Courtney Minden and Adrienne Ramsey with one of their favorite authors, Elin Hilderbrand.

Courtney Minden and Adrienne Ramsey with one of their favorite authors, Elin Hilderbrand.

The Fourth of July is this week, and in New England, that date is kind of the unofficial start to summer. I know technically, summer started a little while ago, but here we’ll start to hit the hot weather and people start taking vacations. This is the time of year I always think about what books I can grab to bring to the beach and read while I actually have some down time from work. I have been CRUSHING (that’s what the kids say, right?) the library recently. Did you know they loan you books and DVDs…for FREE!? Isn’t that wild? A couple weeks ago, Asa and I started a Fast and Furious marathon because I had never seen them. Hey, I’m not saying you have to rent scholarly works of art every time you go to the library.

The summer also makes me think of the time I had summer reading for school and had to read five books before returning the next year. I would always start out strong then read three of the books in the last few days of summer break. Probably not the best way to go.

Anyway, I thought I would ask some of our staff for some of their favorite reads or a book they are working on now, just in case you wanted to try any.

Asa Cary: “My favorite book would have to be Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman. It follows the story of what happens in “London-Below” where mythical stories meet those people who fall through the cracks in society. I enjoy the concept of bringing London’s culture and locations in as a part of the story.”

“My current read is World War Z, by Max Brooks. I wanted to check this out because of the recent movie release. The book follows and documents the course of the zombie world take-over through first person interviews. You can never be too prepared. “

Adrienne Ramsey: “My favorite books to read in the summer…anything by Elin Hillderbrand (pictured with her top two fans above).  Her books take place on my favorite vacation spot in the world- Nantucket.”

“I also enjoy any book by the historian David McCullough.  I have read his book John Adams at least 5 times.  It combines a few of my loves including colonial history and my hometown of Quincy, MA. Based on my two choices, there is no doubt of my New England loyalties!”

Hannah Moriggi: “Favorite – Tuesdays With Morrie, by Mitch Albom. Have you ever had someone who you valued their opinion over anyone else? Their advice helped you see the world in a new perspective? Author Mitch Albom had exactly that and narrates a touching tale between a dying teacher and former student – a book packed full of morals and life lessons bound to force you into asking yourself, “What really matters in life?” Put simply, a book that challenges the way you see the world and who doesn’t love that?”

“Currently, I’m reading And the Mountains Echoed, by Khaled Hosseini. Two of my favorite books, The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns are written by Khaled Hosseini, so it’s only fitting that I pre-ordered his newest novel (Do I sound like an English Major yet?). Influenced by Persian poetry, along with personal experiences growing up in Afghanistan Hosseini’s themes include ethnic tensions, immigrant experiences and most importantly, family – ways in which they love, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for each other. I’m 50 pages in and of course, already love it.

Tommaso Canetta: “My most recent read I enjoyed was the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, by Stieg Larsson. I would also suggest for any soccer fans, How Soccer Explains the World, by Franklin Foer. Considering my upcoming 24hr trips to and from Asia, I am eagerly awaiting others suggestions.”

Ellen Zatkowski: “I am currently reading: The Gatekeepers by Jacques Steinberg and Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. Some of my favorites include: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (gotta love those classics J ), The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (before the movie made it cool again), anything by David McCullough.”

Courtney Leahy: “My favorites: I Know This Much is True, by Wally Lamb, My Friend Leonard, by James Frey, and In A Sunburned Country, by Bill Bryson  (it’s a book about Australia).”

“I’m currently reading: Eat, Pray, Love and Violets of March. I love summer, I don’t work; I read and go to the beach.”

Sindhu Suresh: “My favorites are The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling – I’m not embarrassed.  I grew up with these books, and that’s what got me interested in reading back in the 4th grade! The Great Gatsby – It’s not my favorite just because the movie came out recently and Leonardo DiCaprio played Gatsby… but I certainly didn’t mind going to see him in theaters J, and The Awakening by Kate Chopin.

Jaime Robitaille: “For summer reading, there is nothing better than an Elin Hilderbrand book.  All of her novels are set on Nantucket where she currently lives, and while it seems like this would get monotonous – it doesn’t.  Each read is as good as the last.  My favorites would have to be The Castaways and The Blue Bistro.  Easy beach reads, engaging and since they are set on Nantucket, very relatable!”

“One of my all-time favorites would have to be The Shack, by William Young.  This book is not for everyone as it examines a pretty heavy topic around religion, but it’s captivating.  This book was brilliantly written and kept me intrigued from start to finish – I ended up staying in my car for several hours after a long ride so I could finish it.”

Courtney Minden: ” I love to read and I’m not discriminating when it comes to genre. I’ll read anything put in front of me, fiction, non-fiction, instruction manuals, cereal boxes..anything. So this is a really tough question…”

“I think my all time favorite fiction is The Time Travelers Wife. Those who saw the movie, please don’t judge me-it should never have been made into a screenplay. The actual book is a whole different experience. I purposely slowed down as I got to the end so that I wouldn’t reach the last page. I did the same for Cutting for Stone.”

“Right now I’m re-reading another favorite..Beach Music, by Pat Conroy, it’s meant to read again and again, so I pick it up every few years.”

Mark Khan: “I am currently reading Dan Brown’s Inferno. I’m also (still) working on The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky. I really enjoyed Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder and A Language Older Than Words by Derrick Jensen. Finally, I also like re-reading books by Albert Camus.

So, there you have it for our staff. As far as I go, I usually read non-fiction, but the Bourne trilogy by Robert Ludlum was fun to read after seeing the movies and traveling to a lot of the locations. I also love anything behind the scenes in sports, so I think I finished Moneyball by Michael Lewis on a cross-county flight, long before the movie came out. If I want to sound fancy, I’ll say The Inferno, by Dante.

I just finished a great book, Detroit: An American Autopsy, by Charlie LeDuff; I liked it so much I bought it for my Dad. I am off to the library this evening.

As you can see we certainly have some varying tastes on staff. What do you like? If you have any book suggestions, let us know!  Happy reading!