This Year’s Summer Reads

Books
Summer novels: JMT

Ever struggled to find the perfect summer read? Are you drawn to themes of romance, horror or suspense and can’t quite find the book that ticks all the boxes? We’ve saved you some time this Summer, and collated a list of breakout novels for the entire family to suit all kinds of preferences and reading abilities. It’s time to put the kettle on and make a large cup of tea – JMT has got your Summer reads for 2014 sorted!

1. The Beginner

For those that are new to reading, House of Robots by James Patterson is a lovely introduction to the wonder and fun that is books.

In this new highly-illustrated series from James Patterson, an extraordinary robot signs up for an ordinary fifth grade class… and elementary school will never be the same! It was never easy for Sammy Hayes-Rodriguez to fit in, so he’s dreading the day when his genius mom insists he bring her newest invention to school: a walking, talking robot he calls E–for “Error”. Sammy’s no stranger to robots–his house is full of a colorful cast of them. But this one not only thinks it’s Sammy’s brother… it’s actually even nerdier than Sammy. Will E be Sammy’s one-way ticket to Loserville? Or will he prove to the world that it’s cool to be square? It’s a roller-coaster ride for Sammy to discover the amazing secret E holds that could change family forever… if all goes well on the trial run!

 
 

2. The Picky One

Death Sworn by Leah Cypess is a book for those you struggle to find a book to read, or for those you spend countless hours trawling the library bookshelves and that perfect summer read… We’ve saved you time and found you this fantasy novel that is bound to draw your attention and surround yourself in a world filled with drama, intrigue and magic.
Ileni is losing her magic. And that means she’s losing everything: her position as the rising star of her people, her purpose in life, and even the young man she loves. Sent to the assassins’ cave hidden deep within the mountains, she expects no one will ever hear from her again. The last two sorcerers sent died within weeks of each other. Accidents? Or something more sinister? As Ileni navigates the dangers—both natural and human—of the caves, she’ll discover secrets that have been kept for decades. And she’ll find an ally in Sorin, the deadly young man who could be the assassins’ next leader. With Sorin determined to protect her, sparks—magical and romantic—will fly. But will even he understand the choice she must make in the end?

3. The Teen

Teen Vogue calls it “a meta-hypertextual exploit” and mix between Inception and The Matrix. Isla J. Bick’s White Space, is exactly that and more – perfect for the teen and reader of YA novels!

Seventeen-year-old Emma Lindsay has problems: a head full of metal, no parents, a crazy artist for a guardian whom a stroke has turned into a vegetable, and all those times when she blinks away, dropping into other lives so ghostly and surreal it’s as if the story of her life bleeds into theirs. But one thing Emma has never doubted is that she’s real.Then she writes “White Space,” a story about these kids stranded in a spooky house during a blizzard.

Unfortunately, “White Space” turns out to be a dead ringer for part of an unfinished novel by a long-dead writer. The manuscript, which she’s never seen, is a loopy Matrix meets Inkheart story in which characters fall out of different books and jump off the page. Thing is, when Emma blinks, she might be doing the same and, before long, she’s dropped into the very story she thought she’d written. Trapped in a weird, snow-choked valley, Emma meets other kids with dark secrets and strange abilities: Eric, Casey, Bode, Rima, and a very special little girl, Lizzie. What they discover is that they–and Emma–may be nothing more than characters written into being from an alternative universe for a very specific purpose.

Now what they must uncover is why they’ve been brought to this place–a world between the lines where parallel realities are created and destroyed and nightmares are written–before someone pens their end.

4. The Romantic

For the romantic at heart, here we have Stephanie Evanovich’s debut novel, Big Girl Panties. It’s sure to both amuse and ignite the unexpected romances and twists that readers will have come to know and love.
 
Evanovich’s debut contemporary novel pairs up a hefty widow and an Adonis-like personal trainer in a Pygmalion story that overflows with humour and heart. There’s no size-shaming, just wry laughs as Holly confronts shallow fashion divas and her owns issues around grief and trust, while Logan leans to admire and appreciate her for exactly who she is.

5. The Thrill Seeker

The Black-Eyed Blonde by Benjamin Black is an insatiable read for the lover of thrill, suspense and old-time noir.
Raymond Chandler’s incomparable private eye is back, pulled by a seductive young heiress into the most difficult and dangerous case of his career. 
“It was one of those summer Tuesday afternoons when you begin to wonder if the earth has stopped revolving. The telephone on my desk had the look of something that knows it’s being watched. Traffic trickled by in the street below, and there were a few pedestrians, too, men in hats going nowhere.”
So begins The Black-Eyed Blonde, a new novel featuring Philip Marlowe—yes, that Philip Marlowe. Channeling Raymond Chandler, Benjamin Black has brought Marlowe back to life for a new adventure on the mean streets of Bay City, California. It is the early 1950s, Marlowe is as restless and lonely as ever, and business is a little slow. Then a new client is shown in: young, beautiful, and expensively dressed, she wants Marlowe to find her former lover, a man named Nico Peterson. Marlowe sets off on his search, but almost immediately discovers that Peterson’s disappearance is merely the first in a series of bewildering events. Soon he is tangling with one of Bay City’s richest families and developing a singular appreciation for how far they will go to protect their fortune.
Only Benjamin Black, a modern master of the genre, could write a new Philip Marlowe detective novel that has all the panache and charm of the originals while delivering a story that is as sharp and fresh as today’s best crime fiction.
 
 
 

6. The Adventurer

For the adventurous one in the family, Full Force and Effect by Mark Garvey, is a modern take on the well-known Jack Ryan character created by Tom Clancy – and the thrills, suspense and political espionage will never fail to delight!

A North Korean ICBM crashes into the Sea of Japan. A veteran CIA officer is murdered in Ho Chi Minh City, and a package of forged documents goes missing. The pieces are there, but assembling the puzzle will cost Jack Ryan, Jr. and his fellow Campus agents precious time. Time they don’t have.The challenge facing President Jack Ryan is an old one with a terrifying new twist. The international stalemate with North Korea continues into its seventh decade.  A young, untested dictator is determined to prove his strength by breaking the deadlock. Like his father before him, he hangs his plans on the country’s nuclear ambitions. Until now, that program was impeded by a lack of resources. However, there has been a dramatic change in the nation’s economic fortune. A rich deposit of valuable minerals have been found in the Hermit Kingdom.  Coupled with their nuclear capabilities, the money from this find will make North Korea a dangerous force on the world stage.

There’s just one more step needed to complete this perfect plan…the elimination of the president of the United States.

 

7. The Classical

Mrs. Dalloway by the one and only Virginia Woolf, is a novel that details the day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway, a fictional high-society women in post-World War I England. A great addition to the classical lover’s repertoire, it is rightfully regarded as one of Woolf’s best-known work.

Created from two short stories, “Mrs Dalloway in Bond Street” and the unfinished “The Prime Minister,” the novel addresses Clarissa’s preparations for a party she will host that evening. With an interior perspective, the story travels forwards and back in time and in and out of the characters’ minds to construct an image of Clarissa’s life and of the inter-war social structure.
 
 

8. The Non-fiction

On Immunity: An Inoculation, author Eula Biss provocatively examines the history and beginnings of vaccinations, and how it become a process of break though medicine to something that is most feared within society today. A great read for the lover of non-fiction!
Upon becoming a new mother, Eula Biss addresses a chronic condition of fear—fear of the government, the medical establishment, and what is in your child’s air, food, mattress, medicine, and vaccines. She finds that you cannot immunize your child, or yourself, from the world.

In this bold, fascinating book, Biss investigates the metaphors and myths surrounding our conception of immunity and its implications for the individual and the social body. As she hears more and more fears about vaccines, Biss researches what they mean for her own child, her immediate community, America, and the world, both historically and in the present moment. She extends a conversation with other mothers to meditations on Voltaire’s Candide, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, Susan Sontag’s AIDS and Its Metaphors, and beyond. On Immunity is a moving account of how we are all interconnected—our bodies and our fates.

9. The Biographer

And finally, for the biographer of the family, Paul Johnson’s take on former President Eisenhower’s life in the novel, aptly tilted Eisenhower, is a must-read, and one that is difficult to put down!
 

Johnson chronicles President Eisenhower’s modest childhood in Kansas, his college years at West Point, and his rapid ascent through the military ranks, culminating in his appointment as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II. Beginning when Eisenhower assumed the presidency from Harry Truman in 1952, Johnson paints a rich portrait of his two consecutive terms, exploring his volatile relationship with then-Vice President Richard Nixon, his abhorrence of isolationism, and his position on the Cold War, McCarthyism, and the Civil Rights Movement. Johnson notes that when Eisenhower left the White House at age 70, reluctantly passing the torch to President-elect John F. Kennedy, he feared for the country’s future and prophetically warned of the looming military-industrial complex.Many elements of Eisenhower’s presidency speak to American politics today, including his ability to balance the budget and skill in managing an oppositional Congress. This brief yet comprehensive study will appeal to biography lovers as well as to enthusiasts of presidential history and military history alike.

 
So tell us, what’s your favourite Summer reads for 2014? Leave a comment below!
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