Sunday, May 31, 2009
Summer reading is underway! I passed a yard where a girl sat in a tree reading a book. "Beach reads" some call novels released during the summer, as if any of my landlubber friends or I will likely loll by a beach anytime soon. Or loll at all, for that matter. Still, the idea of more time to read in the summer persists, the activity squeezed in between yard work, house work, and oh, yes, the job.
Here are some suggestions for your beach, mountain, back deck, recliner, whatever reads this summer:
Nevada Barr's latest national park mystery, Borderline, is set in Big Bend National Park, on the border of Texas and Mexico. This time, ranger Anna Pigeon and her husband are on a rafting vacation that quickly turns deadly. It's up to Anna to figure things out--if she can get anyone to listen. In the meantime, she must also keep a newborn baby alive. Balancing border issues, park politics, and Texas politics keep Anna busy and the plot suspenseful.
Diane Mott Davidson, creator of the Goldy Schulz caterer mysteries, has Goldy contend with catering a Bridezilla's reception and embedding herself and her friends at a spa whose owner seems up to no-good in her latest, Fatally Flawed. In addition to the usual cast of characters, Goldy's godfather is a main character. When he has an induced heart attack, the search for the killer becomes personal.
Sandra Dallas once again mines Colorado's history and hits the mother lode with her historical tale of the strength of women, their friendships and secrets in a high-mountain mining town. In Prayers for Sale, elderly Hennie befriends young Nit and helps her (and us) learn mining camp ways. They and their quilter friends share life stories until one last secret is revealed at the end.
Alexander McCall Smith is back with another "No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" book. This series set in Africa is catagorized as mystery, but the books are much more about life and human nature than suspense of any sort. Teatime for the Traditionally Built is another gentle addition, where Mma Ramotswe gets involved in a potential football (soccer) scandal, her assistant fears her fiance's potential unfaithfulness, and her husband replaces her beloved little white van.
A really hot day may be the best time to read The Children's Blizzard by David Laskin. A sad episode in history, the blizzard of 1888 suddenly blasted the upper Plains states, killing hundreds, including many school children trapped by the storm. Laskin's excellent writing and meticulous research show the dramatic, devastating effects of the storm as well its weather and societal causes.
The animal lovers among you will appreciate Merle's Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog by outdoor writer Ted Kerasote. Merle found Ted when Merle was about 10 months old and Ted was hiking and camping in Utah. Ted documents what is actually a love story between him and Merle and gives evidence for dogs' higher cognitive powers than science admits to.
I hope some of these interest you, and I hope you will share some of your latest favorites with me. Happy reading!