The Toronto Star has a genius piece on the joys of summer reading. Summer reading ... is that trashy page-turner you plan to devour while reclining on a deck chair with a vodka martini in one hand... is a guiltless pleasure, no matter how trashy the page-turner or how large the martini… ... is like winter getaway reading on a Caribbean island, but lasts longer and – when enjoyed on your back patio – costs a whole lot less and comes with a greatly reduced likelihood of contracting hepatitis. It’s a good list, although I have to say I was in the bookstore yesterday, stocking up on my supply of books, and staff person extraordinaire 'J' warned me off the new Ondaatje.
What did I buy? The collectors edition of Knots and Crosses, because it’s reassuring to see that everyone has to correct typos.
The Darkness Inside by John Rickards. Because, although I’ve already read it, I believe in supporting my favourite authors.
Forty Words for Sorrow by Giles Blunt. Because I haven’t read him yet and really, really should.
And two more Hard Case Crime books to help complete Kevin’s collection. Now that he’s subscribed they’ll arrive by mail every month.
I did not, however, buy Hung Out to Die by Brett Battles.
But I did smile when I saw it still listed on the chain store computer here. For the record, they also have the book with proper title (and publisher) The Cleaner. On sale June 26, btw…
The Toronto Star has also compiled a list of some summer beach reads. I decided that I should do a little list of some of my recommended summer reading. What do I suggest? (In alphabetical order, so no squabbling.)
Ammunition by Ken Bruen. Well, anything by Ken Bruen. But there’s something about Brant that suits the summer, when you want to have an action-packed read that has you flipping pages late into the night.
Broken Skin by Stuart MacBride.
Yes, MacBride is back, and this time he’s got John ‘Spanky’ Rickards to torment on the pages. He also includes a hilarious nod to Rankin, although Rankin fans lacking a sense of humour will likely send hatemail and firebombs. Stuart may have to dress up as a woman more often to avoid detection.
Wonder what the hell I’m talking about? Read his blog if you want to know more, but whatever else you do, read his book.
Beneath the Bleeding by Val McDermid.
I’m absolutely choked that it looks like this book won’t hit Canada until next year. It’s been too long already. I may have to order from the UK.
The 50/50 Killer by Steve Mosby
This is an absolutely spellbinding thriller. Part of you doesn’t want to turn the page to face the truth, but you have to know how it will unfold. Mosby expertly weaves the threads of the story to build the tension and just when you think you know how it will unfold he pulls the rug out from under your feet. It may seem early in the year to make predictions, but I doubt a more original work will cross my desk this year. A tour de force, Mosby is my pick as breakout author of 2007 and is now on my list of my annual ‘must-reads’.
A Thousand Bones by PJ Parrish.
A riveting page-turner, I was kept up half the night reading because I just had to know what happened next. Of course, the worst thing about finishing a wonderful book is that you know you have to wait a year for the follow-up, but if A Thousand Bones is any indication of what PJ Parrish can do with this character it will be well worth the wait.
What else do I have on my tbr pile, waiting?
Strangers by Carla Banks
Cut to the Bone by Shane Gericke
Big Numbers by Jack Getze
The Rabbit Factory and Bloodthirsty by Marshal Karp
In this Rain by SJ Rozan
What The Dead Know by Laura Lippman
And still some unread Bruen…
What am I currently reading?
A Perfect Grave by Rick Mofina.
No doubt there will be other books I’ve neglected to mention here that I might make a point of highlighting over the summer, but this is a good start. Feel free to add recommendations of your own below, because you can never have too many books!