Books, Lists, Travel

Looking Forward to Great Reads and Sunny Summers

For Top Ten Tuesday, the topic this week is most anticipated new releases for the next half of the year. My list of great reads has a mix of books with a few already released and the rest getting published in the next few months – but all of which I hope to read soon. And there are thirteen of them (or rather reduced to 13!) so I can also link up to Thursday Thirteen this week.

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Great Reads First

Here is my list of books I am looking forward to – all look like great reads and I have started on a couple of them already (loving them so far). Here is hoping they make your list of great reads as well soon.

Big Bangs and Black Holes

Big Bangs and Black Holes: A Graphic Novel Guide to the Universe by Jérémie Francfort, HERJI, Jeffrey K. Butt. Nonfiction (Quantum Theory/Space) | 12 – 18 years, and up | Helvetiq (May 16, 2023)

Description: Go back in time with Nobel Prize-winner Michel Mayor to understand the secrets of the universe and meet the great names in physics, from Newton to Einstein and many more. This graphic novel guide to the universe explains the universe’s most complex ideas in a way anyone can understand.

My Why: Space.. graphic novel…

The Book of Time

The Book of Time by Clive Gifford. Nonfiction (Time) | 8 – 11 years, and up | words & pictures (August 29, 2023)

Description: What is time? How does it work? And is it even real? The book uses time as a lens to explore a wide variety of STEAM subjects that kids know and love—such as space, dinosaurs, animals, the human body, and machinery—with a completely fresh perspective.

My Why: I love books like these… and well, that is all the reason there is for me to read it

The Covenant of Water

The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese. Fiction | Grove Press (May 2, 2023).

Description: Spanning the years 1900 to 1977, The Covenant of Water is set in Kerala, on South India’s Malabar Coast, and follows three generations of a family that suffers a peculiar affliction: in every generation, at least one person dies by drowning—and in Kerala, water is everywhere

My Why: Abraham Verghese

Demon Copperhead

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver. Fiction | Harper; First Edition (October 18, 2022)

Description: Set in the mountains of southern Appalachia, Demon Copperhead is the story of a boy born to a teenaged single mother in a single-wide trailer, with no assets beyond his dead father’s good looks and copper-colored hair, a caustic wit, and a fierce talent for survival. 

My Why: Have been meaning to read Barbara Kingsolver for way too long, and with this book all over everywhere, I have to try to read it.

Family Lore

Family Lore by Elizabeth Acevedo. Fiction | Ecco (August 1, 2023)

Description: Spanning the three days prior to the wake, Family Lore traces the lives of each of the Marte women, weaving together past and present, Santo Domingo and New York City. Told with Elizabeth Acevedo’s inimitable and incandescent voice, this is an indelible portrait of sisters and cousins, aunts and nieces—one family’s journey through their history, helping them better navigate all that is to come.

My Why: Acevedo!

Hans Christian Andersen Lives Next Door

Hans Christian Andersen Lives Next Door by Cary Fagan. Children’s Fiction | 9 – 12 years, and up | Tundra Books (September 5, 2023)

Description: The arrival of a mysterious new neighbor inspires a kid to write her own poetry in this humorous and unforgettable new middle-grade novel by award-winning author Cary Fagan.

My Why: Hans Christian Andersen… middle-grade fiction..

I am Stan

I Am Stan: A Graphic Biography of the Legendary Stan Lee by Tom Scioli. Biographies/Graphic Novels | Ten Speed Graphic (September 12, 2023)

Description: In I Am Stan, critically acclaimed artist Tom Scioli reveals the man behind the comics and cameos using the same medium Stan Lee revolutionized. This stunning graphic novel takes readers from his early days in the comics industry through his rise at Marvel (then Timely Comics), where his career was touched by other iconic creatives including Jack Kirby and Joe Simon. 

My Why: I am definitely a Stan-fan; I love the MCU.. and always have been inspired by Stan Lee.

The Librarianist

The Librarianist by Patrick deWitt. Humorous Literary Fiction | Ecco (July 4, 2023)

Description: From bestselling and award-winning author Patrick deWitt comes the story of Bob Comet, a man who has lived his life through and for literature, unaware that his own experience is a poignant and affecting narrative in itself. 

My Why: The title, a protagonist who loves literature, and well, the book’s synopsis.

The Lost Library

The Lost Library by Rebecca Stead and Wendy Mass. Children’s Fiction | 8 – 12 years, and up | Feiwel & Friends (August 29, 2023)

Description: When a mysterious little free library (guarded by a large orange cat) appears overnight in the small town of Martinville, eleven-year-old Evan plucks two weathered books from its shelves, never suspecting that his life is about to change.

My Why: Rebecca Stead and Wendy Maas (I have read and loved a couple of her books but not reviewed them yet), libraries, mysteries, and ….

Myrtle, Means, and Opportunity

Myrtle, Means, and Opportunity by Elizabeth C. Bunce. Children’s Mystery | 10 years and up | Algonquin Young Readers (October 24, 2023)

Description: What is Amateur Detective Myrtle Hardcastle to do when her beloved governess inherits an estate on a Scottish island? Why, find a haunted brooch, break an ancient curse, and catch a murderer, of course!

My Why: I love this series… so why not?

Only a Trenza Away

Only a Trenza Away: A Tale of Trust and Strength by Nadine Fonseca and illustrated by Camila Carrossine. Picture Books/Multigenerational | 3 – 8 years, and up | Shadow Mountain (August 8, 2023)

Description: A little girl feels her father’s love as he takes time to braid her hair each night and share imaginative bedtime stories.

My Why: Oh my! The cover, the description are enough..

The Woman at the Wheel

The Woman at the Wheel by Penny Haw. Historical Fiction | Sourcebooks Landmark (October 3, 2023)

Description: Inspiring historical fiction based on the real life of Bertha Benz, whose husband built the first prototype automobile, which eventually evolved into the Mercedes-Benz marque.

My Why: Historical fiction….based on a true story


Yazidi! by Aurélien Ducoudray & Mini Ludvin. Teen and YA Graphic Novels | Europe Comics (May 24, 2023)

Description: Yazidism is a peaceful religion that has existed almost since the dawn of time. Today, Yazidis in Iraq are one of ISIL’s primary targets. In “Yazidi!”, Aurélien Ducoudray and Mini Ludvin tell the story of a strong-willed girl and her family during the 2014 Yazidi genocide. It is a tale of fear, oppression, grit, determination, sheer luck, and a whole lot of hope. Stories from the real world don’t often have happy endings, but Zéré strives to make one for herself.

My Why: I had not known about this religion at all before I read this synopsis, and now I am truly curious.

Second – Sunny Summers

A couple of summers ago, I had planned for a bookish summer. This year too, I do hope to read a bit (including a few of those above in addition to the others books already on my TBR) but I do hope to do short day trips locally every once in a while with family. Here are a few cool local places I want to check out (some favorite familiars and others on my need-to-see). Each of these is anywhere between a few minutes to 3 hours by road from the San Francisco Bay Area so we could potentially make it a day trip if we plan well

  1. Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve. We visited this park for the first time about four years ago and loved it. It is away from the busy-ness of other similar parks and the trails are well-laid out. Plus, the redwoods are as majestic as anywhere else!!
  2. Butterfly Garden, Pacific Grove. A place I am yet to visit and not sure how we have missed this for so long but it looks so very cool.
  3. Columbia State Historic Park. Visiting here is like stepping back in time. About a two hour drive from San Jose, CA
  4. Davenport Beach is not too far off from Santa Cruz, and the abandoned pier there is an additional attraction to the already beautiful beaches and the Pacific.
  5. Forestiere Underground Gardens, Fresno. I made reservations to go here twice but had to cancel. This is exactly what it says it is – very cool underground gardens….
  6. Mt. Tamalpais offers some great hikes and gorgeous views. A yet to do thing for me.
  7. Normandy Village, Berkeley. Apparently, this is a little bit of fairyland in the bay area. I have read about it and seen pictures and definitely have it on my must-see list.
  8. Pfiffer Falls, Big Sur. Visited this over 20 years ago and still have fond memories and cool pics.. Just need to look for those pics now 🙂
  9. Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
  10. Sensorio Field of Lights, Paso Robles. Finally did this once in a lifetime trip..and it was worth it!!
  11. Sutro Baths, San Francisco. History, mystery, story… so much to offer and while I saw it from up above a couple years ago, I hope to make it down to the baths the next time we go to the city.
  12. Tilden steam train in Orinda. One of the many cool train rides in the Bay Area.. and this is one I am yet to enjoy. Hopefully soon.
  13. Uvas Canyon County Park is small but majestic in its own way. It has so many waterfalls within, and also great hikes. One other cool factor for me at least was driving through Sveadal to get to this park. Sveadal is a private summer resort belonging to the Swedish American cultural heritage and recreation center 

And Now, the End of This Post

Dear reader, which of these books have you read or feel like you might read? And which of these places appeals to you? Let me know the books you are looking forward to, and your favorite local haunts (or local must-sees you have been planning to visit forever)

21 thoughts on “Looking Forward to Great Reads and Sunny Summers

  1. I want to read Demon Copperhead eventually. Right now I’m reading Tarzan Lord of the Apes by Burroughs and have been surprised at how much I am enjoying it. (I try to read a couple of classics every year.)

  2. Looks like a great list of books. I’m not reading as much as I wish I were, but I’m glad to have been getting some reading done this summer. I sure do love to read.

  3. I’m thrilled about your list of upcoming releases! Big Bangs and Black Holes caught my eye – an accessible graphic novel on quantum theory sounds fascinating. I’ll add some of these recommendations to my reading list. Thanks for sharing, and happy reading!

  4. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post! Your list of anticipated book releases is diverse and intriguing, and it’s clear that you have a genuine passion for literature. Additionally, your selection of local haunts and must-visit places showcases your adventurous spirit. Thank you for sharing such an engaging and informative post!

  5. I’m going on vacation soon, and always looking for book recommendations. Can’t wait to do nothing just lay in the shade and read. Thanks for the suggestions.

  6. What a great list and so many choices for my next trip! I wonder if all of them have the audio books too that would be even better so that I can “read” them while I am on the road. Thanks a lot for sharing this!

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