Beach Reads: Winter Break ’17-18

This summer I’m planning to blog more regularly than I have in the past. To jumpstart things, I’ll be posting some slightly outdated pieces from my drafts folder that I never got around to publishing when they were a bit more timely (oops!).

So, jump in a time machine with me & let’s go back to the start of January when I was excited to recommend some excellent books…

Throughout the semester I do a lot reading for class, but I don’t get to do much leisure reading. I always have a long list of books waiting to be read at the beach over Christmas. This year I was able to read quite a few and three really stood out:

51NJZ7aH4iL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_ 1. The Accidental Universe: The World You Thought You Knew by Alan Lightman

This is the second book that I’ve read by Alan Lightman. I really enjoyed Mr. g (described by Nature as a “fable on the origin of space, time, matter and life that is a wordfest securely pinned to the rational… refreshingly different magic realism.”) The Accidental Universe  is a series of essays about various aspects of the universe instead of a fictional narrative like Mr. g, but it is still compelling. Lightman manages to make descriptions of physics principles approachable without feeling dumbed-down. It is a thought-provoking book that gracefully takes on big questions.

51wG7x-S+0L2. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot See is set around World War II and follows the experiences of both a French girl and a German boy. As you might imagine, the story gets very grim at times. However, it was hugely popular and won major awards for good reason. The story’s suspense and emotion makes for a spellbinding reading experience. I’m looking forward to traveling to both France and Germany in 2018, so it was a good reminder of the realities of this not so distant period in European history.

 41TDQZ5XDsL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_3. Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz

My anglophile self loves few things more than a cozy English mystery and Magpie Murders did not disappoint. Even if you have streamed every episode of Father Brown and Grantchester from Masterpiece Mystery (yes, of course I have), the book’s clever story within a story structure keeps it from feeling like something you have seen before. Horowitz successfully pairs a quintessential English village 1950’s whodunnit with a more modern mystery that lets you revel in the tropes of the genre but also knows how to cleverly make fun of itself.

I hope that this year you get a chance to curl with a good book in your hands & sand between your toes!

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