Monday, June 23, 2008

Summer Reading Extravaganza - Day 1: Fun Summer Reads

The Friendly Book Nook Today's question: What’s your favorite beach read or what’s in your beach bag?

As we all know, my book memory leaves alot to be desired. So I went back through my library to see what would trigger as a great beach (or for me in the midwest - vacation) read.


The Alphabet Sisters by Monica McInerney is a great book! It's about three sisters - their grown up lives with flashbacks to their childhood. They grew up in their parents motel, all the while being a singing sensation in their own right. Will make you laugh and cry! I noted this as a top read for me for 2006. Really, any of Monica McInerney's books will make a great beach read!

For the mystery lovers, one of my favorite series is J.D. Robb's (aka Nora Roberts) "In Death" series. I just eat them up when they come out. Detective Eve Dallas and her husband, Roarke, solve many crimes all the while dealing with their own internal issues from childhood. The first one in the series is Naked in Death. But you could read any of them and enjoy it.

A great Christian, 'group of real women', series starts with the Yada Yada Prayer Group by Neta Jackson. A group of twelve, very different both spiritually and culturally, women go to a women's conference in Chicago (some willingly, some not so willingly), are put into a prayer group for the conference and then crisis strikes. This first book shows how they come together as women to help someone they just met. Another one that made me laugh and cry both. I do recommend starting this series in the beginning and reading in order.

One more from my library - Monkeewrench by P.J. Tracy is a good mystery with intrigue and 'people drama' thrown in. Murders are being committed just like in a video game designed by the Monkeewrench company. We meet the team behind the game, the detectives assigned to the case, and some interesting characters.

In my pile of 'to be read' right now are two that I can't wait to get reading.

By Elizabeth Noble, The Reading Group has this teaser on Amazon: ...U.K. bestseller is a frothy page-turner that dissects the relationships, desires and discoveries of five English women, all members of a book club. Over the course of a year, the women read 12 novels (including Atonement, Rebecca and The Alchemist) and, through their playful but intimate discussions (few of which revolve around the books), they bond closely while coping with such matters as a philandering husband, a mother with dementia, a pregnant but unmarried daughter, an infertility crisis, a wedding and a funeral. It's a testament to Noble's characterizations and plotting that the novel is not overwhelming, despite its numerous (perhaps too many) points of view, complicated backstories and interweaving contemporary crises. Light but never flip, this is funny, contemplative and touching reading, and the group's familiar book choices allow readers to feel as if they're part of the gang, too, as they race to the end, eager to find out what happens, why it does and what it all means.

Janet Evanovich is one of my favorite authors! Fearless Fourteen is the latest in the Stephanie Plum series. Stephanie makes me laugh out loud. Every time! She is a bounty hunter that has no idea what she's doing. She hangs with some fun folks, including her very sly grandmother. These books are sort of mysteries as there usually is someone trying to kill Stephanie for something she stumbled into. But they are such a light read with a great cast of characters that even if mysteries aren't your thing, I think you'll love them. The first book in the series is One for the Money.

Thanks to The Friendly Book Nook for sponsoring this fun! Make sure you go to their post on great beach reads and comment on their books and the others linked there. Remember to keep track of the comments you make - the more comments, the more chancs you have to win the great prizes!

15 comments:

Diane said...

Any Janet Evanovich Plum books (I don't care for the others). A Painted House, by Grisham (not your typical Grisham-esque book). Secret Life of Bees (but I think the LOLAs read it already). Beautiful Boy by David Sheff....a bit heavy, but a must-read! And last but not least, The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards. Somehow I ended up with TWO copies....let me know if anyone needs a copy....on the house!

Michele said...

Diane - have you read Evanovich's Metro Girl? It's more like Stephanie Plum and not the romances. I've read all you mentioned except Beautiful Boy. I liked Painted house and Secret life of bees - recommend them for sure. I wasn't a big fan of Memory keepers daughter, though. I'll let you know if anyone wants a copy. Come to Lolas!

Nise' said...

Love the name of your blog! My mom's name is spelled with one 'L' too! I love the "In Death" books too and devour them. Love the Stephanie Plum books too.

jessi said...

I LOVED The Memory Keeper's Daughter. I haven't read any Janet Evanovich, though. I'm not a big fan of mysteries, but Monkeewrench sounds interesting. I'm going to add it to my BookMooch wishlist. :)

emma the wheelchair princess said...

The Reading Group (which I *swear* was published here as the "Book Group") is a great read, I loved it! I've also read two others of her's The Tenko Club and Alphabet Weekends and they were really good too. I think you will really enjoy it.

bookroomreviews said...

Oh no! More to add to my already too big pile:) Alphabet House sounds great! Loved the Yada Yada book too!

Julie said...

A great summer read is About a Boy by Nick Hornby. I don't know what makes it a summer read or why I loved it so much, but I just loved that book!!

Sally said...

Love Stephanie Plum and LOVE Yada Yada. Will you let us know how Plum's #14 is? Like all long series, I was getting a little tired at 12 and 13.

Jennifer said...

I read Elizabeth Noble's Reading Group a couple of summers ago and loved it. The anticipation of starting a great book is one of life's little pleasures. Enjoy it!

Michele said...

Nise' - I love hearing about other folks who spell Michele the correct way. Thanks for stopping by!

Jessi - Monkeewrench is definitely good. Even if you don't normally enjoy mysteries, I think you'll like this one.

Emma - I am enjoying The Reading Group so far. I love to read all books by an author so I'm sure I'll be reading the others as well. Thanks!

Michele said...

Bookroomreviews - Have you read all of the yada yada series? I normally try to put books in between series books but didn't with all of the yada's. I loved them all and was sad to read the last one.

Julie - hmm..would I like it? Gotta add it to the list.

Sally - I'm reading Reading Group first and can't read more than one book at a time. But when I start Fourteen, I'm sure I'll get through it quickly. I'll let ya know how it is!

Thanks Jennifer! I am definitely enjoying it so far. I think I'm in July.

J. Kaye Oldner said...

I have read "Monkeewrench" by P.J. Tracy. I am curious about your opinion.

Michele said...

Hi J.Kaye! I read Monkeewrench quite awhile ago and so don't remember specifics. But I do know I called my mom up and told her to read it and then waited, not very patiently, for the next one to come out. It's actually written by two women which I find fascinating to think about. Did you not like it?

Jennifer said...

If you like books by Monica McInerney and Elizabeth Noble, you'll like Cathy Kelly's works. She's an Irish author who focuses on family drama, some heart-wrenching.

Michele said...

Thanks Jennifer! I'll check her out.