Books for summer

I’m a librarian, and I do spend a lot of time reading. What I look for in a summer book:  it should be easy to get into and worth the effort. So many books, so little time.

Nonfiction recommendation
 I first saw this in Berlin, and had to read it. I read the biography of Angela Merkel a while back, and it sort of gave me an interest in stories about growing up in East Germany.

This book is not about Merkel. Although, it is the same era. The history of Germany from the end of WWII to the fall of the Berlin wall.  It is the story of a family, where the oldest daughter escapes from East Germany, and the rest of the family remains behind the Iron Curtain. I liked it, because I feel like I don’t often get this duality of the history presented so personally.

 

I am sort of reading my way through the Kennedy siblings, and their parents, if I can put it like that. It first started with Jack, in an old biography of my Dad’s. Then another one on him. And then came the books on Rose, Rosemary, Kick, Teddy, Jean… and now Eunice. (and I’ve also read the Schwarzenegger biography on the same read-through and recommend that as well.)

What I like about this, is that Eunice is by no means portrayed as a perfect person – despite the title. So often, I feel like I am reading biographies and they’ve suddenly turned into saints. But here, there are foibles and flaws.

Now, onto Robert, maybe. I’m not sure if biographies on Joe, Joe Sr. and Pat exist?

I’m not sure why I picked this up, to be honest, but the story of going through astronaut training – and later on spending a year in space on the ISS was truly captivating. I keep recommending it to patrons at the library and now I recommend it to you.

Fiction

A college-aged, diverse story, with an asexual heroine. It is more a coming-of-age story than a true romance, but still has its happy ending. I was truly sad to see this book end.

With the football world cup going on, the romance novel Kulti with its football playing characters (male hero is a German former footballer, turned assistant coach, female heroine is an American footballer on the team he is assisting.) is a delicious seasonal read. It is just gloriously fun to follow the characters through their romance.

A male librarian hero? I can tell you that (probably) none of the fellows I studied with have a romance blog on the side, but other than that I adored this view of working in a library, as a vibrant community and not a stuffy, silent morgue-like room filled with books. And the romance was nice too.

I also read non-romance novels. Really. I do. This one, for example, about an Icelandic man who has reached the end of his tether, and decides to leave Iceland for a war-zone. I read this in its Norwegian translation and found myself moved. I chuckled at certain parties in the book and felt like weeping in the others. And in the end, it felt like the book was properly wrapped up. I could imagine it being turned into a television show.

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