You're wondering what books the Tarts currently recommend to tuck into your beach bag, aren't you? We have such diverse tastes, and our summer reads are always a mix of literary masterpieces that--oh, hell, admit it. If you're an author you're hoping your book might be on our lists, right? And everybody else wants to print out a list to take to the bookstore. So without further ado, here goes:
Harley reports: I'm reading thrillers, for my panel at Thrillerfest. I'm loving the current one: Robert Ferrigno's PRAYERS FOR THE ASSASSIN. The coolest book in the world. He's making it into a trilogy--yahoo! Next up: STIFF by Mary Roach. Not a thriller, but said to be thrilling. And of course, still plugging away at THE ILIAD.
Susan sez.... I'm in the midst of SUGAR SKULL by Denise Hamilton, and I'm loving it! Her protag is a reporter from the LA Times and always pushing the envelope. The dry humor is perfect, and the story (really two deaths that tie together) has me engrossed. I just finished FALSE PROFITS by Patricia Smiley (bought this book and Denise's while signing with them at Lee Booksellers) and that was fun. Tucker Sinclair is a slightly too-trusting business consultant ripe for trouble. Lots of funny moments. I also really enjoyed THE HALO EFFECT by M.J. Rose and SACRED COWS by Karen Olsen (which I remember reading for the Malice Domestic contest when I was a judge--and I think I sent Karen an encouraging note, or at least I hope I did!) Waiting to be read: THE LOVER by Laura Wilson, OFFICER DOWN by Theresa Schwegel, THE CLOVIS INCIDENT by Pari Taichert, and MURDER LIST by Julie Garwood--among others!
From Nancy: I was late getting to Susanna Moore's literary erotic thriller, IN THE CUT, but I am so glad my author friend Kathleen George recommended this one to me. Hot, hot, hot, plus exquisite prose--and thrilling right up until the last, stunning page. Thumbs up also to Chris Grabenstein's cleverly structured TILT A WHIRL and Cornelia Read's A FIELD OF DARKNESS. Anthony Bourdain, in DIRTY BITS, writes an introduction in which he self-deprecatingly claims he doesn't have the talent to effectively plunge a reader into the steamy kitchen of an Inuit family who's ravishing (can I use that word for sensuous consumption?) a seal, but he proceeds to dazzle me with his gift for language that mixes equal parts passion, food and testosterone.
I'm also reading a wonderful hoot of a book that's full of heart and wonderfully witty observations about life--THE CINDERELLA PACT--by, oh, some author or other. (This one proves the wise & witty Ms. Strohmeyer is on her way to the bestseller lists.) Next up for me: THE WHOLE WORLD OVER by Julia Glass, which I would be reading right now---her THE THREE JUNES was incomparable, poignant and heart-rending--but my mother snatched it off my dining room table & stashed it in her beach bag!
From Elaine: THE VIRGIN OF SMALL PLAINS is Nancy Pickard's newest mystery. I loved Nancy's lyrical descriptions of the Kansas plains. Her "Truth" series, set in Florida, was first-rate, but this is even better. An intriguing look at how myths are created. THE PRAYER FOR THE NIGHT SHEPHERD. Author Marcia Talley turned me onto this British series by Phil Rickman featuring deliverance consultant Merrily Watkins. That's the term for exorcist in the Church of England. If you're in the mood for a lushly written novel, Rickman's series is perfect.
From Sarah: No response. Sarah's madly driving down I-80 on the first day of her book tour for THE CINDERELLA PACT!