release this month, high ratings have nested Shadow and Bone in a rainstorm of praise. I couldn’t feel more excited to pick up Bardugo’s book tomorrow, and I intend to read it the instant I get home. Oh, if only a leash can help lower my expectations. I’ve allowed the hype to seep in, slowly raising standards, and I’m afraid disappointment will override the excitement. Hopefully that will not be the case.