Summer Reading Recommendations

What books are you reading this summer?

Wendy, please give us your latest trashy book recommendation.

9 thoughts on “Summer Reading Recommendations

  1. My new discoveries are both detective novels: Arnuldur Indridiason (Iceland) and Elizabeth George (Inspector Lynley series, which I’d only known through its BBC/PBS incarnation).


  2. I have been reading romances as a form of self-care in this time of imminent fascism.

    The Kiss Quotient, Helen Hoang and A Girl Like Her, Talia Hibbert both have autistic main characters. No, not the male characters; both feature autistic female heroines. And both are quite good books.
    In TKQ, the heroine decides to hire a sex worker to teach her how to have sex, but she figures out she really needs someone to teach her how to be in a relationship.
    In AGLH, an autistic woman who is shunned by the town’s golden boy for being a slut*
    *The issue of the slut-shaming is directly addressed sensitively.

    A series I unexpectedly loved: Ilona Andrews’ Hidden Legacy series
    Burn for Me, White Hot, and Wildfire.
    Normally I hate paranormal romance with a passion. Not only that, but I also hate super alpha* heroes and heroines that are So Amazing and Can Do Everything Well. I like a few flaws in my fantasy heroes/heroines. But for some reason, the paranormal elements (magic) and personality stuff worked for me.
    *Courtney Milan doesn’t like the term “alpha” FTR.

    Talia Hibbert gets addictive, so I have been reading some others. Just finished Wanna Bet, which was almost a 5-star for me. FTR, she writes BWWM or BWAM (Black Women White Men or Black Women (South or East) Asian Men) romances. Wanna Bet is BWAM about 2 friends who become lovers but are also really messed up because of abandonment issues, so cue angst.

    Melt for You, JT Geissinger was well-reviewed so I picked it up and liked it a lot. Awkward woman with crush on boss becomes friends with hot Scottish neighbor who will “teach” her how to “win” her boss.

    Lucy Parker is super popular among romance critics. Her third book in her series about life in the London theater world, Making Up, came out last month. People didn’t love it quite as much as the first two, but I liked it fine. Hero is a makeup artist; heroine works in a Cirque du Soleil type production.

    I read the most recent Sarina Bowen from her True North series set in Vermont. You’d like this series, Laura. The primary setting is the Shipley family’s apple farm and cider making business, and the stories revolve around the family members and also the business of farming, farmers markets, and craft ciders and beers.

    Karina Bliss has a series called Rock Solid about members of a band and their various relationships. I liked this series a lot and gave the middle book (Fall) 5 stars because I loved the heroine. I just read Resurrection, about the guitar player/lead singer and his relationship with a former porn star trying to have a new normal life.

    Maybe you have to be a Suzanne Brockmann fan and have read all the SEAL Team 10 books, but I freaking loved SEAL Camp.

    Alyssa Cole, A Princess in Theory. Kind of like Coming to America, except a bit less offensive (and less funny, but that’s ok). (Also, I LOVE Coming to America but I do acknowledge its problems.)

    If you want historicals, I read Meredith Duran’s Duke of Shadows then the recently published follow-up The Sins of Lord Lockwood and really liked them both. Both are dark. In the first one, the main characters are both in India during the Indian Rebellion of 1857.


  3. I’m in the middle of Schiller’s The Maid or Orleans I’m led to understand it ends hotly for the title character, but along the way it’s really good. Viewed from the outside (but within the play), it’s awfully hard to tell if what possesses her is divine inspiration or the pagan spirits that everyone said got anyone who touched that tree she liked to hang out at. I think that’s a really interesting choice for Schiller, or maybe I am misreading the spirit of his times.

    I recently finished Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate, which is great, but also every bit as cheery and uplifting as you would expect a thousand-page novel about the Eastern Front and centered on the Battle of Stalingrad to be. It’s still an amazing book. About halfway through The House of Government by Yuri Slezkine, which is even bigger, and just as cheery, although I haven’t gotten to 1937 yet, when so many of the residents got spirited away by the secret police that Sovs who weren’t afraid to crack a joke called it the House of Preliminary Detention. On the other hand, his central argument that the Bolshies are best considered as a millennarian cult that succeeded and then had to figure out what to do afterward is kinda wack and thus very interesting to read. Plus his sentences show that he had a good time writing, which one can’t always say about historians.

    Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente was pitched as Eurovision in Space, and so what’s not to like?

    Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff balances otherworldly terrors against the earthly evils of Jim Crow. It’s much funnier than one would expect given those circumstances.

    I have four more Discworld books to go, though I am likely to finish those in fall rather than summer, as I tend to read about one per month.

    War for the Oaks by Emma Bull kicked ass. How did I miss this when it was new in the 1980s?


  4. I just finished the complete English poems of George Herbert. (What about his Latin poems, you say, and I say “shut up.”) For the summer I intend to read Galatians and Ephesians in the original Greek, plus three sets of commentaries: (i) N.T. Wright (popular), (ii) the New International Greek Testament Commentaries (scholarly and generally conservative) and (iii) the Anchor Yale Bible Series (scholarly and generally liberal).


  5. My fiction reading now consists of mysteries (mostly cozy, but even those have more angst and violence than I’d prefer, these days) and what my kiddo calls young adult fantasy because Crown of Thrones ruined everything, as far as I’m concerned.

    So I’ll pass on a couple of suggestions from others in my family:

    Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi, spanning the story of a pair of sisters (and their descendants), one of whom was sold into slavery in America and another who stayed in Africa. It’s the required reading summer reading for my rising 9th grader.


    So you want to talk about race, by Ijeoma Oluo.

    (My own reading at this moment is Louise Penny’s 8th Gamache book, Lydia’s party, and the tween book, Hannah West, amateur sleuth, and Graceling as a book on tape).


    1. You realize that turned into a pentology by the time LeGuin died? The fourth one is kind of weak, but I liked the fifth one.


  6. The news is so appalling and so terrifying I have started a Heyer Re-read – actually that’s wrong -I’m always re-reading Heyer but tend to re-read favorite bits when stressed.
    Also reading Norah Lofts whom I had somehow never heard of.
    Rachel Aaron Bach – both her series are lovely – I just started on the Dragonslayer series.


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