This summer I’ve done quite a bit of traveling and driving. And by driving, I mean sitting in the passenger seat while Shadd drives the truck and trailer. Though 12 hours in the passenger seat of a truck might sound like torture to many, I see it as an opportunity to knock out a book. A week at the lake-well, I’m currently on my third book. Staying in a hotel during a horse show with a husband who keeps the TV tuned to Sports Center constantly-thank you no, I’ll be reading.
Many years spent first as an English major and then as an English teacher taught me to read fast, and I’ve read fast and hard this summer. Here’s the first half of my list of completed books along with a short review for each…
Somerset by Leila Mecham
I read two of Mecham’s other books, Roses and Tumbleweeds, several summers ago and loved them both. Somerset is a prequel to The Roses and tells the story of three families and their journey to and life in Texas before, during, and after the Civil War. Lots of romance and family drama mixed with a little bit of history. Verdict: Loved it. It’s a long one-almost 650 pages, but I zipped through it.
The Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand
I’m a sucker for Elin Hilderbrand’s novels. I know they are predictable and sappy, but I enjoy them. This one tells the story of Dabney, a 48 year old woman living on Nantucket that has a knack for matchmaking. When her long-lost love Clendenin (what the heck kind of name is Clendenin!?) returns to the island her whole life is thrown into a tail-spin. OK, beyond the super annoying character names, the story is an enjoyable, breezy summer read. Verdict: Liked it. Predictable but had me hooked.
The Gold Coast by Nelson DeMille
I’ve never read a Nelson DeMille novel, and when I saw this novel in People magazine as one of the all-time best summer reads, I downloaded it and was ready to have a new favorite author. And I was disappointed. Let me give it to you in just a few phrases: Mobster moves next door to lawyer, lawyer gets drawn into neighbor/mobster’s world, nothing happens for 100 pages, lawyer represents mobster in court, his life is a mess, nothing happens for 50 pages, the end. Verdict: Disliked. I found it slow and not very exciting. Maybe I should try another DeMille book?
12th of Never by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro
I’m a sucker for James Patterson, and his Women’s Murder Club series is my favorite. I’ve read all of them, this being the 12th. Patterson books are known for their short, cliff-hanger chapters that make for a super-fast read. I’ll give you a few hints about this one: there are some murders, a parallel story-line with courtroom drama, some love-life problems for the heroine Lindsay Boxer, and lots of running scenes with Lindsay’s dog Martha. How old is Martha now?? Good lord, that poor dog has been running with her since 1st to Die! (A good place to start if you’re new to the Women’s Murder Club books) Verdict: Liked it. Patterson is always a satisfying, easy read.
Look for Part II of my summer reading report next week. What have you been reading this summer??
Bear “McKenzie P.”