Tonight as I complained about my lack of a real summer vacation so far this year, Adventure Guy reminded me that I haven’t let my otherwise busy schedule keep me from getting in quite a bit of summer reading. And, he’s right. I’ve finished four books since my last reading update!
When I first picked up the Stephanie Plum novels, I believe Evanovich was up to somewhere around eight books in the series. At one point in that year’s reading odyssey, Adventure Guy asked, “How many more of these things are there?” Because once I find a series I like? Well, I tend to get a bit obsessed with it. Now that I’ve caught up, I can look forward to the annual release of the latest adventures of Stephanie Plum, bounty hunter, each summer. If ever there was a perfect, no-real-thought-required summer read, this series is it. A little action, a little mystery, a little humor, and more than one hot guy. It’s formulaic, but it’s fun.
The next book on my list provided a bit more food for thought…no pun intended regarding the hot fudge sundae on the cover! Janelle Brown’s debut novel traces the lives of a mother and two daughters immediately following the IPO that not only makes their husband and father a multi-millionaire but also inspires him to leave his wife for her best friend. The shock waves caused by the breakup of the family take all three women in unexpected directions, but ultimately they learn more about themselves and each other as they face their challenges together. The characters are well-written, and they go in fresh directions from what I expected when I initially picked up the book.
I’ll admit I’m happy I read The Woods, after my kids returned home from camp! The plot centers on the murder of four teenage campers in the 70s and the way that the murders still affect those who lost friends and relatives to the unsolved crime. As usual, Coben creates interesting characters and a plot with enough twists to keep the reader guessing until the end. I’ve enjoyed Coben’s other novels as well, and I’m looking forward to seeing the upcoming movie version of Tell No One.
On and off while I read the other three books, I picked up Jen Lancaster’s second memoir, Bright Lights Big Ass. I loved the first book, Bitter Is the New Black, about Lancaster’s layoff and subsequent job hunt, but I didn’t find nearly as many laugh-out-loud moments in this one. Funny, yes, but it feels like the “middle” that it is–this second book traces the period while Lancaster waited for Bitter to appear in bookstores. I picked up the third book in the series as well, and I’m hoping it rises back to the level of the first. I’ll let you know after I’ve taken a bit of a Lancaster break to read some of the rest of my waiting pile!