Are you looking for a challenge this summer?  Check out our weekly reading lists, inspired by this list from Bookish.  To keep you motivated, we’ll feature one of the categories each week in the e-newsletter along with suggestions from our collection.   Happy Reading!

Do or Die: Reluctant Heroes by Suzanne Brockmann

Former Navy SEAL Ian Dunn has been tasked by a mysterious government agency with rescuing two kidnapped children believed to have been taken prisoner in a South American embassy. Leading the mission alongside Phoebe Kruger, Dunn will embark on a race against time while simultaneously dealing with an equally pressing danger — he’s being hunted by the mob for a job gone bust. In the midst of all this, Phoebe gets sucked deeper and deeper into Dunn’s clandestine world, and Dunn faces some surprises of his own as he slowly becomes aware of Phoebe’s sharp intelligence, keen sense of humor and generous heart–things he’s been missing all his life.

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

Somewhere in South America, at the home of the country’s vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in honor of Mr. Hosokawa, a powerful Japanese businessman. Roxanne Coss, opera’s most revered soprano, has mesmerized the international guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening — until a band of gun-wielding terrorists breaks in through the air-conditioning vents and takes the entire party hostage. But what begins as a panicked, life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different, as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds and people from different countries and continents become compatriots. Friendship, compassion, and the chance for great love lead the characters to forget the real danger that has been set in motion and cannot be stopped.

An Uninterrupted View of the Sky by Melanie Crowder

When his father is sent to jail after being falsely convicted of a crime in 1999 Bolivia, teen Francisco is forced to choose between living with his father in prison and relocating to the mountains, where people have lived for centuries without education or modern conveniences.

Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras

Seven-year-old Chula and her older sister Cassandra enjoy carefree lives thanks to their gated community in Bogotá, but the threat of kidnappings, car bombs, and assassinations hover just outside the neighborhood walls, where the godlike drug lord Pablo Escobar continues to elude authorities and capture the attention of the nation. When their mother hires Petrona, a live-in-maid from the city’s guerrilla-occupied slum, Chula makes it her mission to understand Petrona’s mysterious ways. But Petrona’s unusual behavior belies more than shyness. She is a young woman crumbling under the burden of providing for her family as the rip tide of first love pulls her in the opposite direction. As both girls’ families scramble to maintain stability amidst the rapidly escalating conflict, Petrona and Chula find themselves entangled in a web of secrecy that will force them both to choose between sacrifice and betrayal.

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Set on the Caribbean coast of South America, this love story brings together Fermina Daza, her distinguished husband, and a man who has secretly loved her for more than fifty years.

The Blue Line by Ingrid Betancourt

Buenos Aires, the 1970s. Julia inherits from her grandmother a gift, precious and burdensome. Sometimes visions appear before her eyes, mysterious and terrible apparitions from the future, seen from the perspective of others. From the age of five, Julia must intervene to prevent horrific events. In fact, as her grandmother tells her, it is her duty to do so–otherwise she will lose her gift. At fifteen, Julia falls in love with Theo, a handsome revolutionary four years her senior. Their lives are turned upside down when Juan Peron, the former president and military dictator, returns to Argentina. Confronted by the realities of military dictatorship, Julia and Theo become Montoneros sympathizers and radical idealists, equally fascinated by Jesus Christ and Che Guevara. Captured by death squadrons, they somehow manage to escape.