You want books? You got books! Recommendations, Night Stand names and an Audio Book Give-away!
Over the last few weeks, I’ve done some heavy reading, a lovely way to pass the time on vacation. I’ve also done some heavy book-buying, in airports, at regulation book stores, even public library book sales. To top off my list, I won one book on an author’s website! Here’s a list of what I’ve been reading and what’s in the on-deck circle for this summer. Plus, an Audio Book Give-away thanks to MacMillan Audio featuring titles by Jane Green and Mary Kay Andrews!
Books I Read on My Summer Vacation
Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan Just out in paperback! I never got to this one last summer, but was happy to dig into this family story told from 4 female character POVs. Sullivan wrote Commencement a few years back, a juicy fun read about 4 Smith graduates and a Satellite Sisters Best Beach Bag Books pick in honor of my Smithee sister Julie. This time, Sullivan takes on an Irish Catholic family from Boston who lives revolve around each other and their summer house in Maine. Maybe I liked this story because the writing is sharp and observant, crossing generations successfully and nailing the details when it really matters. Or maybe I liked it because I felt like Sullivan was writing about the Boston Cousins we never had– one of the male characters was Class of ‘48 from Holy Cross ( like my dad, Class of ‘50) and she refers to the fact that “Grandmother Dolan” had tree trunk legs that, sadly, her granddaughter had inherited. hahaha! Hmm. That sounds familiar! Satisfying. http://jcourtneysullivan.com/site/
Shout Her Lovely Name by Natalie Serber In a short story mood? Then pick up this wonderful collection by Natalie Serber, a Portland, Oregon writer. The namesake story, Shout Her Lovely Name, is a mind-blowing, visceral take on a mother dealing with her daughter’s eating disorder. It’s a wow! I read it twice. Other stories in the collection bring together more domestic scenes and relationships with depth and skill. Loved this one. I can’t recommend Shout Her Lovely Name highly enough . http://www.natalieserber.com/
If Looks Could Kill by Kate White An oldie but goodie! I found this at the Bend Public Library sidewalk sale for a buck, but enjoyed it like a million bucks! Kate White, the editor in chief of Cosmo was a guest on Satellite Sisters few years back to talk about her Baily Weggins mystery series. She was there in the studio, fun and fab and I loved meeting her. Her writing is sassy and contemporary with a good mystery baked in! The one I read was her first effort from 2001, but a new Bailey Weggins book, So Pretty it Hurts, is out now. Yeah, Kate. Katewhite.com
Wallflower in Bloom by Claire Cooke This is the book I won, thanks to an author give-away! How great is that? Dancing with the Stars fans, this one’s for you. Claire Cooke always taps into cultural zeitgeists for her work ( Cupcake baking, home staging) and this new book is no exception. The younger sister of a self-help guru finds herself a last-minute replacement on DWTS, but the fun comes when she’s dealing with her crazy family. We can all relate. Thanks, Claire! http://clairecook.com/author/Home.html
The Island by Elin Hilderbrand Another SS interview vet, turns out another rich read about Nantucket. Headed to an island vacation spot this summer? Then you’ll enjoy reading about the rich, famous and normal island dwellers. There is an excellent portrayal of a mother with an autistic son that will resonate will any parent in that position. Solid effort. Available at airport bookstores everywhere!
Books I Bought on my Summer Vacation and will Read Next
Canada by Richard Ford Richard Ford was my first full-blown literary crush. I read The Sportswriter and then Rock Springs at age 22 while living in Jackson, Wyoming and fancying myself as a free spirit. I spent the next few years imagining myself as Mrs. Richard Ford. Okay, I’m over that now, but I’m looking forward to digging into his new book Canada which is getting fantastic reviews. We are having some unusual rainy weather here and now that my son has come down with mono, I feel like I’ll be spending some time inside with my honey and Canada. http://www.richardfordbooks.com/home
The Leftovers by Tom Perotta I love Tom Perotta’s books.: Little Children; The Abstinence Teacher; Joe College. He nails domestic life from a man’s point of view and always has something interesting to say about women, too. Thanks, Tom. His latest, now out in paperback, is The Leftovers which was named on all sorts of “Best Of” lists for 2011. Apparently it’s the suburbs with a touch of supernatural which sounds like something those of us who live in the suburbs could use! I also confess to a litcrush on TP. http://www.tomperrotta.net/
Audio Books Give-away!
Thanks to MacMillan Audio, I have two fantastic summer reads to send off to one lucky winner. Comment to win. Leave a comment below and if you feel really inspired, share what you’re reading right now! One winner will be drawn at 12:00 pm PST on Friday July 20th, 2012. Winner will be contacted for address. Thanks, MacMillan Audio ! Up for grabs are:
Bestselling author Jane Green reads her own book Another Piece of my Heart . Love Jane’s work. She nails suburbia in her novels and this time she takes on step-motherhood. And, the courage to read your own book on tape astonishes me! Way to go, Jane http://www.janegreen.com/
Spring Fever by women’s fiction fave Mary Kay Andrews Oh, this one looks good and satisfying like all of Mary Kay Andrews’ previous bestsellers like Summer Rental and Savannah Breeze. This book features an ex-husband, a small town and a family cherry soda biz. Looks like a winner. Perfect for a road trip Down South.
Embracing my Chaos,