Thursday, August 18, 2011

Summer Vacation Reading, 2011

I'm sorry that this blog has been so silent over the last weeks. I've been having all sorts of wonderful travels and vacation fun, and sitting down to blog has not been a priority. And that's a healthy thing, I figure-- real life should always come before blogging.

But I have of course been reading all the while so I thought I'd jump back in with a short summary of what I've been reading, I should add the disclaimer that when I'm on vacation, I usually read light fluffy stuff. So I know full well that my reading material of late isn't exactly challenging literary material. That said, it was good vacation reading,

Sister by Rosamund Lupton

When Beatrice's younger sister is found dead in an abandoned shed in a London park, Beatrice becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to her, along the way, she discovers a lot she never knew about her sister, including participation in a mysterious drug trials and relationships about which she'd not known. Written as an ongoing letter to her sister, this novel is engrossing and beautifully written. It doesn't just provide a thrilling mystery-- it explores the idea of sisterhood and family. I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading Lupton's new one.

Sweet Temptation by Lucy Diamond

Pure chick- lit fluff. I admit it up front. But Lucy Diamond is one of those good writers who creates characters with a bit more depth to them. Here, three strangers meet in a Weight Watchers-like group and become friends and change each other's lives. This is set in Birmingham, England which was especially fun as I was reading it while I was in Birmingham. I love that. I'm not sure if Lucy Diamond's books are available in the US, but if you like this sort of thing and are in the UK or Canada, I'd recommend giving her a go.

Tahoe Night by Todd Borg

Here's another instance of my choosing my reading material based on my location at the time. I was vacationing with family in Lake Tahoe and my brother- in-law reminded me of this Tahoe writer who sets his mysteries in the Tahoe area. In fact, he has a whole series, all with Tahoe in the title, about Lake Tahoe investigator Owen McKenna. In this one, a tv newscaster has suffered a string of horrifying events (a car crash that left her badly scarred, the death of her husband). McKenna is hired to protect her and stumbles into a painting forgery ring. These are not the best mysteries I've ever read, but the plots are entertaining and of course reading one while sitting at the beach at Lake Tahoe adds to the appeal. The characters are a bit flat, to be honest, but heck, I've read far worse.

Skipping a Beat by Sarah Pekkanen

High school sweethearts Julie and Michael have created more success for themselves than they ever imagined, She is a sought-after event planner; he owns a big sports beverage company. But Michael is starting to want a simpler life, and decides to give everything away to charity... And then he suddenly dies. Julie is left to sort out the practicalities of their life together, but also the implications of what their marriage truly was to her. This was enjoyable to read, thoughtfully written, and gave me a lot to think about.

The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley

I'm a sucker for time-travel novels that aren't too science fictiony, and this one suited me beautifully. It's the story of a woman who goes to Cornwall, to the old estate where she'd spent her childhood summers, to scatter the ashes of her recently deceased sister. While there, she experiences unusual time warps that return her to the estate several hundred years earlier. Not surprisingly, romance ensues. But even with the somewhat predictable plot, this was quite good. It didn't hurt that I was reading it while on vacation in England, either.

So, what do you consider good vacation reading? And what have you been reading lately?

1 comment:

  1. Thanks very much for your recommendations. I have just finished reading 'Sister' & 'Sweet Temptations'. Both very different but equally enjoyable. Some of the books you recommend are not available here in England, but I have others that are waiting for me at the local library.

    I am grateful to you for taking time to write about books you have read, I have been directed to books I may never have found otherwise. Please keep up the good work.