In the summer months of grade school and early junior high, my next-door best friend and I would ride our bikes to the library and bring home stacks of books, mostly novels and mysteries, in our bike baskets. We’d read together on long hot afternoons, sprawled across couches and floors in each other’s house or tucked in the shade under a tree.
I have different ways of procuring books these days, but summer is still the time for “fun” reading. Here’s what’s on my list:
White Truffles in Winter by N. M. Kelby, a high-school buddy. This fictionalized telling of the life of Escoffier, the renowned French chef, has been getting rave reviews and has Kelby touring the world because it is being translated into so many languages.
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. I was intriqued by an interview with Egan in the newspaper several months ago and so bought the book when I saw it on the shelf of a brand new bookstore brave enough to open in this economy and publishing climate.
The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey. I don’t know much about this book other than it was recommended by a friend whose opinion in books I trust.
Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear. This is the first book in a series another trusted reading friend recommended and referred to as an adult Nancy Drew series. Sounds just right for summer. Nancy Drew books were among those read in the summer shade.
Broken Harbor by Tana French. I can’t wait for this book to be released on July 24. A year ago I raced through The Likeness, loaded on my Kindle when I loaned it to my now daughter-in-law for a transatlantic flight. After that, her other two books went down fast as well. These are books you can’t put down.
The Land of Decoration by Grace McCleen. A blurb about this book on "Shelf Awareness" caught my eye. The story is about a girl who sets up an imaginary world in her bedroom. The world takes on a life of its own, but unpleasant and unanticipated turn occurs after she intervenes with the world in some way. Reading the description--and watching the book’s trailer--made me think of Dorothy L. Sayer’s Mind of the Maker, in which she discusses the artist as creator who must abide where his or her characters take themselves.
Pattern of Wounds by Mark Bertrand. This is the second in his Roland March mystery series. I read the first, Back on Murder, last winter on my Kindle, while walking the treadmill. It was so good that I actually looked forward to going to the gym. I can’t wait to see where Bertrand goes next in this series. Last summer, "Books and Culture" recorded a very positive podcast about these books.
What’s on your summer reading list?