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June 17, 2006

Summer Reads

Now and then, the Book Tarts share what we've been reading lately.  This weekend, we've asked a few friends to share the titles they'd suggest for summer reading.  Book Tarts say, "Check 'em out!". 

From Charlaine Harris:  I have a couple of books I can recommend enthusiastically.  The first is SIX BAD THINGS by Charlie Huston, who is the most exciting writer on my radar. I hate first person present tense, but Charlie Huston makes it seem natural and smooth. Huston is also extremely hard-boiled, so he's not for the weak of stomach. I've also read ALREADY DEAD and CAUGHT STEALING, which is the prequel to SIX BAD THINGS. I can't speak highly enough of Huston's talent.

I was also lucky enough to snag an ARC of THE VIRTU, the sequel to Sarah Monette's dazzling debut fantasy MELUSINE. Monette is a dream of a writer, with a sure voice and a fertile imagination. Her two main characters, Felix Harrowgate and Mildmay the Fox, divide the narrative between them with never a false step on Monette's part.  THE VIRTU will be out in late June, and I hope a lot of other people enjoy them.

From Jane Dentinger, editor in chief of Mystery Guild:  If you've missed Sharyn McCrumb's mysteries, look no further! ART'S BLOOD is the second installment in Vicki Lane's North Carolina series, and it enthralled me. But....here's what Sharyn McCrumb herself has to say: "Vicki Lane shows us an exotic and colorful picture of Appalachia from an outsider's perspective--through a glass darkly."

ANTIQUES ROADKILL, by Barbara Allan--This debut is a real treasure! And you don't have to be a fan of Antiques Roadshow to love it (though it wouldn't hurt.) Filled with Trash n Treasure tips!

THE MERLOT MURDERS by Ellen Crosby. I popped my cork over this dazzling debut. It's set in Virginia's wine country, but you don't have to be a connoisseur of the grape to savor its reach appeal. Has hints of Daphne DuMaurier and Margaret Maron, making it grand cru all the way!

From Mariah Stewart: I'm smack in the middle of a Harlan Coben glom--fascinated by his endlessly complicated plots.

1. PROMISE ME: Coben's hero, Myron Bolitar (former pro-basketball player, currently an entertainment agent) overhears his girlfriend's young daughter and her friend, Aimee, talking about driving home drunk from parties. He gives both girls his cell number and makes them promise to call him if they're ever in trouble or need help, and he'll be there, no questions asked. A few nights later, Aimee calls in the middle of the night, asking for a ride to a friend's house. True to his word, Myron picks her up and drops her off at the designated house--and she promptly disappears, making Myron the prime suspect. As always, this qualifies as a can't read fast enough, can't put down read.

Two books I'm looking forward to:  THE CINDERELLA PACT by SS, which I'm planning on buying next Wednesday night at the Chester County Book Store (unless of course it rains the way it's raining now, then all bets are off)--and DUCHESS: A NOVEL OF SARAH CHURCHILL by Susan Holloway Scott.

From Denise Hamilton:  THE GOODBYE BODY by Joan Hess.  I met Joan at the wonderful Cape Fear Writers Festival in Wilmington NC last year, and if her books are half as funny as she was then, I'm in a for a good, acerbic tale.

THE FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT by Alan Furst.  I'm doing an "In Conversation" with him at the LA Central Library next week and need to finish this wonderful, elegaic, atmospheric thriller so I can be coherent and articulate in our chat.

Lastly, I'm a huge sucker for THE DREAM KING by Neil Gaiman, and I'm collecting all the Sandman graphic novels to read at my leisure this summer.--What a treat. I'm also looking forward to China Mieville's PERDIDO STREET STATION, which won the Hugo and Nebula.  He's a Bristish author.

Stay tuned for more recommended reads....

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Comments

How nice to hear from all of you! And even an unsolicited plug from Mariah for CINDERELLA PACT! (Which comes out.....hey, NOW??)

Denise -

Gaiman has a new comic book series coming out this summer (THE ETERNALS). I've never bought a comic book series while it was still comics before. Also, there is a new ULTIMATE SANDMAN with re-inked drawings on the way. (Urgh. Watch book budget getting sucked away.)

Forget the novels, comics, etc. The amount of blogging he gets done with it all amazes me. And the interviews on his audiobook are conducted by his young daughter.

First let me say thank you for the recommendations. We get to the best reading through such recommendations.

I want to second Charlaine's recommendation of Charlie Huston. He is high, high, high on my favorite authors list now. Absolutely not for the faint of heart or stomach. Cool as a cucumber though. Already Dead was the most unique book I've read in a while and one of the best. Soooo talented. Charlaine's recommendation coming from a talented writer herself and also high on my list.

Thanks again and now off to check out the others listed.

At the moment I am reading the Harper Lee portrait, "Mockingbird."

I stay awake at night reading this book. The problem that I have with the book is that the author (sorry, I can't recall his name, except that he taught English) not to grasp the Southern Culture. The suffers from too much textbook dust.

Still, it is Nelle Harper Lee and she did write a good book.

Denise and Mary --

What's the appropriate age level for the Gaiman graphic art books?

My daughter is 14, an avid reader and aspiring artist - would they be good for her?

Thanks

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