Thursday, July 8, 2010


‘Cause it’s summer

Summer time is here
Yes, it’s summer
My time of year
Summer by War

Ah, summertime. The pace of life slows down, lazing around feels good, hanging outside at the end of the day feels delightful…and reading is the best way to end the day. Ah, summer! Okay maybe all this doesn’t really happen, but I do hope you find time to end your day reading a book!!

Some highly recommended books for your summer reading follow:
One of the best non-fiction books I read this winter was Horse Soldiers by Doug Stanton. This is a terrific account of a U.S. Special Forces Unit fighting alongside Afghans in the mountains against the Taliban. The contingent of US soldiers sent over had their first surprise when they discovered they had to ride horses, and almost none of them had been on ever been on a horse. It seemed these horses were descendents of the horses Genghis Khan Army had ridden out of Uzbekistan. A great written account of the triumphs, misery, courage and horror of war with, surprisingly, some humor. (You will forget you're reading non-fiction.)

One of my favorite legal thriller writers is Scott Turow. His latest book is Innocent which is a (20 year) sequel to Presumed Innocent, one of my all time favorite legal books. (Which was made into a pretty good movie.) Rusty Sabich and Tommy Molto are once again pitted against each other to determine did Sabich kill his wife…or didn’t he? Turow makes you pay attention and think while you read his books; his characters drive the storyline very nicely and I haven’t found anyone who does a courtroom scene better….and yes, that includes John Grisham.

We said a sad goodbye to Robert B. Parker this year and his wonderful characters: Spenser, Jesse Stone and Sunny Randall. As much as I liked his mysteries, I loved his westerns; Brimstone; Resolution; Appaloosa... and a personal favorite, Gunman’s Rhapsody. As luck would have it, one of Parker’s last novels is a western, Blue-Eyed Devil: the Virgil Cole/Everett Hitch. This is one I am looking forward to.

If you enjoy good westerns, here are some of the best written.

*If you haven’t read All Our Yesterdays or Double Play by Parker…give yourself a treat.

Ah, Daniel Silva! If you haven't read Daniel Silver you are missing out on one of the best spy/espionage series being written! Silva kicked this series off with The Kill Artist and introduced one of the best espionage spies to date, Gabriel Allon. The Rembrandt Affair, number 10 in this great series, comes out in July. This one is on the top of my summer reading list. I can’t wait to read it and find out what Gabriel Allon is doing…. since he was supposed to have retired….

Nelson DeMille new one is The Lion, and he brings John Corey back to tangle with old nemesis Asad Khalil, aka the Lion. Hard to believe we first met Corey in Plum Island in 2002. It’s been a wild ride with every one of his adventures since. While DeMille’s Corey series is always a thrilling ride, if you haven't read some of his early stuff, Charm School; Word of Honor; Cathedral to name a few, give them a try. Sometimes you can be surprised to see how writing styles of an author have changed.

I know Dennis Lehane is better known for his books (made into movies) Shutter Island and Mystic River; I would be remiss if I did not point out he has a great series featuring private dectectives Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro that is set in Boston. (The movie Gone, Baby, Gone is from this series.) Sadly, Lehane will bring this series to a close in November with the last installment, Moonlight Mile, which is a sequel to Gone, Baby, Gone. This series kicked off with A Drink Before the War, a debut that hooked me, especially because of the way Lehane writes. If you want to get hooked on a great series, you can get started on this one and be caught up by the time Moonlight Mile comes out. I am so glad to have Kenzie and Gennaro back, even if it is the last time.

Little romance for the summer?

Karen Marie Moning has a great Highlander series that has it all, love, romance, time-travel, Scotland and sex (yes, I said sex)

Starting with Beyond the Highland Mist you are off with Adrienne, a 20th century gal, who gets swept off her feet and back to 16th century Scotland by the laird known as Hawk. Nothing better than traveling back and forth through time while being in Scotland. There are seven books in this series so if you like the first, your summer reading should all set.

I love a good historical romance and when I read (many many years ago) The Wolf and the Dove by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, I was thrilled. Woodiwiss is considered the founding mother of historical romance and after reading this I know why. Pick up this golden oldie.....Normans, Saxons, …enemies, passion, and betrayal….it is England after all.

Sarah Addison Allen enchanted me with Garden Spells, her first book. Touch of whimsy, magic, family ties and love…she did another wonderful job with the Sugar Queen. Her latest, The Girl Who Chased the Moon is just as charming as her other two.  Any or all of these will leave you with a little smile on your face, happy you met these quirky characters of small Southern towns, and so glad you could pay a visit.

Hopefully, one of these strikes your reading fancy and you enjoy your summer!

Happy Summer! Happy Reading!