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Tempest Williams is one of my favorite writers (and a fellow Utahn!), and she's at her finest in this collection of essays on America's National Parks. They are personal and political, informative and immediate, a reflection on our messy relationship with wild spaces that's by turns heartbreaking and uplifting. If you're looking for a book to inspire you to get outside this summer, this is the one!
There really is a Boogeyman, and creatures that live under your bed? WHAT?! Fun, but a little bit scary, makes this book the perfect summer read.
Pete is an adorable lump of an elephant who wants to tell jokes. As he plays, he tries to figure out what he is through comparisons. A sweet, humorous story of perception and the confusing, ongoing search for identity, Pete's journey provides an entry point into conversations of categorization and point-of-view while also being a giggle-inducing storytime pick.
When Aventurine is trapped in a puny human body by an enchanted cup of hot chocolate, she knows she must do all it takes to regain her true dragon form. But what will she do about her weakness for chocolate...and the humans that make it? A completely charming adventure and a feisty heroine.
Mamie starts writing to Michael Collins, the astronaut who's going to stay behind when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on the moon, for a school assignment, but she keeps writing to him throughout the summer of 1969, as everyone seems to be leaving her behind.
Get ready to swoon over this book. A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder meets Sorcery and Cecelia in this delicious historical romp. Monty and Percy, BFFs since forever, and, Monty hopes, maybe something more, are headed off on their grand tour. Despite severe prohibitions of alcohol, sex, and other vices, Monty is determined to have a decadent time.
Seveneves is so much more than science fiction set in space. It feels preparatory, as Stephenson tends to spend a lot time on the technicalities of orbital mechanics, but Stephenson also makes it clear what would really matter in such a catastrophic situation. Political and philosophical existentialism with a great narrative. It is compellingly readable (in the way you would think a story about the moon blowing up and humanity ending would be).
Rooted in Russian folklore, this is the stunning and beautiful story of Vasya, a young girl who does everything she can to protect her family when danger encroaches. One of my favorite books of the season.
After emerging from the horror of the First World War, J.R.R. Tolkien gave us a world of hobbits, elves, and wizards; feasts and adventures. However, this is Tolkien's most personal story, so much so that the names of Beren and Luthien are engraved on the tombstone he shares with his wife.