Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My Summer Reading List

I am a lucky, lucky reader. In the past few months, I've either won or have been given as gifts each of these novels, and all five are on my personal summer reading list. I'm so excited about them! Yes, yes, I have writing to do this summer, too (The Grand European is not exactly drafting itself on my laptop), but I'm craving that introduction to new worlds, new characters, new perspectives. I want to lose myself in a story that's not just of my own making, jump wildly between genres and taste all the narrative flavors like entrees at an international buffet...mmmmmm. Let the summer feasting begin!

Even though I got this first book back when the leaves were changing colors and falling off the trees, I've been wanting to settle into a beach chair and read it from cover to cover in the sunshine. Nick Hornby's Juliet, Naked... Oh, Darling Book, I've been waiting so long for you!

Visiting the warm and frequently hilarious oasis that is Seekerville, I met online the delightful Ruth Logan Herne, whose humorous comments made me laugh even in the depressing icy cold of February. Her debut novel, Winter's End, the first of her Love Inspired "North Country" series, has garnered a bunch of honors, and I already know it will be as funny and clever as the woman who wrote it :).

Back in San Francisco, at the 2008 RWA National Conference, I had the pleasure of meeting in person lovely Regency historical author Vanessa Kelly at the Kensington cocktail party. She has a terrific new novel out--with one of my favorite titles ever!--called Sex and the Single Earl. Thanks to a fabulous giveaway on Magical Musings, I won a copy of her book--and Jennifer's, too, below!

Jennifer Estep's latest novel, Web of Lies, from her "Elemental Assassin" urban fantasy series, is a book that caught my eye because of an enthusiastic introduction to her work by the awesome Edie Ramer. The opening pages hooked me immediately with a tremendously compelling voice and an intriguing premise. Looking forward to delving in all the way!

And, finally, I get to read a book I've long been anticipating from a fellow Kensington women's fiction author and absolutely fabulous lady, Cathy Lamb. Her next novel, Such a Pretty Face, is coming out at the very end of July. I'm thrilled, not only because she sent me an ARC to preview, but also because she's coming to visit "Brant Flakes" just before her release date! Over the past year and a half, she's shared with me a number of wise and insightful comments, so I have no doubt that an author Q&A with Cathy will be inspiring ;).

There are more books, too, that I'm anxious to read, including a stack of Austenesque novels (love those!!), but I'm excited to kick off the summer with these five terrific selections. What about you? What's on your summer reading list?


Maria Geraci said...

I just finished Pieces of Happily Ever After, by Irene Zutrell. Awesome read. Currently, I'm reading Heart of Fire by Kristen Painter. Terrific, superbly written paranormal romance!

On the top of my TBR list:
The Time of my Life, by Allison Winn Scotch
The Fixer Upper, by Mary Kay Andrews

Pamela Cayne said...

Wow! What great books! I'm currently reading Juliet Blackwell's CAST-OFF COVEN, to be followed by Sophie Littlefield's A BAD DAY FOR PRETTY, follow-up to her Edgar nominated A BAD DAY FOR SORRY. I'm pretty sure which one I'm going to read after that, but I learn not to tempt fates by listing my plans too far in advance! :-)

Edie Ramer said...

Thanks for the shout out! I just read a great nonfiction book. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chris Heath and Dan Heath. It's a fascinating book, and I've been telling everyone about it.

I have 2 huge piles of books to read. I'm also working frantically at a book, so I don't have chunks of reading time. I used to read a book a day. I miss that.

Nancy J. Parra said...

Hi Marilyn,

Great post and what a wonderful list of cool books to read. I'm deep into MA books so my TBR pile is huge! They wait so patiently for me. I may cheat on my school work and sneak off with one.;)


Maureen McGowan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maureen McGowan said...

Great post. My TBR pile is so high right now, it's scary.

But like Maria, I just bought Allison Winn Scotch's new book... And have a copy of STAY by another new WF writer, Allie Larkin.

Plus, I'm actually reading the new JR Ward... and rereading the first Anita Blake book by Laurell K Hamilton... and everything else will be dropped when Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins comes out later in the summer...

Sorry for repost. I'm not one to worry about spelling in blog comments, but that first attempt was incomprehensible...

Rain Maiden said...

Did you like Cathy Lamb's debut book?

I love the cover..looks like a great summer read.

Marilyn Brant said...

Maria~I've been wanting to read Kristen's book!! Thanks for reminding me of it. And I really enjoyed Allison's Time of my Life, too ;).

Pamela~Oooh--Loved Sophie's A Bad Day for Sorry!! I'll bet the sequel is great!

Edie~Made to Stick sounds really interesting--it's one I'll have to look for sometime. It reminds me a bit of Malcolm Gladwell's books, which I found fascinating (The Tipping Point and Outliers)--have you read those, too? Great exploration of ideas ;-).

Marilyn Brant said...

Nancy~For years I read almost exclusively nonfiction when I was teaching and working on my MA, so I know what you mean about wanting to sneak away with a novel!! Good luck with all of your school work--you'll do great!

Maureen~LOL! Just about every time I post a comment anywhere I manage to misspell something ;). I've heard of STAY but haven't read it yet--sounds good!

Rain~I've read 2 of Cathy Lamb's books--her debut novel (called Julia's Chocolates--and, yes, I really liked it!) and I'm almost finished with Such a Pretty Face. It's funny in spots, but also very powerful emotionally. The main character has big, complex issues to work through, and I think the difficulty in wrestling with them is acknowledged by the author and handled well.

tonya kappes said...

I have a TBR pile so big I don't even remember what's in there. I have a couple of weeks off work to plow through a few of them. BUT you justed added a few more!~THANKS

Brittany Roshelle said...

Hey Marilyn! There are so many good books out this summer! I read the new novella from the Twilight Series and I really enjoyed seeing a new character from all of the books. Thanks for your list! I'll definitely check these books out now that my summer vacation has started (just got back from my sister's wedding in Colorado)!

Marilyn Brant said...

Tonya~Ohhh, a couple of weeks to relax and read! That sounds wonderful ;). Looking forward to hearing about your selections sometime!

Brittany~A wedding in CO--how fun!! Congrats to your sister :). And I've seen the new Twilight novella but haven't read it yet--glad to hear you enjoyed it!!