Thursday, August 4, 2011

Favorite Reads of the Summer--So Far

I know, there are still a few precious weeks of summer left, but I'm starting to see school supplies displayed front and center in the stores, and for most of us, that's a telltale sign that fall is just around the corner.

So I wanted to post a list of my favorite reads from the summer up to this point. I admit, I haven't read as much as I normally do this time of year--I'm blaming that on several weeks' worth of anxiety and not being able to do much of anything. But once I got myself more on track and picked up a book, I could feel my version of "normal" quickly return. I still got horribly behind on the reading list I'd put together for myself, though.

Anyway, out of what I did manage to get through, here's a list of the titles I particularly enjoyed:
House Rules by Jodi Picoult. I admit, I'm biased--there aren't too many of Picoult's novels that I haven't liked. This book focuses on a teenager living with Asperger's syndrome who is accused of murder. I learned a lot about Asperger's syndrome--I think she could have included a bit less about this condition and focused a little more on the crime, personally. But part of what I love about her books is her attention to detail and compelling, "what happens next?" pacing. The story kept me interested, even if some of the detail did get a little long-winded (and repetitive) in places.

Ladies of the Lake by Haywood Smith. Sibling rivalry never truly goes away--even when the siblings in question hit middle age. That's the crux of this funny and heart-warming novel by Haywood Smith. Four middle-aged sisters are forced to spend the summer in their grandmother's rundown lake house in order to receive their inheritance. Along the way, they reconnect and work out some old hard feelings--grudgingly. (After all, there's no TV in the cabin--what else is there to do? :) )

Queen of Broken Hearts by Cassandra King. I loved her earlier novel The Same Sweet Girls, and this novel didn't disappoint, either. Clare Ballenger is a divorce therapist healing some pretty serious heartache of her own (though she's the first to downplay this fact, of course). Thanks to some wise, if quirky, friends and family, Clare owns up to her pain and begins to let go of the past in order to move on.

Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani. Like Picoult, Adriana Trigiani is one of my favorite authors, so I expected to love this book as much as I've loved her Big Stone Gap trilogy and Very Valentine. (I have 2 other books on my pile to get to, as well!) Lucia, Lucia includes all of my favorite elements--an independent, beautiful (yet still flawed) title character and a plot set in Greenwich Village in the 1950's. What's not to like? The title character, Lucia Sartori, is a seamstress in one of New York's high-end department stores, and Trigiani goes to great length to describe many of the clothes Lucia makes. I enjoy her books because she does a great job of transporting the reader to a completely different place. I can't wait to read her other books, including the second in her newest trilogy, Brava Valentine.

What about you? What summer reads would you recommend?


  1. I love Jodi Picoult! I've been listening to the audio book of Bossypants by Tina Fey and it's HI-larious!! Her little asides and imitations make the audio book possibly even funnier than the book (which is already pretty darn funny).

  2. I looove Jodi Picoult--I've turned so many people on to her books! I'm also curious to read Tina Fey's book--it sounds like a riot! So many books, so little time...