Monday, April 20, 2015

Summer Reading

This will be my last post before my HoF hiatus begins. Come the time I'm up again, I will have a new book about to release (Seeking Carolina, from Lyrical/Kensington.) Fall will be in full swing, Halloween on the way, Thanksgiving and all the winter holidays just there on the horizon. But before me now is glorious summer, and we readers and writers know what that means--
SUMMER READING!


When we were kids in school, we were the ones who might have complained about the summer reading assignment along with our friends, but secretly rejoiced. We could read without being told, "Go do something!" or "You're sitting under a tree reading when you could be at the lake with your friends?" Come on. You know you were that kid. I proudly admit to being so. When I was a little girl, I sat in tree in my yard reading about Ramona and Pippi and Harriet the Spy. I read fiction and non-fiction. Romance and fantasy and westerns. Black Beauty, My Friend Flicka, and Cimmaron fed my love of horses. When I could drive, I went to the park just because I could (and because the massive branch finally broke off during a hurricane.) I sat under a tree there and got to know King Arthur and Guinevere, Frodo, Bilbo, Gandalf, Thomas Covenant, Polgara, Tannis Half-Elven. Summer reading has ever been my favorite reading, and continues to be to this day. It wasn't long ago that I sat in my skychair devouring the entire Harry Potter series. There's just something about summer and reading that just goes so nicely together.

I want book recommendations. Caveat--it can't be your book. If you're an author, this is not the place to pimp your prose! Any and all blatant plugs will be deleted. Here are my book recommendations:

The Storied Life of AJ Fikry, by Gabrielle Zevin. Easily one of the best books I've read all year.

Garden Spells and First Frost, by Sarah Addison Allen. Garden Spells was her first; First Frost her most recent. They revolve around the same group of characters. Not only does it make a more complete story read together, but--if you're a writer--it's interesting to see the evolution of her writing skills and style. (Note, anything you pick up by SAA will be a summer treat. She's a favorite of mine.)

Od Magic, by Patricia McKillip. What can one say about Ms. McKillip? She's simply brilliant. Anything you read by her is going to become one of your new favorites. Od Magic happens to be my favorite.

The Gold Coast, by Nelson DeMille. This is an older title, but it makes a great, exciting summer read.

Here Be Dragons, by Sharon K. Penman. Another old title (1985,) but if you love a meaty historical, this one will keep you entertained. There are also three others in the Welsh History series. I read it about twenty years ago and I still think about it all the time.

I could go on forever. So many great books! What do you recommend?




14 comments:

krgastreich.com said...

I just finished Mozart's Wife by Juliet Waldron. Definitely a good option for a summer read. I think you and Constanze would have gotten along very well, Terri. :)

Terri-Lynne said...

I got your book rec from Goodreads, Karin. I sent it along to my book club group, hoping someone would pick it. If not, I'll squeeze it in on my own!

Debbie Christiana said...

I'll by-pass all my horror suggestions :) I gave in and bought the book you recommended, The Other Side of Midnight by Simeon St. James'. It's pretty good.

But two of my favorite books that I think you would like are :

Mistress of the Art of Death - It's like CSI in England in 1171 and the medical examiner is a woman who must hid her identity and her intellect unless she's disguised as a man. Very cool old murder mystery and how they learned about anatomy, etc. Can be a little gruesome, but not in a horror way, just for the reason they had to cut open bodies to see how they worked, etc. There's a romance as well :)

The Reliable Wife - 1907 Wisconsin. A man puts an ad in the paper for a 'reliable wife.' She writes back but she's not even close to who or what she says she is. Murder, romance, great read.

Terri-Lynne said...

Horror is welcome here, Deb. :) Those both sound good. I bet Frank would love Mistress of the Art of Death. Sounds very much like his kind of thing.

mauratroy said...

Just finished reading The Humans by Matt Haig. Enjoyed it very much. It's about an alien who comes to earth to complete a specific assignment, but is sidetracked by his fascination with humans.

Also recently read a very good non-fiction book called The Bucolic Plague: How Two Manhattanites Became Gentlemen Farmers by Josh Kilmer-Purcell. Sometimes laugh out loud funny, sometimes a little sad, but always good.

Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan is also very good.

All of the above were popular with my book club, too.

Glad you mentioned the A.J. Fikry book. That's the June selection for my book club and I've heard so many good things about it. Looking forward to reading it.

Terri-Lynne said...

Oooh! I like the sound of a 24 hour bookstore. I'll have to check that out.

AJ Fikry is my book club's pick for June, too, Maura. It's outstanding. Enjoy! And thanks for the recs!

sharonstruth said...

I just finished The Girl on the Train. It reminded me of Hitchcock's Rear Window and I would recommend it, but it took a little time to get into it. A few chapters in, though, I couldn't put it down.

Terri-Lynne said...

Thanks, Sharon! That's another "maybe" for my book club this summer.

reneepaleybain.com said...

A recent rave book review in the New York Times for "Man at the Helm" by Nina Stibbe compared it to "I Capture the Castle" by Dodie Smith, set in an idyllic English countryside in the 1940's. I intended to buy "Man at the Helm" but ended up getting "I Capture the Castle," the author of which has been compared to Jane Austen. What could be better than that? I'm enjoying it immensely. I guess I'll look for Stibbe's book when I finish Dodie Smith's. My summer recommendations, or spring recommendations if you can't wait that long. I couldn't.

capomes said...

Well, if I can't pimp my own, I'll pimp Becca Mills--Nolander, and its sequel, Solatium. They're categorized as Urban Fantasy, but I'd call it, Urban Science Fiction. It's been a long time since I got a genuine feeling of "elsewhere" that I found in these books.

Terri-Lynne said...

Renee and Cal--thanks for the recs! More fabulous books.

hmgoodchild said...

Recently, I've loved Richard Morgan's 'A Land Fit for Heroes' trilogy (he's based in Glasgow, I think; certainly some landscapes felt awfully familiar). Very violent, lots of sex but there's a mind at work, it's all to a purpose, and the shout-outs to Malory made me grin (swords from lakes, swords in stones...). 'The Winter Pilgrims' by Toby Clements is something else I recommend over and over: Wars of the Roses, mud, snow, archery, cross-dressing. Grand stuff. 'Station Eleven' and 'The Girl with All the Gifts' are both highly enjoyable but let down by rather weak endings - well worth a look, though. 'The Three Body Problem' is getting lots of love at the moment, and I can see why. It's pretty good - hard sci-fi (heavy on science, light on character development) but the final section changed tone completely and didn't work for me. Also, much of Rosemary Sutcliff's work has been recently released as e-books, including some books which have been out of print for years. Anything she writes is brilliant, but 'Flowers for Adonis' (set in the Peloponnesian War)and 'Blood and Sand' (set in Egypt and what's now Saudi Arabia during the Napoleonic Wars)were new to me and I'm so glad I found them.

Terri-Lynne said...

A Land Fit for Heroes sounds like my sort of tale. I'm going to add it to my list. Thank you!

Louise Turner said...

I'm getting into Dorothy Dunnett's House of Niccolo series right now and thoroughly enjoying them. Don't get me wrong - her writing is hard work, but in a good way. It's like munching through a wholesome and very nutritious meal. I also read Fatherland by Robert Harris and thought it was quite brilliant. It reminded me of Gorky Park, but set in an alternative history universe...