Sunday, July 12, 2009

Another Summer Reading Sunday Seven

What I'm Reading: The Devil's Company by David Liss

What I'm Working On: Kevin -- hero, villian, enigma

I wanted to throw out another 7 books I hope to get to this summer -- or at least soon.

From Cosmo’s list:
1) Dark Places
By Gillian Flynn
When Libby Day was seven, her mother and younger sisters were murdered. She then testified against her brother and helped put him behind bars. Now, 25 years later, Libby is alone and about to go broke. So she begins to sell old family memorabilia to the Kill Club, a group of true-crime fans obsessed with her story. But the club doesn't believe Libby's brother is the killer, and pushes her to investigate the murder. What Libby finds will turn her life upside down — again.
Cosmo says: This thriller got passed around the Cosmo offices for good reason — it's gripping, smart, and chilling.

From another Cosmo list:
2) How to Be Single
By Liz Tuccillo
Manhattan chick Julie Jenson is fed up with the dating scene stateside so she says buh-bye to her posse and travels the world to discover how women in other countries survive the single life. Each city brings new lessons, and soon she finds what she least expected — love. (Psst, the author is the coauthor of He's Just Not That Into You and was an executive story editor for Sex and the City. And she actually jetted around the globe to research this book.) Cosmo says: Reading this novel is like taking a vacation with your BFFs — minus the pricey ticket and lost luggage.

From Queen’s Library summer reading list for adults:
3) Just Too Good to Be True
By E. Lynn Harris
College football player Brady Bledsoe couldn’t ask for more success – A possible professional career is complicated by sexual temptation and emerging family secrets.
Harris serves up a treat that will capture and enchant audiences everywhere--a big, bold, and irresistible novel about football, family, and secrets. Brady Bledsoe and his mother, Carmyn, have a strong relationship. A single mother, faithful churchgoer, and the owner of several successful Atlanta beauty salons, Carmyn has devoted herself to her son and his dream of becoming a professional football player. Brady has always followed her lead, including becoming a member of the church's "Celibacy Circle." Now in his senior year at college, the smart, and very handsome, Brady is a lead contender for the Heisman Trophy and a spot in the NFL. As sports agents hover around Brady, Barrett, a beautiful and charming cheerleader, sets her mind on tempting the celibate Brady and getting a piece of his multimillion-dollar future--but is that all she wants from him, and is she acting alone? Carmyn is determined to protect her son. She's also determined to protect the secret she's kept from Brady his whole life. As things heat up on campus and Carmyn and Brady's idyllic relationship starts to crumble, mother and son begin to wonder about the other--are you just too good to be true? A sweeping novel about mothers and sons, football and beauty shops, secrets and lies, JUST TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE has all the ingredients that have made E. Lynn Harris a bestselling author: family, friendship, faith, and love.

4) Reading Like A Writer
By Francine Prose
From Amazon: Life is precious, and much of that preciousness lies in the details: the sights, the sounds, the scents we too often ignore in our busy lives. Prose makes a superb application of that concept for readers of fiction. To know how the great writers create their magic, one needs to engage in a close reading of the masters, for that is precisely what successful writers have done for thousands of years. College programs in creative writing and summer workshops serve a purpose, but they can never replace a careful reading of the likes of Austen, Dostoyevsky, Flaubert, Kafka, Salinger, Tolstoy, and Woolf. In this excellent guide, Prose explains exactly what she means by close reading, drawing attention to the brick and mortar of outstanding narratives: words, sentences, paragraphs, character, dialogue, details, and more. In the process, she does no less than escort readers to a heightened level of appreciation of great literature. Many will want to go to the shelves to read again, or for the first time, the books she discusses. And to aid them, she thoughtfully adds a list at the end: Books to Be Read Immediately.

*This one should be waiting for me in my office on Monday.

5) Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception
by Maggie Stiefvater
From Amazon: Sixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan, a gifted harpist who regularly plays for weddings and other events, has the kind of stage fright that makes her physically ill before a performance, which is an inauspicious way to start a romance; but while vomiting before a competition she meets a gorgeous boy who comes into the restroom to hold her hair. He is Luke Dillon, a flautist who proceeds to accompany her in a truly stellar performance. As four-leaf clovers start appearing everywhere, Deirdre develops telekinetic powers and encounters strange, unworldly people who seem to bear her ill will. Her best friend, James, also a talented musician; her beloved grandmother; and her mother all are in danger, as Deirdre is targeted by the queen of Faerie. Deirdre eventually discovers that she is a cloverhand, a person who can see the denizens of faerie, and Luke, not the only immortal who has her in his sights, is a gallowglass, an assassin assigned by the queen of Faerie to kill Deirdre but who falls in love with her instead. This beautiful and out-of-the-ordinary debut novel, with its authentic depiction of Celtic Faerie lore and dangerous forbidden love in a contemporary American setting, will appeal to readers of Nancy Werlin’s Impossible (2008) and Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series.

*I like faerie stories.

6) Sideshow: Ten Original Tales of Freaks, Illusionists and Other Matters Odd and Magical
Deborah Noyes (editor)
From Amazon: Noyes once again pulls together 10 stories from some of teen fiction’s heaviest hitters (including Annette Curtis Klause, David Almond, and Cecil Castellucci), shining the spotlight on horror’s younger cousin: human oddities. “The Bearded Girl” is an obvious choice, but in it Aimee Bender hones a tale of adolescent acceptance to an uncanny edge, and Vivian Vande Velde delivers a near-perfect should-have-seen-it-coming twist in “Those Psychics on TV.” a sign of the format’s growing acceptance, three of the offerings are graphic stories, including the highlight of the collection, Matt Phelan’s quietly enigmatic “Jargo!,” about a circus curiosity who might be even curiouser than he seems.

*I've been wanting to learn more about short story construction. This anthology might just be the perfect place.

7) Everything Matters!
By Ron Currie, Jr.
On the day that Junior Thibodeau is born, he learns the exact moment when the world will end: 36 years, 168 days, 14 hours, and 23 seconds into the future--pretty heavy news for a newborn. Knowledge of the pending apocalypse--revealed by an omniscient, unnamed "we"--colors Junior's existence from day one and leaves him wondering: "Does anything I do matter?" Ron Currie, Jr.'s terrific debut novel unfolds through the funny, poignant, and tragic stories told by Junior and his family, (each of them owning a chapter) including the all-knowing Greek chorus that gently, affectionately nudges Junior toward his destiny. Everything Matters! is one of the most unique novels I've come across this year--unpredictable without being flashy, sweet without being sentimental, thoughtful without being preachy--a fun read that will keep you thinking long after the story is over.

*This new novel is getting too much press to ignore.

Happy summer reading.