Books We Wish You Didn’t Know We Read

As new bookstore owners, I’d like to tell you Cal and I are filling our days with lots of classic literature and experimental fiction. But the truth is, we’re tired, overwhelmed, and seeking more escapism than introspection, at least for now.

Basically, we’re looking for fiction that’s … well … fun. But, let’s face it, we’re still book snobs at heart, and we both critique character development and plot structure without even trying. Even books that are the literary equivalent of ranch fries have to meet a certain standard. (On a road trip, we once tried to listen to the Twilight audio book. I’ve read the whole series, but after 20 minutes of listening to Bella describe Edward’s perfect face with very less-than-perfect sentence structure, I thought Cal might literally throw up.)

Here’s a bit of what we’ve been reading lately. They’ll help you escape everyday life for a few hours, and they’re all perfect, easy reads to take on a trip to the beach.

The Book: Ghost Story: The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
Read with: A Shot in the Dark (black coffee with espresso)


Cal has been obsessed with this series for a little over a year. The main character is a working class guy who works with the police and feels right at home in the local bar — oh, and he can also conjure a magic circle that will bind the evil supernatural forces surrounding the city, no big deal. Think Bruce Springsteen meets Harry Potter. The series is fun, pretty well-written, and readable — Jim Butcher doesn’t leave plot holes all over for you to trip over. Ghost Story is the 13th book in this series, so you have plenty to enjoy (and they don’t necessarily have to be read in order).


The Book: Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Read with: French Vanilla Latte


I’ve been on kind of a vampire/witch/werewolf kick lately — yeah, I know, me and pretty much every boy-crazy teenage girl. (I didn’t say I was proud of it.) I finished season three of True Blood in a weekend days, so I moved on to Discovery of Witches, the story of a witch who just happens to be a scholar at Oxford and the centuries-old vampire who loves her. It’s not a new plot, but it’s told well, and the whole scholar aspect adds a fun new angle. My only real criticism (besides some majorly cheesy adjectives) is that the last 100 pages or so is basically a setup for the next book, which we won’t get to read until Harkness knocks out a sequel. Still, I blew through 600 pages in about three days, spending every free moment (and some not-so-free ones) in this highly addictive world of magic and romance.


The Book: The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan
Read with: 
Dirty Chai (chai latte with espresso)


I pulled this book off our magical literature display after admiring the way the little moon on the cover actually changes color depending on what light hits it. After watching the book jacket wax and wane throughout my shift, I decided to grab it, amending the famous saying to, “Don’t judge a book by its cover, unless it has a cool little color-change moon on it.” Anyway, I’m glad I picked it up. Glen Duncan puts his own spin on this uber-popular genre, and it’s about a million miles away from cutesy. It’s dangerous to put a lot of stock in book blurbs, but this one boasts pretty high praise: The Guardian, The Times of London and Nick Cave all lend their support.


The book: Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Read with: Frosted Mocha


No review of Cal’s and my escapist picks would be complete without Hunger Games. We both got through the trilogy incredibly quickly, but we’re still talking about it and recommending it. I haven’t found someone yet who hasn’t fallen headfirst into this addictive world of reality television and coliseum-style, fight-to-the-death adventure. There’s also a love story in the mix, but plot is really built on the personal growth of one girl and the collapse of a society, not the obligatory love triangle.


We’re of course carrying these books at Church Street, so come grab them before they sell out … we’ll even put it in a plain brown paper bag for you if you’re as shy about reading fun fiction as we are.

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