I’m very pleased the sun deigned to come out, if briefly, as I love reading on warm summer nights. But I must admit the weeks of gray drizzle had one upside. Once my house was clean, I figured there was nothing else to do but curl up and read. Do we see a pattern here? Hey, at least the house got vacuumed.
And what have I been reading? I’m so glad you asked, although right now it’s as much about what I want to read as about what I have recently read.
My lovely, literate friend in Atlanta continues to tempt me with lists of books set in the soothing South. Titles my Georgia-dwelling chum has suggested most recently include, “The Girl Who Stopped Swimming” by Joshilyn Jackson. I stumbled onto Jackson’s first book “Gods in Alabama” which was quirky with great characters, so I am intrigued by this newest one. The “must-read” list she sent also included, “Fireworks Over Toccoa” by Jeffrey Stepakoff and “Driftwood Summer” by Patti Callahan Henry. I read and really enjoyed Henry’s “Between the Tides.”
In that genre, I just finished my second book by author Cassandra King, “The Queen of Broken Hearts.” Last year I read her “The Same Sweet Girls.” These are both light reads with lots of emphasis on girlfriends of longstanding, relationships and juicy, small Southern town gossip.
Far from the South, I just spent all one morning finishing “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” Yes, it finally did get riveting but it took its sweet time, and I couldn’t get over
the author’s constant Scandinavian brand placement.
They never just went for coffee. They went for coffee at this place in this section of this city. Maybe he’s got a deal with the local chamber of commerce. Mystery fans love the book. Parts were glorious but, for my summer mood, it was a bit grisly.
As always, this time of year, I’ve managed to read a few of the novels from the shelves of my elementary school fiction section. I always find several that make short but excellent adult reading. The best is “Brooklyn Bridge” by one of my favorite authors, Karen Hesse. It tells an extraordinary story based on a Russian immigrant family, the invention of the Teddy Bear and the opening of Coney Island, all with a parallel narrative on abandoned children who live beneath the Brooklyn Bridge.
I haven’t read everything by her, but also loved “Stowaway,” a novel about the actual ship Endeavour, based on diaries of Capt. Cook, and “The Music of Dolphins” in which a toddler is raised by dolphins, then found by humans. It is a fascinating premise.
As I pulled old, beaten paperbacks from the library shelves, I came across a classic called “The Search for Grissi” by Mary Francis Shura. It turned out to be a wonderful story about a brother and sister new in school and a cat that adopts their family and connects them to their entire neighborhood. Another tattered paperback surprise was a series based on a young boy nicknamed “Soup” by Robert Newton Peck. Set in Vermont, the tales of this young mischief-maker and his buddy Rob are set in the 1930s but were written in the mid 1970s and may have been the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” of their day.
Which brings to mind another children’s author I enjoy, Richard Peck. His two books, “A Long Way From Chicago” with its sequel “ A Year down Yonder” will delight both you and your children.
Hot on the heels of Bastille Day, let me raise my baguette et fromage and simply say, “Bonne lecture.”
Filed Under: Small Talk