The Books of August

As summer winds down and many of us are preparing for the busy fall ahead, we are looking for reading suggestions for these last weeks of August. (Of course, I am in the midst of The Clash of Kings so that should keep me busy until September.) Summer never seems to live up to the promise of endless reading time and beach vacations so we thought we could use a little help from someone who spends most of her days with books. We’ve asked Deanna McFadden, Associate Director, Digital Content for HarperCollins Canada, for her picks.
Summer reading has always been a kind of an enigma for me. For most, a tasty beach read will do — something light and frothy that’s meant to entertain and not necessarily be too taxing. But I tend to go in the opposite direction for summer reading. This year, I’ve got a stack of books about as high as my cottage to get through by the end of the summer, and I’ve been determined to do a lot of “off the shelf reading” — getting through those books that have been collecting dust for two, three, ten, years. So, here are five really terrific reads that I’d consider perfect for the waning days of the season:

The Award Winner
A Visit From the Good Squad
Jennifer Egan’s novel remains a rare thing in the book world – a novel completely and utterly deserving of all its accolades and praise. It won the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction as well as the 2011 Pulitzer Prize (also for fiction, natch). It’s a multi-perspective novel that ¬†circles around two or three main characters who are each either directly or indirectly (as in they are publicists etc.) involved in the music business. Let me just warn you — there’s an entire chapter that’s almost speculative in its nature, containing charts and graphs written by a pre-teen girl, and it was utterly charming. This in itself speaks to the power of Egan’s prose. It’s a marvellous novel.

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