So… it’s summer, that perfect time for kicking back at the pool or on the treadmill with a book or an e-reader and indulging oneself. I always looked forward to summer with a fierceness, and it was mostly because I knew I could absolutely binge read to my heart’s content. My mom used to take me to the little library where I would snag the maximum number of books they’d allow me each week, until I’d pretty much decimated their entire kid/YA fiction section and started moving up into more adult works. (I am so glad there’s a much bigger / better selection now for YA! Geez, that section was sparse then.) As I grew older, I’d read everything my aunt would bring over (and she’d bring over boxes of books at a time), or anything my happened to have lying around (I read a lot of Louis L’amour and Agatha Christie back then).
In that spirit, I’m listing off a few things I’ve read lately (well, in the last few months), and I want to know what YOU’RE reading, or what you want to read, or something you read that has just stuck with you and is terrific.
Thrillers / RS
I finally FINALLY read the first three books of JD Robb’s IN DEATH series, and now can see what all of the fuss was about with these. Honestly, I had picked up one of the books later in the series and didn’t quite get the big fuss over Roarke and Eve, maybe because he was far less communicative in that one (or I was missing some pertinent information that would have gave his words far more subtext at the time), but wow, now I get it. And boy, is that series dark and gritty–actually grittier than many thrillers I’ve read, which, honestly, surprised me. So if you haven’t read it, love thrillers / romantic thrillers, these are for you. But I’d highly recommend starting with the first book.
Debra Webb’s DIRTY with Jackie Mercer. Seriously. Get. This. Book. I’m not going to spoil it — this is Deb at her best, and even Deb at her worst is stellar.
[Note: I really do try to read all of the MSW’s books, and frankly? They are stellar. I don’t know how we got so lucky to have this group here, but if you’re looking for something to read, you really cannot go wrong to go grab something listed in the sidebar. Honestly, I’m just damned proud of these women. Stellar writers, here, every one.]
You know, I love fantasy, but I haven’t read nearly as much as I wish I had. I keep thinking I’m going to remedy that one, but fantasy has a way of intimidating me, because I don’t really know the authors, except the two or three that you always hear about, and I’ve read theirs. (or, well, mostly) But Patrick Rothfuss’ novels hit my awareness level when Jon Scalzi blogged about him, and I bought the first one, titled THE NAME OF THE WIND. It took me months to have the time to read it (it’s a big book, and I really hate starting something I can’t finish in one sitting, or one weekend), but it’s a fabulous book. As soon as I finished it, I bought the second one (at nearly a 1000 pages, it’s a big honking book), and I loved it even more. I was horribly bummed when I got through and knew that the next one was a year away, but it’s so memorable, and the writing is so lyrical, it’s worth the wait for Rothfuss to do whatever he needs to do to live up to these.
If you’re looking for something light and fun, I can definitely recommend Shannon Stacey’s YOURS TO KEEP and just about anything from Julie James. Solid plotting, fabulous, memorable characters, funny and sweet and sexy. Both writers made me instantly want to go read everything in their backlist — especially for light summer reading. These made me smile and chuckle and feel very happy at the end.
Thillers (non r/s)
Tom Fanklin’s CROOKED LETTER, CROOKED LETTER is riveting, and much deserving of his recent award. (Edgar, I think? I’ve lost track.)
I have quite a few more on my TBR stack, some which aren’t new releases, but were new to me. I constantly feel like I’m a million miles behind on what I want to read. Right now, I have this desire / compulsion to read up more on mythology – Greek, Roman, Native Amercian, specially the latter, and I’m looking for any good NON-FICTION recs any of you might have. I somehow managed to skip this in college and while I’ve had a smattering, I haven’t read anything in depth enough to feel like I’ve got a good grasp.
I want to read more classics, as well as more non-fiction–philosophy, classical thinking — something that dissects modes of thoughts, or cross-cultural comparative type of studies. If it were possible, I’d go back to school for a couple of semesters, just because I miss that sort of conversation. (I do not, however, miss the papers and the grades, so there’s actually no real fear that I might show up at a university any time soon.)
Plus… more fun / riveting novels — I’d love your recommendations for anything you’ve been reading — fiction or non-fiction – and all commenters are eligible for one of two $50 gift certificates to an online bookstore of your choice. That’s right, TWO winners.
But wait… that’s not all… for extra fun, those of you who are so inclined can enter a second time. If you tweet this blog today, [click on the TWEET THIS] icon at the top of the blog or talk about it on Facebook [click on the RECCOMEND BUTTON JUST BENEATH THIS BLOG], you get added into a bonus round of the contest, for another $50 gift card. If you tweet the old fashioned way, without using our handy button, you’ll need to put #MSWreads so I can find your tweet and enter you. For FB, the old fashioned way? Tag me @ToniMcGeeCausey so I know you entered.
CONTEST ENDS FRIDAY NIGHT, MIDNIGHT, CST.