Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Thursday, July 06, 2017

Setting up my picnic TBR for the High Summer Readathon

With the rest of the summer season before us, it's a good time to make those plans for fun that doesn't have to be in the sun and what better way to do that than a readathon?

Seasons of Reading is already asking for folks to sign up for their High Summer Readathon, a two week event that also includes a 48 hour Christmas in July reading romp as well.

 Sounds like an excellent opportunity to catch up on some of those "been meaning to get to" books and so far, I have a decent short list of titles that I'm reserving for this occasion. Most likely, I'll include a few other books(depending on my reading speed and life events) but at the moment, this quartet of reads is my starting point:

RICH PEOPLE PROBLEMS: This is the third book in Kevin Kwan's series of high society satires set within the Asian community. Upon hearing news of his grandmother's possible demise, former favored grandson Nicholas Young heads to her grand estate in Singapore, hoping to make amends to her before it's too late.

Unfortunately, the rest of the family shows up to fight for a piece of the inheritance,causing more misunderstandings and mishaps than a reality show. In addition to that, there are a couple of other dramas involving a secret affair and a stepmother/stepdaughter competition for social media fame.

It's probably best to read the first two books,Crazy Rich Asians and China Rich Girlfriend, to get the flow of the story lines and characters if you haven't yet but have an interest in this book. Trust me, this delightful trio of snappy social snark mixed with honest emotion is a luxury vacation all in it's own and I look forward to seeing what Kevin Kwan does next:

SUMMER AT LITTLE BEACH STREET BAKERY: Having enjoyed a few of Jenny Colgan's previous works,including the book prior to this one, it only makes sense to save a summer themed title for this particular readathon.

As we rejoin Polly Waterford, she seems to be living the sweet life at her seaside bakery until the owner of the building passes away and the new folks in charge are less than thrilled with the quaint nature of the place.

That leaves Polly no choice but to take her business elsewhere, as in a van that becomes a bakery on wheels. Other dilemmas pop up, as her beekeeper beau is keeping a secret or two and her darling pet puffin causes some unintentional trouble. Nevertheless, Polly will find a way to sort things out and as in many of Jenny Colgan's charming stories, mix in a recipe for tasty treats and true love along the way:

BRITT-MARIE WAS HERE: I have to say that Fredrik Backman is an author that I'm so happy to have gotten into and the reason that I take my time between his books is to make the joy of reading them last longer.

The leading lady of this story was a supporting player in Backman's My Grandmother Says to Tell You That She's Sorry, who was not the most likable neighbor to say the least. Britt-Marie has left her husband and moved far away to the remote town of Borg, with little to recommend it other than a main road.

Her knack for cleaning and forthright nature soon lands her a job at the soon to be demolished recreation center as well as a coaching position for the local children's soccer team. Will the softer side of Britt-Marie shine thought? Perhaps but not without a bit of a fuss, which is what makes her such an engaging person to watch.

 I know that there's more to come from Backman(he does have a new book out at the moment) and there is a novella of his that I haven't read yet. Yet, like a wonderfully strange sweet treat, I can't help but wonder how long such novel goodness will be around:

ARENA: For something completely different, I thought I'd try this first book in a new sci-fi series. Our heroine, Kali Ling, is the first female captain of her virtual reality team, a game that has become a real blood sport in the year 2054.

Her team is a major competitor in the RAGE tournaments run by the Virtual Gaming League , which are shown worldwide. Kali is pleased to be given such an honor,despite the death of the previous captain via overdose, and fiercely determined to become the best there is.

However, RAGE takes a harsh toll on it's players, as each of them feels pain when they have a virtual "death" and that leads them to drug abuse, hard partying and a disconnect from reality. With the help of a new player named Rooke, Kali struggles to break free of that vicious cycle and see where her real enemies are. This certainly sounds promising and ought to be an intriguing take on video game adventures indeed:

There's plenty of time to sign up for the High Summer Readathon as it runs from July 17 to July 30 with the Christmas in July event being held on the last weekend. That holiday themed portion of the readathon is optional(I might not do the Christmas reads myself) and the whole thing is simply meant to be a time to just relax and read.

You can follow the HSR on Twitter(#HSreadathon) and yes, there is a Facebook group as well. What with the warm weather and the chaotic nature of world events these days, finding a good way to de-stress is vitally important for your emotional health, not to mention taking you to a place of literary zen:

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