Summer Reading Challenge Week 4

The Leveller by Julia Durango


Nixy Bauer has a steady income provided by parents who need her to enter the MEEP, or virtual reality world, to retrieve their teenage children who should be doing their homework or getting to their jobs. But now Nixy has been asked to retrieve the son of the MEEP creator, who has apparently entered the game planning to never come out. Others have tried to find him but have failed. After negotiating a terrifying maze, Nixy finds more than the missing teen and together they have to figure out why they are trapped and how to get out.
Jeeves and the Wedding Bells by Sebastian Faulks


With the endorsement of the author’s family, this homage to the delightful Jeeves and Wooster characters, brought to life through the many books of P.G. Wodehouse, is true to the form. Here we find Jeeves and Wooster trading places in a complicated, if not ridiculous, effort to see a successful marriage for one of Wooster’s chums. The classic “servant seems smarter than the master” repartee makes for a very funny tale, perfect for a summer read. Reminds me that I should read more Wodehouse.

Summer Reading Challenge Week 3

The Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse

1943, occupied Amsterdam. While working for a local funeral director, Hanneke, a young girl just out of high school, delivers black market goods obtained with the ration cards of the deceased. When one customer begs her to help find a missing Jewish teenager, Hanneke is drawn into a bigger black market involving the Dutch resistance. Her search ultimately leads to both sorrow and hope, in this compelling novel of the Second World War.

What’s so Amazing About Grace
by Philip Yancey


Christian writer Philip Yancey takes on the confounding and “amazing” idea of grace. Indeed, as he suggests, we live in a graceless time, where the never ending cycle of tit-for-tat means that grace can seldom be achieved as each new transgression requires something similar in response. Who will, rather than retaliate, apologize first? Who will break the cycle of ungrace? For nations and for individuals what is amazing is that grace can break this relentless pattern and set free all who suffer in its wake.

Summer Reading Challenge Week 2

Scythe by Neal Shusterman


It is a post-mortal age. Humans no longer die from disease or accident or even age. There is no war and no government, and instead almost everything is perfectly controlled by the “thunderhead.” But there is a problem that not even the technology in the cloud, sound familiar, can control: the growing population. The scythes exist outside the control of the thunderhead and their job is to provide balance by systematically gleaning people to keep numbers in check. They were once an honourable group, operating by a code and a system of internal laws. But now, some are using their position to gain power, and there are few of the old guard left to stop them.
Plaid and Plagiarism by Molly Macrae


Janet Marsh, her daughter and two friends have bought a bookshop in Inversgail in the Scottish highlands and are looking forward to moving permanently into their long-time vacation home there to run their shop. But when Janet finds the local advice columnist dead in her shed, the list of suspects, and motives, seems endless. Apparently no one has anything good to say about Una Graham, and suspicious behavior abounds. The twisted trail leads directly to Janet’s ex-husband, among others, as blackmail, affairs and intrigue are revealed.