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Top 6 summer beach reads

Looking for some great books for the season? We’ve got you covered with these picks from one of our English department experts.

June 22, 2017

By Cory Phare

Who doesn’t love a good page-turner over the summer?Rebecca Gorman portrait

With the mercury on the rise, we asked faculty member and interim chair of the English department, Rebecca Gorman O’Neill, to share her top beach reads.

So here are six suggestions to help you sink your toes in the sand – proverbially, this being Colorado and all – and unwind with a good book.

1. The Fireman” – by Joe Hill

Features a strong female protagonist and amazing cast of supporting characters. A new pandemic causes people to burst into flame. Not to be cliché, but I didn’t want to put it down. Joe Hill is known for the graphic novel series Locke & Key,” and his skills as a novelist are impressive.

2. "Lincoln in the Bardo" – by George Saunders

A fascinating read! We walk through a graveyard full of spirits and their thoughts on the night that Abraham Lincoln lays his young son Willie to rest. All that sounds terribly sad, but the dozens of voices, the amazing imagery and the dark humor of this book make it fun, powerful and unique.

3. “Legend” – by Marie Lu

A young-adult book, and a good one that bounces back and forth between the points of view of a young man and a young woman who are not only opposites but enemies. I read an interview with the author that says this is a take on “Les Miserables,  if [Hugo’s] two main characters were a young woman and young man in the near future. Fascinating.

4. “Romeo and/or Juliet: A Chooseable-Path Adventure” – by Ryan North

It’s Romeo and Juliet as a “choose-your-own-adventure!” You can “play” as Romeo or Juliet, and it’s lighthearted, fun, with great illustrations and a completely irreverent treatment of the original story.

5. “Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places” – by Colin Dickey

This nonfiction tour of hauntings in America leans less on ghosts and more on the bizarre truths behind the ghost stories – which are sometimes even scarier.

6. “Hag-Seed” – by Margaret Atwood

I love adaptations and I love Shakespeare! I’m in the middle of this terrific modern adaptation of “The Tempest” – by Atwood, author of “The Handmaid’s Tale.

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