Summer reading takes on a whole new meaning once you move out of the realm of required school preparation. Though both DD1 and DD2 have some great books on their list this year, I see them in full procrastination mode–choosing to immerse themselves in other things, avoiding the inevitable until the calendar shifts toward August. I, on the other hand, find myself powering through even more books than usual, especially in light of the fact that our weekends lately proved unusually rainy for July.
And, yes, I’ll admit my selections so far this month appear a bit eclectic when grouped together! I discovered the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich a few years after the first lingerie buyer turned bounty hunter novel came out. Much to Adventure Guy’s dismay, I couldn’t put the books down and sped through the first eight or so in record time. I seem to recall him asking something along the lines of, “How many of those things are there?” To which I replied, “Did you say something?” He was happy when I ran out readily available titles and had to resort to waiting for the June release of the newest installment each year, but, to his great credit, I must note he actually picked up this year’s book as an impromptu anniversary surprise for me. The recent offerings, say numbers twelve through fifteen or so haven’t lived up to the fun of the first few books. However, with Sizzling Sixteen, I found Evanovich back to her original form. This stuff is great escape reading, perfect for the lake, which is where I polished off Sixteen while the rest of the group caught our dinner.
I also thoroughly enjoyed The Devlin Diary, which is a follow-up to Christi Philips’ earlier book, The Rosetti Letter. Both books combine two of my favorite genres, the historical novel and the mystery. I enjoy the format Phillips uses–alternating back and forth between historical events and the modern-day historian researching those same happenings.
While The Devlin Diary incorporates a bit of a time travel feel by blending the story lines of the past with that of today, My Name is Memory, by Ann Brashares, takes that idea to a much different level, telling the story of two souls meant to be together. Unlike most people, Memory‘s main character has just that–a memory not only of his past lives but also of his great love. His search for her and her recognition of him drive the plot, right up until the end–when the novelist seems to simply stop. Not wrap things up, not even leave us hanging in a meaningful way. It just ends. I enjoyed this book, and it has stayed with me longer than many of my lighter summer reads, but I’ll admit to being thoroughly annoyed by the ending. You’ve been warned!
The final book, Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay, flitted off and onto my book radar for a while before a friend loaned me her copy. I’d heard the premise, and I wasn’t sure I felt up to an emotionally challenging read. For some reason novels with the Holocaust as a setting have figured heavily in my selections lately. I’m glad I decided to read this one. Though certainly sad, the book moves beyond the tragedy of the events of that time and reminds us of the need to open our eyes and be willing to see the truth about both our past and our present.
I’ve slowed a bit on my leisure reading since I have a graduate class this weekend and next which brings plenty of required reading (policy planning theory, anyone?). I’m looking forward to my book club meeting on Tuesday and this month’s selection, plus I managed to find a few titles to add to my Goodreads “to read” list during a recent outing to the book store with DD2.
I’ll keep you posted on what I read next, but I also always need suggestions! What are your recommendations for the best read of this summer?