15 BOOKS YOU’LL WANT TO BRING TO THE BEACH THIS SUMMER.

I’m going to trust that you know what I mean by a “Summer Read” and I don’t have to explain it to you.  If you’re clever enough to realize there are certain foods that go with each season you’re clever enough to realize there are certain books that are the same.

Beef Stew with dumplings and a dark ale?  It takes a long time to make, simmers away, is fairly complex and it fills you up quickly so you can only eat so much of it at a time.  THAT’S a winter meal.

Cold, seared steak salad with maybe a light mayo citrus dressing and a wealth of tender spring greens? You can whip it up quickly, it’s completely satisfying but you could eat it and eat it and eat it without getting overly full … always wanting one more bite.  THAT’S a summer meal.

For me books are the same.

A winter book is one that’s a bit complex, takes some thinking and promises to keep me entertained for the better part of one of the season’s long, dark months in front of the fire.  Think literary fiction like Ernest Hemingway, Margaret Atwood, John Irving and Donna Tartt.

A summer book is one that’s the equivalent of a summer meal … it’s light and fast to consume.  You don’t savour it like a winter book, you barrel through the page turner, flecking the pages with Cheezie fingerprints and bits of sand.  Think Stephen King, Sophie Kinsella, Maeve Binchy and Janet Evanovich. 

I sure am glad I didn’t have to explain that to you.

Sometimes, the odd time, the two worlds collide and you get the holy grail of books, a book that’s BOTH a winter and summer book.   We in book reading circles refer to that as a Wummer.  It has the substance and literary quality of a winter book, but the page turning lightness of a summer book.  A Wummer.

Fine, I am the only one who calls it that and I actually only made the term of seconds ago but I think it’s a keeper. I think it’s high time I invented another word.  As a blogger I feel it’s kind of my obligation to start new, catchy trends.  I haven’t had a real hit since I came up with the phrase “What choo talkin’ about Willis?”.

In no particular order my list of potential summer reads for you.  If there’s an asterix beside the title it means I’ve read the book (and loved it).

(Except this first one which I just finished reading and really loved and truly is the absolute BEST summer/beach read.)

In a Dark, Dark Wood*

At first I was a bit hesitant about a book that thought a Reese Witherspoon endorsement was the way to impress me.

      • Mystery novelist Leonora—known as Nora and Lee, depending on whom she’s speaking with—lives a solitary but comfortable life in London based around a predictable routine: coffee, run, shower, write, repeat. She’s checking email one day when she comes across an invitation to a hen weekend for Clare Cavendish, a friend from childhood whom she hasn’t spoken to or seen for a decade. After some urging by a mutual friend, Nora (Lee?) reluctantly decides to go, and finds herself at a mysterious house with a group of near-strangers, deep in the forest far from the city.
        Quickly, old rivalries and new relationships bubble to the surface and the weekend turns darkly violent, leaving Nora (Lee?) battered and bruised in a hospital bed.  As she struggles to reconstruct the sequence of events that brought her there, secrets emerge about her past and her present that force her to question everything she knows about herself and everyone she’s ever loved.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

I have no idea if this cover is meant to be ironic.

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Jurassic Park*

SUCH a great read.

I don’t care if you’ve seen the movie or not, if you haven’t read the book, you should.

An island off Costa Rica will soon be the world’s most ambitious theme park–a dinosaur preserve. A visionary financier’s biotechnology company has succeeded in cloning these extinct reptiles. Fifteen different species, presumably incapable of breeding, are now placidly roaming around, but Jurassic Park’s resident mathematician, an expert in chaos theory, predicts that the animals’ behavior is inherently unstable. When a rival genetics firm attempts to steal frozen dinosaur embryos, things go haywire. Two cute American kids, eight-year-old Tina and 11-year-old Tim, a safari guide from Kenya and a Denver paleontologist set things aright–almost. Though the dinosaurs here are more interesting than the people, Crichton ( The Andromeda Strain ) ingeniously interweaves details of genetic engineering, computer wizardry and current scientific controversy over dinosaurs to fashion a scary, creepy, mesmerizing techno-thriller with teeth. It can be read as a thought-provoking fable about technological hubris and the hazards of bioengineering. ~ from Publisher’s Weekly

The Hunger Games* (the series)

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, “The Hunger Games,” a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. ~ from Amazon

The Summer Before the War

East Sussex, 1914. It is the end of England’s brief Edwardian summer, and everyone agrees that the weather has never been so beautiful. Hugh Grange, down from his medical studies, is visiting his Aunt Agatha, who lives with her husband in the small, idyllic coastal town of Rye. Agatha’s husband works in the Foreign Office, and she is certain he will ensure that the recent sabre rattling over the Balkans won’t come to anything. And Agatha has more immediate concerns; she has just risked her carefully built reputation by pushing for the appointment of a woman to replace the Latin master.

When Beatrice Nash arrives with one trunk and several large crates of books, it is clear she is significantly more free thinking – and attractive – than anyone believes a Latin teacher should be. For her part, mourning the death of her beloved father who has left her penniless, Beatrice simply wants to be left alone to pursue her teaching and writing.

But just as Beatrice comes alive to the beauty of the Sussex landscape, and the colourful characters that populate Rye, the perfect summer is about to end. For despite Agatha’s reassurances, the unimaginable is coming. Soon the limits of progress, and the old ways, will be tested as this small Sussex town and its inhabitants go to war.

A Confederacy of Dunces*

A Confederacy of Dunces was written by John Kennedy Toole in his early 20’s while serving in the army.

His novel was rejected by all publishers, the final rejection from Simon & Schuster in 1966.  In 1969 at the age of 31 Toole committed suicide.  After several years of trying herself, Toole’s mother finally found someone willing to publish the novel.

In 1981 A Confederacy of Dunces won the Pulitzer Prize.

Meet Ignatius J. Reilly, the hero of John Kennedy Toole’s tragicomic tale, A Confederacy of Dunces. This 30-year-old medievalist lives at home with his mother in New Orleans, pens his magnum opus on Big Chief writing pads he keeps hidden under his bed, and relays to anyone who will listen the traumatic experience he once had on a Greyhound Scenicruiser bound for Baton Rouge. (“Speeding along in that bus was like hurtling into the abyss.”) But Ignatius’s quiet life of tyrannizing his mother and writing his endless comparative history screeches to a halt when he is almost arrested by the overeager Patrolman Mancuso–who mistakes him for a vagrant–and then involved in a car accident with his tipsy mother behind the wheel. One thing leads to another, and before he knows it, Ignatius is out pounding the pavement in search of a job.

Over the next several hundred pages, our hero stumbles from one adventure to the next. His stint as a hotdog vendor is less than successful, and he soon turns his employers at the Levy Pants Company on their heads. Ignatius’s path through the working world is populated by marvelous secondary characters: the stripper Darlene and her talented cockatoo; the septuagenarian secretary Miss Trixie, whose desperate attempts to retire are constantly, comically thwarted; gay blade Dorian Greene; sinister Miss Lee, proprietor of the Night of Joy nightclub; and Myrna Minkoff, the girl Ignatius loves to hate. The many subplots that weave through A Confederacy of Dunces are as complicated as anything you’ll find in a Dickens novel, and just as beautifully tied together in the end. But it is Ignatius–selfish, domineering, and deluded, tragic and comic and larger than life–who carries the story. He is a modern-day Quixote beset by giants of the modern age. His fragility cracks the shell of comic bluster, revealing a deep streak of melancholy beneath the antic humor. John Kennedy Toole committed suicide in 1969 and never saw the publication of his novel. Ignatius Reilly is what he left behind, a fitting memorial to a talented and tormented life. –Alix Wilber

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo* (series)

An addictive series.  Be warned though, the author died and the publisher has now hired someone else to continue writing the series. The first 3 books are the only ones written by the original author and they are the ones worth reading.  The continuation books in the series, written by David Lagercrant are good but they aren’t Stieg Larsson.

Harriet Vanger, a scion of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel conviction, to investigate. He is aided by the pierced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of unfathomable iniquity and astonishing corruption.

In the Woods 

The Guardian literally describes this as “A book for the beach”.

As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But on this warm evening, three children do not return from the dark and silent woods. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children gripping a tree trunk in terror, wearing blood-filled sneakers, and unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours.
Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective on the Dublin Murder Squad and keeps his past a secret. But when a twelve-year-old girl is found murdered in the same woods, he and Detective Cassie Maddox—his partner and closest friend—find themselves investigating a case chillingly similar to the previous unsolved mystery. Now, with only snippets of long-buried memories to guide him, Ryan has the chance to uncover both the mystery of the case before him and that of his own shadowy past.

Night Film 

 On a damp October night, the body of young, beautiful Ashley Cordova is found in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. By all appearances her death is a suicide–but investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. Though much has been written about the dark and unsettling films of Ashley’s father, Stanislas Cordova, very little is known about the man himself. As McGrath pieces together the mystery of Ashley’s death, he is drawn deeper and deeper into the dark underbelly of New York City and the twisted world of Stanislas Cordova, and he begins to wonder–is he the next victim? In this novel, the dazzlingly inventive writer Marisha Pessl offers a breathtaking mystery that will hold you in suspense until the last page is turned.

And Then There Were None

This Agatha Christie classic is widely considered to be the best murder mystery ever written.

Ten strangers, apparently with little in common, are lured to an island mansion off the coast of Devon by the mysterious U.N.Owen. Over dinner, a record begins to play, and the voice of an unseen host accuses each person of hiding a guilty secret. That evening, former reckless driver Tony Marston is found murdered by a deadly dose of cyanide.

The tension escalates as the survivors realise the killer is not only among them but is preparing to strike again… and again…

 

My Mrs. Brown

I cannot, cannot wait to read this.

Sometimes a dress isn’t just a dress.

Emilia Brown is a woman of a certain age. She has spent a frugal, useful, and wholly restrained life in Ashville, a small town in Rhode Island. Overlooked especially by the industries of fashion and media, Mrs. Brown is one of today’s silent generations of women whose quiet no-frills existences would make them seem invisible. She is a genteel woman who has known her share of personal sorrows and quietly carried on, who makes a modest living cleaning and running errands at the local beauty parlor, who delights in evening chats with her much younger neighbor, twenty-three-year-old Alice Danvers.

When the grand dame of Ashville passes away, Mrs. Brown is called upon to inventory her estate and comes across a dress that changes everything. The dress isn’t a Cinderella confection; it’s a simple yet exquisitely tailored Oscar de la Renta sheath and jacket—a suit that Mrs. Brown realizes, with startling clarity, will say everything she has ever wished to convey. She must have it. And so, like the inspired heroine of Paul Gallico’s 1958 classic Mrs. ‘Arris Goes to Paris, Mrs. Brown begins her odyssey to purchase the dress. For not only is the owning of the Oscar de la Renta a must, the intimidating trip to purchase it on Madison Avenue is essential as well. If the dress is to give Mrs. Brown a voice, then she must prepare by making the daunting journey—both to the emerald city and within herself.

 

Fried Green Tomatoes*

I’ve recommended this before and I’m recommending it again.

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe is a now-classic novel about two women: Evelyn, who’s in the sad slump of middle age, and gray-headed Mrs. Threadgoode, who’s telling her life story. Her tale includes two more women—the irrepressibly daredevilish tomboy Idgie and her friend Ruth—who back in the thirties ran a little place in Whistle Stop, Alabama, offering good coffee, southern barbecue, and all kinds of love and laughter—even an occasional murder. And as the past unfolds, the present will never be quite the same again.

The Kind Worth Killing

To be honest the description of this book didn’t sell me but the fact that it has such a high reader rating did.

On a night flight from London to Boston, Ted Severson meets the stunning and mysterious Lily Kintner. Sharing one too many martinis, the strangers begin to play a game of truth, revealing very intimate details about themselves. Ted talks about his marriage that’s going stale and his wife Miranda, who he’s sure is cheating on him. Ted and his wife were a mismatch from the start—he the rich businessman, she the artistic free spirit—a contrast that once inflamed their passion, but has now become a cliché.

But their game turns a little darker when Ted jokes that he could kill Miranda for what she’s done. Lily, without missing a beat, says calmly, “I’d like to help.” After all, some people are the kind worth killing, like a lying, stinking, cheating spouse. . . .

Back in Boston, Ted and Lily’s twisted bond grows stronger as they begin to plot Miranda’s demise. But there are a few things about Lily’s past that she hasn’t shared with Ted, namely her experience in the art and craft of murder, a journey that began in her very precocious youth.

Suddenly these co-conspirators are embroiled in a chilling game of cat-and-mouse, one they both cannot survive . . . with a shrewd and very determined detective on their tail.

The Book of Speculation

Simon Watson, a young librarian, lives alone in a house that is slowly crumbling toward the Long Island Sound. His parents are long dead. His mother, a circus mermaid who made her living by holding her breath, drowned in the very water his house overlooks. His younger sister, Enola, ran off six years ago and now reads tarot cards for a traveling carnival.

One June day, an old book arrives on Simon’s doorstep, sent by an antiquarian bookseller who purchased it on speculation. Fragile and water damaged, the book is a log from the owner of a traveling carnival in the 1700s, who reports strange and magical things, including the drowning death of a circus mermaid. Since then, generations of “mermaids” in Simon’s family have drowned–always on July 24, which is only weeks away.

As his friend Alice looks on with alarm, Simon becomes increasingly worried about his sister. Could there be a curse on Simon’s family? What does it have to do with the book, and can he get to the heart of the mystery in time to save Enola?

 

Confessions of a Domestic Failure

There are good moms and bad moms—and then there are hot-mess moms. Introducing Ashley Keller, career girl turned stay-at-home mom who’s trying to navigate the world of Pinterest-perfect, Facebook-fantastic and Instagram-impressive mommies but failing miserably.

When Ashley gets the opportunity to participate in the Motherhood Better boot camp run by the mommy-blog-empire maven she idolizes, she jumps at the chance to become the perfect mom she’s always wanted to be. But will she fly high or flop?

With her razor-sharp wit and knack for finding the funny in everything, Bunmi Laditan creates a character as flawed and lovable as Bridget Jones or Becky Bloomwood while hilariously lambasting the societal pressures placed upon every new mother. At its heart, Ashley’s story reminds moms that there’s no way to be perfect, but many ways to be great.

 

Whether you have a lot of time to read and relax this summer or just a few moments when you lock the kids in a cupboard and chain your husband to the hot water tank, there’s sure to be something for you here.

I’ll probably mash a winter read into the mix this summer because I get a bit bored with frivolous reading.  Maybe, just maybe, I’ll get lucky and one of the books I’ve listed will turn out to be the elusive … Wummer.

Have a good weekend, I’ll be off on Monday because it’s Canada’s FIRST long weekend of the summer!  See you on Wednesday.

46 Comments

  1. Paula says:

    Thanks! Always looking for a good read.

  2. MaggieB says:

    Thanks Karen for a great list. Some intriguing new ones and reminders of previously read. This year could turn out to be The Summer of Doing Reading … Incidentally, will you be doing the Doing Summer Stuff again this year? Really enjoyed last year’s structure and support.
    Have an enjoyable long weekend.

    • Karen says:

      HI MaggieB! If I do it again it would only be for one month (July probably) but I haven’t decided on it yet. 🙂 ~ karen!

  3. TucsonPatty says:

    I’ve pinned 12 of these in my Books I Want To Read board. I’m not sure about a couple of them – I’ve avoided The Hunger Games, simply because there was so much hype. I pinned it anyway. Same with Jurassic Park. I wouldn’t watch the movie because I thought it would be too scary. Then how can I read all these other scary books that I like so much. I think it has something to do with how realistic I think the premise is, and will I have nightmares forever about it? (So Salem’s Lot scared the bejesus out of me.) (I didn’t say any of it made sense!) I love your book lists, Karen, and I am looking forward to reading lots this summer. I hope you have a wummer in this list!

    • Sandra D says:

      Salem’s Lot was the only book that truly scared me, too! Loved it 🙂

      I can’t remember if I read Jurassic Park, but the movie was great. I usually do read the book (first – before watching the movie, so I probably did).

      The only time I appreciated watching the movie first (and then reading the book) was The Godfather – by picturing the people in the movie, I could remember who was who – I wouldn’t have been able to keep the names straight, otherwise.

      • TucsonPatty says:

        I read it out in the boonies one night and was so scared I made a cross out of a handy orangewood stick and an emery board, held together with the chain necklace I took off my neck! I was not going to let those vampires to get to me! Oh, oh, oh, I just figured out why I won’t read any vampire fiction!! Yep, yep, yep, it got to me!

  4. dana says:

    I have tried to read In A Dark, Dark Wood twice and just couldn’t get into it. Some books are weird like that for me. And Then There Were None is also an old movie. I loved the book. Read the back story to it which mentions it’s previous names. I read around 25 books a year. There’s a couple suspense thrillers, if you’re into those, that knocked my socks off – The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon and The Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter. The second is pretty brutal. I’m writing down In The Woods. I recognize the cover but haven’t read it.

    • Karen says:

      It took me 3 or 4 times to be able to plough through the first chapter of Lonesome Dove over the course of a few years. When I finally managed to get into it, it turned out to be my favourite book of all time. I’ll write your books recs. down. Thanks ! ~ karen

  5. Jenny W says:

    Love your list! I have already read quite a few on it, and I already have In a Dark Dark Wood bought and waiting. I think I will give The Kind Worth Killing a chance also. One of my favourite authors of a big Summer Read is a James Patterson “stand alone” novel. Gonna pop over to his website and see what he has new for this summer 🙂 Enjoy your holiday weekend!

  6. ronda says:

    Tana French has a great number of mysteries that I’ve read and loved. And I read Jurassic Park to my son as a bedtime story when he was 8 or 9. He loved it! (didn’t read all the scary bits out loud … didn’t want him having nightmares!) We had a number of Agatha Christie books were on the shelf at the cottage … to be read over and over again … saved for rainy days. What can I say … I started with Nacy Drew, and mysteries have been my go to reads ever since!
    And Louise Penny’s mysteries are a treat … taking place in the Quebec countryside, with a little Montreal thrown in.

  7. Wendy says:

    Thanks for the list. I know there are a few I’ll avoid….I live alone in a forest 😮

  8. Meredith says:

    Great list… off to check out my overdrive app (audiobooks+gardening for the win)!
    The Summer Before the War is a fantastic pick. I read it a few years ago and still remember it fondly.

  9. Monique says:

    I can see the first becoming a mini series with Reese:)

  10. Monica says:

    The Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff Vandermeer. It’s amazing. I can’t tell you how much grip it has over me. The books are all ridiculously short but they still manage to build a million questions in you.

    Annihilation is the first one. It’s only $8 (USD) on Amazon.
    https://www.amazon.com/Annihilation-Novel-Southern-Reach-Trilogy/dp/0374104093/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1495195417&sr=8-1&keywords=annihilation

  11. Lynn says:

    What a great list! The only one I have read is Jurassic Park & I have read it many times. It is one of the scariest books ever–not Stephen King scary–but scary like, ‘there are fools who could maybe, really, do this’. Just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you SHOULD! But an excellent read. I think of the movie as the Disney version–it’s fun to watch–but the book–you really should check it out! Can’t wait to dig in to the other books on the list–thanks!!

  12. Ev Wilcox says:

    Since I have read several of these, once again I am ready to get copies of the others! Thanks Karen!

  13. Jody says:

    I always love your list of recommended books to read. I’ve added several of them to my reading list and most of them involve murder. Hmmm, funny!
    For a few summers now I have read a classic or “classic”. To Kill a Mocking Bird, Anne of Green Gables, Little House on the Prairie, Catcher in the Rye ( or least tried but couldn’t get into it). This summer I think it will be And Then There Were None

    • Karen says:

      I keep meaning to reread Slaughterhouse Five. Is that a classic? I’m going to call it one. ~ karen!

      • Lauren from Winnipeg says:

        I’m definitely calling Slaughter House 5 a classic. I think it was Vonnegut’s best book. Perhaps a little too weird for some though.

        • Eva Rudner says:

          Hi. Cat’s Cradle is my favorite Vonnegut. Thank you for such a good reading list! A quality variety. I know some of the books, but am always looking for new books & authors. Thanks, again!

      • Elaine says:

        Have you read “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”? It’s a great old classic too. Thank you, Karen, for your list. I read “Whistlestop Cafe” years ago (loved it) and have kept it to re-read again someday.

  14. Jen says:

    I am completely hooked on Tana French! Her novels are the best—-the stories are always engaging (if sometimes a bit implausible), but her character studies are what make them amazing. You will LOVE them.

    Thanks for the list—I may be the only one who hated A Confederacy of Dunces, but I will definitely check out several others I haven’t read.

    • Lauren from Winnipeg says:

      Totally agree about Tana French. I had a bit of trouble in the plausibility realm with the doppelgänger one. But still found them all to be well written and very entertaining.

      • Jen says:

        That’s EXACTLY the one I was referring to! It says a lot about her writing that I still really enjoyed the book.

    • Eva Rudner says:

      As a former New Orleanian, I understand why some people hate Confederacy of Dunces. Alas, there is a small segment of the pre-Katrina New Orleans population who resemble the people in the book. It is a little too culture-specific to be appealing to people who are unfamiliar with old New Orleans culture. It is definitely “unique.” I was in college in New Orleans when O’Toole’s mother was kicking up a fuss in the news about how unappreciated her son & his book were.

  15. Katie Chapman says:

    I just finished all the books that are currently out in the Dublin Murder Squad series (I so hope there will be more!!) last week. I’m still in the post-series slump. I really enjoyed the series.

  16. jaine kunst says:

    Some I’ve read and agree are great reads and the others, I can’t wait to get started on.
    Thank you, Karen! You take care of us, body, mind and soul.

  17. Miriam says:

    I remember reading Jurassic Park when I was in high school. I couldn’t put it down and stayed up late into the night reading. Oh for the days I could do that!
    I thought the Hunger Games books were better than the films – which is often the case.

  18. Gigi says:

    Loving the list and just in time to put my library requests in for a summer splurge!
    “Anna and the Swallow man” is something I believe is right up your alley. It’s not to everyone’s taste but I loved it.

  19. Gigi says:

    Also, I have a distant memory of your excitement about getting “the Hunger games” trilogy in your Amazon parcel, like 5 years ago! Just now getting around to reading them? I have a few books on my shelf I keep saving and haven’t cracked them open yet. But I can’t wait to get my hands on “Into the dark dark woods”. It’s the first I’ve heard of it and love your recommendations.

  20. Valerie says:

    If you cannot acquire Karen’s suggested novels and are restricted to the library, all the books by Kate Atkinson are truly great reads.

    • Naomi says:

      You can get just about anything through Interlibrary Loan – just ask at your local library’s information desk!

      Loved The Summer Before the War.

  21. susan says:

    the Louise Penny’s mystery series is great. takes place in Quebec and has a brigadoon quality to it

  22. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    “In A Dark Dark Wood” is for sale at a local discount store…I believe it is like $2.99 for the hardcover…new…I’ve been tempted to buy it..now I will…”Jurassic Park” I read shortly after it was released…I’ve been considering “A Confederacy Of Dunces” for a long time..I will be reading that one now also…I think I have “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” and “Fried Green Tomatoes” here somewhere but haven’t read yet…I read all of the Agatha’s when I was a young girl…I am also interested in “The Summer Before The War”…”My Mrs Brown”…”In The Woods” and “The Book Of Speculation”…Two that I recommend to you are “Don’t You Cry” by Mary Kubica and two books by a fairly new writer…”The Lace Reader” and “The Fifth Petal” by Brunonia Barry…Thanks for my list longer Karen..lol…

  23. Sandra D says:

    I’m #153 on 23 copies of In A Dark, Dark Wood (at the library); must be good 🙂

  24. Julie says:

    I liked “Before I Go To Sleep” by SJ Watson. I didn’t realize it was turned into a movie. At any rate, just ignore the few plot holes and enjoy the wild ride!

  25. Sarah McDonnell says:

    Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen. Her books are like popcorn.

  26. Deborah Delosreyes says:

    Thanks Karen! I needed some summer read ideas.

  27. Kristina says:

    When My husband was working on his Master of Fine Arts in fiction at Louisiana State University, the word there was that John Kennedy Toole’s mother (who I’m told was very like Ignatius’s mom in the book) bedeviled Walker Percy, who ran the press at LSU, so mercilessly, that he finally agreed to read the first chapter of “A Confederacy of Dunces” only to mollify her. He couldn’t help finishing the book, and immediately offered to publish it. Poor Toole, too bad he never saw his success.

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