I kicked off summer reading with the Maze Runner! Maze Runner is about a boy with a wiped memory who ends up in a community of amnesic boys, which is surrounded by a deadly and ever-changing maze. The boys plan an escape when the artificial community starts to break down after the arrival of the only girl. The book was filled with vivid descriptions and unique ideas. This thriller was very hard to put down and I was hooked. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
I also took a peek at what my younger sibling was reading:
Alex Rider: Crocodile Tears by Anthony Horowitz is a pulse-pounding spy thriller. The protagonist is chased around by a genetic scientist, a millionaire criminal, a snoopy reporter and an Australian spy in a frantic chase to stop a controlled poisoning of Africa. The book is filled with action, guns and gore. However, I found the book too similar to other spy books I have read.
Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick is basically a 400-page long picture book telling the story of two deaf people struggling through life 50 years apart from each other and how their stories combine in a surprising twist. The pictures are great, but the story lacks much drama (the book has very few words), so the novel was quite boring.
One Thousand and One Arabian Nights by Geraldine McCaughrean: This original spinoff of the classic tale is fantastically grand. A woman named Scherazad marries a king who has so little emotion he always kills his wife and remarries another every night. The new queen tells stories to her husband for one thousand and one nights to show the heart-hardened king that not all wives are disloyal. The king is subdued by the new queen’s beauty and masterful storytelling.
Other than the summer reading lists, I am also reading:
How to Clone a Mammoth by Beth Shapiro: This book explains in detail the process of genetically “resurrecting” extinct species. It also explains why ancient DNA is so hard to salvage.
Our Choice by Al Gore: Filled with full-page color photos and visual diagrams, Al Gore explains the causes behind global warming and how we can stop it. It is interesting to note that Al Gore received a Nobel Prize for his efforts in environmental protection.
Rocket Men by Craig Nelson: This book chronicles every second of the Apollo 11 mission and provides a history of rockets, from Wernher von Braun to Robert Goddard to the Space Race. Rocket Men turns the well-known moon mission into a nonfiction thriller. It was impossible for me to put this book down.
Leaving Orbit: Notes from the last days of American Spaceflight by Margaret Lazarus Dean (winner of the 2012 Graywolf Nonfiction Prize): This narrative talks about the last three space missions and the future of space travel. The first-person perspective is in-depth and informative as the author retells of her frantic rush to see the last three rocket missions (Endeavor, Discovery and Atlantis).
March: Book Two by John Lewis, Nate Powell and Andrew Aydin: March is a nonfiction graphic novel telling of Freedom Rider John Lewis and Martin Luther King Jr’s March on Washington. The book portrays the extremely harsh cruelties the black people face as they protest for their rights. Shining a new light on the March, it is a powerful retelling of the Negro people’s demand for equality.
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown: This suspenseful, spiritual and twist-filled tale tells of the adventures of Robert Langdon as he investigates the murder of a friend, follows clues leading to the Holy Grail and discovers shocking messages embedded in Da Vinci’s paintings. This intriguing thriller will keep you reading until the end.
Ten Million Aliens by Simon Barnes: This book attempts to explain all the biological species of the world in a humorous and interesting way. I haven’t gotten far on this book, so I don’t have much more to say about it.
See you later!