1. Anne of Avonlea by L. M. Montgomery: Almost everyone is familiar with Anne of Green Gables, the story of a redheaded orphan girl who comes to live on Prince Edward Island (there may be a book report coming up on that as well). Many people don't know that Anne's adventures spanned eight books in total. I recently bought the box set and am reading one each month. In this second volume, Anne takes a position teaching at Avonlea school, helps raise yet another set of twins, and struggles with ambiguous feelings for Gilbert Blithe.
See Also: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain
2. We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart : This book is getting a ton of attention right now. A wealthy family retreats to a private New England island each summer, where it alternately bonds and fractures. Filled with grudges, secrets and deep-seeded family issues, the story ends in a very different place than it began. (Note: I know that was cryptic and overly-dramatic. I'm trying not to ruin the book.)
See Also: I have no idea. I'm sorry, I can't think of a thing. A little help?
3. This is Serbia Calling, by Matthew Collin : During the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, some Serbs did very bad things. Lots of others were just normal people going about their lives. This book doesn't offer much context for or information about the war. Instead, it tells the story of a B92, a Belgrade radio station that took on Milosevic's oppressive regime through rock music, political commentary and a healthy dose of youthful idealism.
See Also: The Book Thief, by Markus Zusack
4. The Light Between Oceans, by M.L. Stedman: A childless couple lives a solitary existence on a small island off the coast of Australia, until a baby washes ashore. Years later, the child is claimed by her birth mother, which radically upsets the lives of all involved.
See Also: Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese
5. I Am the Messenger, by Markus Zusack: After a very average taxi driver inadvertently stops a bank robbery, he starts receiving playing cards in the mail. Each card represents a task, but who is sending them--and why--is a mystery.
See Also: Fight Club, by Chuck Palahniuk
6. Catch-22, by Joseph Heller: This absurdist book brought some much-needed humor to the veterans of WWII. Not having read it was also killing my score in those Best Books of All Time lists, so here it is.
See Also: The Trial, by Franz Kafka
And this month's favorite...
7. Last Days of Summer, by Steve Kluger: Confession: I've read this book before. So many times. It is one of my favorite, favorite, favorites. Preteen Joey, in need of a father-figure, strikes up a love-hate friendship with the Giants' star third baseman. Set in WWII-era Brooklyn and told via letters, notes and transcripts.
See Also: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows