This is the time of year when I start lamenting the fact that I didn't get to go on an extravagant trip to an exotic location, leading me to find books that allow me to escape (even if just for a little bit!). Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies by Alastair Bonnett helped me to do just that. Bonnett visited floating islands, hidden cities, and places not recorded on maps, reminding readers that there are still uncharted territories out there. Even if you don't get to travel outside of your hometown this summer, this book is a great reminder to put down distractions and realize that there is so much more to be seen and learned in our world.
Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies
Out of the Silent Planet
Dr. Ransom is a professor on a solitary walking tour of the English countryside, searching for a place to lay his head for the night. Instead, he finds himself drugged, forced onto a space ship and thrust into a cosmic journey with eternal implications.
Ransom’s two captors, each with his own malicious motives, transport him to the planet Malacandra, planning to offer him as a human sacrifice to the planet’s ruler. However, as Ransom escapes and begins to explore Malacandra on his own, he discovers that its creatures are not quite what he or the other humans had imagined. In fact, this world’s beings and their story might illuminate the story of the universe, as well as the dangers facing Ransom’s home planet, earth.
This book is excellent in its own right, and is just the first in C.S. Lewis’ Space trilogy. If you love to read about other fictional worlds or that we are part of a much bigger story, this book might just be the summer read you’ve been looking for.
The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy Reichert
After chef Elizabeth “Lou” Johnson finds her fiancée half-naked with another woman, she tries to distract herself with cooking—only to serve the worst meal of her life to Milwaukee’s meanest food critic, Al Waters, aka A. W. Wodysky. A chance meeting brings them together in a bar that night, and—unaware of each other’s true identity—Al challenges Lou to show him the best of Milwaukee. As Al falls in love with Milwaukee and Al and Lou begin to fall for each other, Lou’s restaurant begins a slow spiral toward failure, kicked off by Al’s review. Al will have to decide whether to reveal the truth to Lou, and Lou will have to find out if she’s strong enough to keep pursuing her dreams.
The Coincidence of Coconut Cake features delicious description of Milwaukee’s food scene and a sweet, slow-burn romance amid an entertaining cast of secondary characters, perfect for readers who love food and romance.