Adult Summer Reading Book Reviews

This summer, readers responded in droves to our call for online book reviews, put out as part of Water Your Mind Adult Summer Reading. Not only did we get an impressive number of reader reviews, but we were amazed by the care that went into the submissions. Browse this great collection of reviews, and you're bound to discover a title you'd love to read.

See all the reviews at or get started with the sampling below.


“My Ántonia” by Willa Cather

July 27, 2010

With hundreds of new books being released every day, sometimes a look into an old classic for style, simplicity, and a first-rate story can be a good choice. Reading Willa Cather’s "My Ántonia" returns you to a simpler time and makes you appreciate anew the hard work that built the solid foundation on which our country grew. It is a coming of age tale for the narrator, but also a touching and satisfying exploration of the character and soul of a pioneer woman of the Great Plains. The prose is straightforward, yet captivates you from the first page as you travel through the years with the boy, Jim, and Ántonia. At the same time, it explores important themes that resonate with some of today’s issues as we debate immigration laws, figure out how to keep a roof over our heads, and continue the dialogue about equal opportunity and roles for women. Above all, it takes you there, to the prairie frontier — weaving stories within stories while you picture the scene — you can almost hear the wind in the tall grasses. You will relax into this book, and be glad you did.

— Karen D.


“The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition” by Caroline Alexander

July 23, 2010

Saw this one on the DBRL suggested reading list for the summer, and typically don’t like nonfiction, so I thought I’d challenge myself. This book tracks the survival of a team of explorers unexpectedly stranded and held captive by the ice flow in the Antarctic. The odds they faced and the insane living conditions left me sure and anticipating the death of several members of the party, but by miracle and motivation alone… they all lived after two years of being stranded in the middle of the most treacherous territory known to man. It’s nothing short of incredible, the power of the human spirit. For those who like photography… the expedition carried a photographer, who took some incredible photographs along the way, and these survived the journey and are included in the book.

— Sue M.


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