Summer 2017: What I’m Reading Now

I guess it’s that time again–time to set my monthly reading list of the three books I’m reading this month! I’ve been trying to make my TBRs a month-by-month thing and only with three books at a time. I’m finding this much more manageable than having an endless Goodreads-style list full of 200 books. In doing this, I make sure I stick with the books I’m reading and that I actually finish them.

I do have a carry-over: Walkaway by Cory Doctorow (his new adult dystopian), that I am tacking onto this list in hopes of finally getting to it in the midst of my always-busy schedule; however, at least I’ve stuck with the books I’ve been choosing so far. Here is the list for this month:

What I’m Reading Now:

3. Scythe by Neal Shusterman

I received a copy of this book as an anniversary gift from my better half, and it’s been one of my “must-reads” for a while. With this book, Shusterman tries a unique approach to the dystopian fiction genre in YA, and instead crafts a unique and dark utopia in which humanity has gained all knowledge and achievement, and has even conquered mortality. However, this world and its accomplishments come at a heavy price–one some are unwilling to pay. Scythes are charged with “gleaning” people from the population–a true death in a world of immortality–in order to control its growth. Rowan and Citra become tangled up in this web.

They live by the words:

Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own. (via Goodreads).

The action, plot, and tension of this novel is subtle, but tense, and I’m enjoying it immensely so far.

2. Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh 

An inventive retelling of the Mulan legend from a Japanese perspective (and I LOVE Mulan), Renee Ahdieh’s The Flame in the Mist is my first foray into her work, and so far I adore it. It is the first in a series, and I will definitely be finishing this and her previous series The Wrath and the Dawn. If you missed this release, you should pick it up.

It explores the following:

The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath.

So, at just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose, for the very first time. But the journey is cut short when Mariko’s convoy is viciously attacked by the Black Clan, a dangerous group of bandits who’ve been hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace.

The lone survivor, Mariko narrowly escapes to the woods, where she plots her revenge. Dressed as a peasant boy, she sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and hunt down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires. (via Goodreads)

1. The Golden House by Salman Rushdie 

I feel very lucky that Random House gave me an ARC of this book to review; I’ve coveted it fiercely since news of its publication was announced. Rushdie has been my literary idol for years, and he’s a master at satire, socio-cultural critique, and magical realism. I’m already into this book, and it’s gearing up to be an important look at the state of society, politics, and truth in a Trump-era America. I absolutely love this book so far. It’s the novel I hoped for, and Rushdie never fails to delight.

The book begins…

When powerful real-estate tycoon Nero Golden immigrates to the States under mysterious circumstances, he and his three adult children assume new identities, taking ‘Roman’ names, and move into a grand mansion in downtown Manhattan. Arriving shortly after the inauguration of Barack Obama, he and his sons, each extraordinary in his own right, quickly establish themselves at the apex of New York society.

The story of the powerful Golden family is told from the point of view of their Manhattanite neighbour and confidant, René, an aspiring filmmaker who finds in the Goldens the perfect subject. René chronicles the undoing of the house of Golden: the high life of money, of art and fashion, a sibling quarrel, an unexpected metamorphosis, the arrival of a beautiful woman, betrayal and murder, and far away, in their abandoned homeland, some decent intelligence work.

Invoking literature, pop culture, and the cinema, Rushdie spins the story of the American zeitgeist over the last eight years, hitting every beat: the rise of the birther movement, the Tea Party, Gamergate and identity politics; the backlash against political correctness; the ascendency of the superhero movie, and, of course, the insurgence of a ruthlessly ambitious, narcissistic, media-savvy villain wearing make-up and with coloured hair.

In a new world order of alternative truths, Salman Rushdie has written the ultimate novel about identity, truth, terror and lies. A brilliant, heartbreaking realist novel that is not only uncannily prescient but shows one of the world’s greatest storytellers working at the height of his powers. (via Goodreads)

The above novels aren’t in any order of importance—I like them all so far—and I think they should be on everyone’s reading lists this summer. What is on your summer reading list? What releases are you looking forward to? Tell me below!

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2 thoughts on “Summer 2017: What I’m Reading Now

    • Sticking to plans like this can be hit or miss for me, but I really need to try. I’m starting to get anxiety about all the books I need to read and the TBR that keeps growing.

      Like

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