Thursday, July 19, 2012

Five Books I Want to Read This Summer - Cynthia's Picks

When the call came out for the annual bloggers summer picks, I was just about to go on vacation - can I count the book I just finished last week? No - I’ve decided to tell you about my plans for the rest of the summer. But first, an update date on last year’s picks - I managed to read them all, although not all during the summer. I enjoyed every book, even the romance! And Maureen, I’m sure you’ll enjoy Bossypants (M)- it lived up to the hype. Now, on to Summer 2012:

If you’re a busy working mother like me, there may be times when you want to say ”Stop the world! I want to get off!” That’s the appeal of The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year (M) by Sue Townsend, author of the hilarious teen/adult series Adrian Mole (M).

"The day her children leave home, Eva climbs into bed and stays there. She's had enough - of her kids' carelessness, her husband's thoughtlessness and of the world's general indifference. Though Eva's refusal to behave like a dutiful wife and mother soon upsets everyone but she insists on staying in bed. And then the strangest things start to happen..."--Publisher.

What’s summer without a high-octane, smart thriller? The Risk Agent (M) is the first of a new series by one of my favorite authors- Ridley Pearson.

“When a Chinese National working for an American-owned construction company is grabbed off the streets of Shanghai in broad daylight and his one-man security detail goes missing, the security firm Rutherford Risk hires two unique outsiders to locate the two hostages ahead of the deadline.” - Publisher

I often read historical fiction and am excited to start Before Versailles: a novel of Louis XIV (M) by Karleen Koen.

“At 22, Louis XIV is a virile force of nature, contemplating his reign following the death of Cardinal Mazarin. Dutiful affection for his pious Spanish bride is becoming irksome, people at court are living more richly and trying to rule the king-what to do, what to do. History tells us Louis took mistresses and became the textbook example of an absolute monarch, but getting there is marvelous great fun. We come to know his sweet first mistress and watch him blossom into fiscal awareness at financier Colbert's hands. The infamous iron mask is present as plot device in a new form.” - Library Journal

In this year of Titanic commemoration, my second historical novel pick is The Dressmaker (M) by Kate Alcott.

“Seamstress Tess Collins finds her way aboard the Titanic because the maid of renowned designer Lucile Duff Gordon missed the boat. Yet this is not your mother's Titanic story; the ship hits the iceberg on page 37, and the exodus of survivors happens swiftly. What ensues back in New York is an investigation instigated by a senator who wants to prove negligence on the part of the White Star line. New York Times reporter Sarah "Pinky" Wade, however, smells stories of the wealthy and privileged vs. the poor and wants to pin blame on Lucile. Meanwhile, a young sailor and an older businessman both fall in love with Tess, and her responses to them and to the woman who could help her realize her dreams are at the core of this recounting of the tragedy.” - Library Journal

Fly Trap (M) is a children’s fantasy novel, but having read author Frances Hardinge’s previous book in this series, Fly by Night (M) , I can confidently predict that adult readers who enjoy Terry Pratchett will find it immensely satisfying. The plots are so complicated, I’m not even going to try! Instead, see if this review piques your interest:

“ Crammed with eccentric, Dickensian characters, unexpected plot turns, and numerous very niche gods and goddesses (such as Goodlady Emberleather, She Who Prevents the Meat from Becoming Chewy and Unwholesome, or Goodman Belubble, He Who Snuffs the Last Candle Before Sleep), Hardinge's world is rich enough to fuel two or three fantasy novels. It's a beautifully written tale, by turns humorous and heartbreaking and a sheer pleasure to read. Ages 10-up.” - Publisher Weekly.

Oh yes, it will be that good.

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