Friday, May 27, 2011

Take one of these to the beach: Readers share these sand-worthy summer reading picks

Summer's simply the best time for diving into a book (pun intended).

Ever wonder what books everybody else is reading, especially when you're looking for that next truly good novel to engross yourself in while on vacation ... soaking in the sun or leisurely reclining at home?

Last week I put the question to friends on Twitter and Facebook, those who work with me, and readers of this blog: "What will you be reading this summer?"

I received many interesting, detailed and intriguing responses ... with hardly any repeats. There are lots of diverse works to be culled from this list. (Thanks all for the responses!):
  • Steve Troutman, who responded to my post on The Mercury's Facebook page, owner of Body-Improvements LLC, Pottstown, listed "Science & Practice of Strength Training" by Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky and William J. Kraemer; and "Mistakes Were Made But Not By Me" by Carol Tavris and Elliott Aronson.
  • Mandy March, recent Ursinus College graduate, responded to a Twitter post I made listing the classic "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte as something I'd like to read. March, who promptly loaned my a copy of "Jane Eyre," said "Jane Slayre" the vampire slayer spoof of the Bronte classic, which the publisher describes as a "mashup" of Bronte and writer Sherri Browning Erwin, is on her summer reading list.
  • Mandy's mom, Nancy March, editor of The Mercury, has on her summer reading list: "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks," by Rebecca Skloot (which I reviewed here) ; "The Imperfectionists" by Tom Rachman (which I reviewed here) ; and Books 2 and 3 of the Stieg Larsson Millennium trilogy, "The Girl who Played with Fire" and "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest," respectively.
  • Amy Packard, a publicist for the Wiley imprint Jossey-Bass, and a dear friend of mine since we were playing kickball at Boalsburg-Panorama Elementary School together, is reading "Remarkable Creatures" by Tracy Chevalier. As a non-fiction pick, Amy recommended "Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit From It" (just released this month from Wiley).
  • Nancy Daly, one of the leaders of the book club I enjoy at Wellington Square Bookshop, Exton, responded via email to supply me with a number of book recommendations ... and some intriguing descriptions of the books. They are: '"Lost in Shangri-La" by Mitchell Zuckoff non-fiction about a plane crash and the rescue mission in New Guinea at the end of WWII. "The Story of Beautiful Girl" by Rachel Simon, fiction, touching and uplifting. One of my favorites this year. "In the Garden of Beasts" by Erik Larson, non-fiction about the the first year of Hitler's rule in Germany, 1933, from the viewpoint of the American ambassador and his family "The Weird Sisters" by Eleanor Brown - fiction three adult sisters all go home to help their ill mother and their father, an expert on Shakespeare. Funny and touching, anyone with siblings will recognize the family dynamics. "Our Kind of Traitor "by John LeCarre, fiction. Once again LeCarre captures the politics of the world and where the power lies. "Room" by Emma Donoghue, fiction, Pulled from the headlines, the story of a girl and her son told by the 5 year old. "F in Exams: The Very Best Totally Wrong Test Answers" by Richard Benson, non-fiction. For every teacher and every student who tried to bluff a test answer. And: "State of Wonder" by Ann Patchett, fiction. Reviews point to it being even better than Bel Canto, sure to be one of the summer's must reads. Daly added that the Bookshop's June book club pick is "The Flight of Little Dove" by Chester County author Ruth Zavitsanos. The July pick is "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" by Betty Smith.
  • Pat Sommers, features editor of The Mercury, who always has a good book to recommend (and is always right about the book being good), recently read and enjoyed "The Hundred Secret Senses" by Amy Tan and plans to read "March" by Geraldine Brooks this summer.

1 comment:

Michael S Weekley said...

I plan to use this summer to catch up on reading Balancing the Books!