May 21

12 Great Summer Reads and the Bags to carry them in

12 Summer Reads

And along comes summer with all the lazy days spent in pursuits to refresh the soul. The tradition of summer reading is long and for good reason. We spend our days rushing about tending to the need for food and shelter. Summer is time to take a breath, see the sky, and open the mind.
This post is all about summer reading, lounging on the beach, and finding just the right bag to tote those books around in. So toss in your sunscreen, big floppy hat and head into richly textured world of other worlds and lives…


1. Written in My Own Heart’s Blood

“Diana Gabaldon’s century-spanning Outlander series deserves its avid fanbase. It’s making the leap to TV on Starz this summer, so now’s the time to devour the whole steamy series–including book 8, out in June.” –Mari Malcolm


OK, Who out there ISN’T excited about the Outlander series coming to the teevee? Get your Diana Gabaldon fix right here!

And the perfect compliment for all that glorious Scottish scenery (wink wink, nudge nudge) is the Celtic Triskele in highland perfect  greens and purples.


Celtic Triskele

Celtic Triskele


2. Half a King by Joe Abercrombie


“Half a King has young adults in mind, but doesn’t leave adults behind. In this coming-of-age fantasy tale we follow a reluctant new king through betrayal, hardship, adventure, self-discovery, and some excellent twists.” –Robin Rothman



The perfect accompaniment to a summer romp through history, the “Chivalry isn’t dead” design.


_Pinterest Summer Reads Blog Chivalry

Chivalry isn’t dead… you can find it were you offer it.


3. The Lincoln Myth: A Novel by Steve Berry


New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry returns with his latest thriller, a Cotton Malone adventure involving a flaw in the United States Constitution, a mystery about Abraham Lincoln, and a political issue that’s as explosive as it is timely—not only in Malone’s world, but in ours.



And speaking of myths and Lincoln, don’t you just love a good internet meme? I mean, just take the one about Lincoln quotes on the internet …


The thing about quotes on the Internet is that you can not confirm their validity -- Abraham Lincoln

The thing about quotes on the Internet is that you can not confirm their validity — Abraham Lincoln


4. Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth


I can hardly keep up with the teen sci-fi drama that moves from book to screen. But this series looks to be a universe that will keep us entertained until the next sexy dystopia comes along.



Science fiction, at least good science fiction, alway tells us more about being human. It informs us and asks many hard questions. The very best science fiction, also gives us the ability to laugh at our own foibles.


Diagonally parked in a parallel universe....

Diagonally parked in a parallel universe….


5. Hard Choices. by Hillary Rodham Clinton


Our next President has written a book. It seems to be the Thing to Do. Perhaps we should check it out and see what she has been up to.



Of course, we can expect that there will be some folks in the good ole U.S. of A. that will continue with the major freak out that has been going on since Barak Obama as first conceived…. as a viable candidate for President. At least she’s white, even if she does have lady-parts. She maybe she will only be half as irrationally hated.
So hat tip to all my feminist friends out there…


This is what a feminist looks like!

This is what a feminist looks like!


6. Euphoria by Lily King


“This historical novel–based on the life of Margaret Mead–is brainy, but sexier and more fun than you might think a book about an anthropologist might be.” –Sara Nelson

I have a soft spot in my heart for sexy anthropologists, although Margaret Mead isn’t usually the one that comes to mind. But she did have some very interesting things to say about sex.



The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. — Dorothy Parker


The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. -- Dorothy Parker

The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. — Dorothy Parker


7. The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu


“What happens when an ugly rumor takes on a life of its own? Multiple narrators expose how far people will go to be liked and how little the truth seems to matter.” –Seira Wilson



We’ve all been there. Rumors and gossip taking the joy out of the day. Well, let the chaos monkeys fly. Get out there and be yourself!


Sing like no is watching

Sing like no is watching


8. The Heist by Daniel Silva


“I’ve developed a man-crush on Silva’s brainy, brutal artist/assassin/spy, Gabriel Allon, who in The Heist is on the hunt for a stolen Caravaggio masterpiece.” –Neal Thompson



This is the token MAN book. So this calls for MAN food. BACON! Bacon! Bacon! Gimmee salty fatty pig parts and gimme now! I want Bacon!


Bacon will save the World. I don't know how. But trust me. It will.

Bacon will save the World. I don’t know how. But trust me. It will.


9. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations.



Sometimes reading a good book is the best reward. So we are shopping for a house now, and while $650,000 for a domicile is a wee bit out of our league, it did have a formal library. Want! I figure that if I sell about 1.5 million t-shirts, coffee mugs or tote bags, then I can buy that formal library. So get to it! Buy something! 😀


All I want is Peace, Love, Understanding, and a Library as big as the Grand Canyon.

All I want is Peace, Love, Understanding, and a Library as big as the Grand Canyon.


10. The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

I like stories where the Princess does her own damn rescuing. Prince Charming is nice and all, but a girl has gotta do what a girl has gotta do.



With all the stories in the news that has our elder sisters and mothers wondering why we continue to still fight the battle for equal rights , it is important to keep moving forward. Be strong, be powerful, be AMAZING!


Princess be doing her own rescuing

Princess be doing her own rescuing


11. Top Secret – Twenty One by Janet Evonovich


Ok, let me just say this….. SQUEE! I love the Stephanie Plum stories. I loved the movie, One for the Money
and want MOAR! This series (along with the Discworld series) are the go-to books on tape that we listen to on long road trips.



I think I need to make Stephanie her own cupcake tote bag, but until then, here, have a lemon drop!


When Life gives you lemons, add vodka.

When Life gives you lemons, add vodka.


12. Raising Steam by Sir Terry Pratchett


I am saving the best for last. I am a late comer to the Discworld series and regret every moment I missed knowing about the awesomeness of Sir Terry Pratchett. His books are funny, insightful, compelling, farcical and deeply moving. My personal favorite is Thud! .



The quote that Pratchett “borrows” from Juvenal is just as apt today as it was in the days of Rome’s glory. Who watches the watcher? Indeed. Who?


Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?


If you want to check out all of the bag and totes at Malarkey Pie, go here.

And before you rush out to get your books and tote bags, I want to let you in on the back story here. You may have heard of the student debt crisis that is facing the U.S. right now. Millions of students, eager to improve their lot in life, face the reality that unless your last name is Trump, you will likely graduate from college with sizable student debt. I am no exception

I finished graduate school in 2010 and have since then been working for the State of Oregon in a job that I love. I don’t really love the mounds of student debt that is keeping me from saving for retirement or saving to buy a home. So I started selling t-shirts and other gift items to pay down my loans faster. So when you purchase either on of these books from Amazon or tote bags from Cafepress, you are helping out.

If these designs aren’t your thing, check out these other posts…




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