Summer is here and our writers have lots of books they plan to read. Danyelle shares with us her summer reading list.
Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
Publication Date: January 30, 1873
Publisher: Pierre-Jules Hetzel
What’s it about:
Around the World in Eighty Days (French: Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours) is a classic adventure novel by the French writer Jules Verne, published in 1873. In the story, Phileas Fogg of London and his newly employed French valet Passepartout attempt to circumnavigate the world in 80 days on a £20,000 wager (roughly £1.6 million today) set by his friends at the Reform Club. It is one of Verne’s most acclaimed works. The story starts in London on Tuesday, October 1, 1872. Fogg is a rich English gentleman living in solitude. Despite his wealth, Fogg lives a modest life with habits carried out with mathematical precision. Very little can be said about his social life other than that he is a member of the Reform Club. Having dismissed his former valet, James Foster, for bringing him shaving water at 84 °F (29 °C) instead of 86 °F (30 °C), Fogg hires a Frenchman by the name of Jean Passepartout as a replacement. At the Reform Club, Fogg gets involved in an argument over an article in The Daily Telegraph stating that with the opening of a new railway section in India, it is now possible to travel around the world in 80 days. He accepts a wager for £20,000 (equal to about £1.6 million today) from his fellow club members, which he will receive if he makes it around the world in 80 days. Accompanied by Passepartout, he leaves London by train at 8:45 P.M. on Wednesday, October 2, 1872, and is due back at the Reform Club at the same time 80 days later, Saturday, December 21, 1872.
Danyelle’s Comments: I’m trying to start reading more classic books and I figured Jules Verne was kind of like a baby leap to full on classic novels, considering he wrote classic science fiction.
The Hobbit & The Lord of The Rings Trilogy by J.R. Tolkien
Publication Date: September 21, 1937 & July 29, 1954
What’s The Hobbit about:
Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely traveling any farther than his pantry or cellar. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an adventure. They have launched a plot to raid the treasure hoard guarded by Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Bilbo reluctantly joins their quest, unaware that on his journey to the Lonely Mountain he will encounter both a magic ring and a frightening creature known as Gollum.
What’s Lord of the Rings about:
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, The Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth still it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell, by chance, into the hands of the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins.
From his fastness in the Dark Tower of Mordor, Sauron’s power spread far and wide. He gathered all the Great Rings to him, but ever he searched far and wide for the One Ring that would complete his dominion.
On his eleventy-first birthday, Bilbo dissapeared bequeathing to his young cousin, Frodo, the Ruling Ring, and a perilous quest: to journey across Middle-earth, deep into the shadow of the Dark Lord and destroy the Ring by casting it into the Cracks of Doom.
The Lord of the Rings tells of the great quest undertaken by Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring: Gandalf the wizard, the hobbits Merry, Pippin and Sam, Gimli the Dwarf, Legolas the Elf, Boromir of Gondor, and a tall, mysterious stranger called Strider.
Saga of a group heroes who set forth to save their world from evil. A brotherhood of ‘hobbits,’ elves, dwarves, and people is formed to combat evil forces. Tolkien drew on his extensive knowledge of folklore and the classics to create the worlds and creatures described in the trilogy, which includes The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King.
Danyelle’s Comments: Both of these I want to read because it’s a classic story filled with hobbits, rings, and dragons. I loved the first movie and wanted to explore the story more in depth.
Jurassic Park & The Lost Word by Michael Crichton
Publication Date: November 1990 & September 1995
What’s Jurassic Park about:
An island off Costa Rica will soon be the world’s most ambitious theme park–a dinosaur preserve. A visionary financier’s biotechnology company has succeeded in cloning these extinct reptiles. Fifteen different species, presumably incapable of breeding, are now placidly roaming around, but Jurassic Park’s resident mathematician, an expert in chaos theory, predicts that the animals’ behavior is inherently unstable. When a rival genetics firm attempts to steal frozen dinosaur embryos, things go haywire. Two cute American kids, eight-year-old Tina and 11-year-old Tim, a safari guide from Kenya and a Denver paleontologist set things aright–almost. Though the dinosaurs here are more interesting than the people, Crichton The Andromeda Strain ingeniously interweaves details of genetic engineering, computer wizardry and current scientific controversy over dinosaurs to fashion a scary, creepy, mesmerizing techno-thriller with teeth. It can be read as a thought-provoking fable about technological hubris and the hazards of bioengineering.
What’s The Lost World about:
It is now six years since the secret disaster at Jurassic Park, six years since the extraordinary dream of science and imagination came to a crashing end—the dinosaurs destroyed, the park dismantled, and the island indefinitely closed to the public.
There are rumors that something has survived. . . .
Danyelle’s Comments: This one I had to read because I remember watching the movie as a little girl and I wanted to experience that excitement again. I also love to look for what is changed in a movie compared to the book. Not to mention this is also an awesome precautionary tale about dinosaurs!
A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
Publication Date: August 6, 1996
Publisher: Bantam Spectra
What’s it about:
Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens.
Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.
Danyelle’s Comments: I wanted to put all six books on here but, realistically, that is an impossible feat. I’m a fan of the show and I wanted to see what was different between the two and I wanted to delve a bit deeper into the various storylines that take place.
God’s Daughter by Heather Day Gilbert
Publication Date: October 29, 2013
Publisher: WoodHaven Press
What’s it about:
One Viking woman. One God. One legendary journey to North America.
In the tenth century, when pagan holy women rule the Viking lands, Gudrid turns her back on her training as a seeress to embrace Christianity. Clinging to her faith, she joins her husband, Finn, on a journey to North America.
But even as Gudrid faces down murderous crewmen, raging sickness, and hostile natives, she realizes her greatest enemy is herself–and the secrets she hides might just tear her marriage apart.
Almost five centuries before Columbus, Viking women sailed to North America with their husbands. God’s Daughter, Book One in the Vikings of the New World Saga, offers an expansive yet intimate look into the world of Gudrid Thorbjarnardottir–daughter-in-law of Eirik the Red, and the first documented European woman to have a child in North America.
Danyelle’s Comments: I’m almost finished with this one and I really want to finish it. So far it has captivated me and I love it. It’s a story about a Viking woman that has become a Christian, what could be better?!