Thursday, June 18, 2009

In Comes The Heat...

... out come the good old summer-reading books. You know, the ones I can read without thinking too much. When I was a kid it was Nancy Drew, books I'd already read and wanted to read again, and Archie comics. (And just for the record, Archie should never have proposed to Veronica!) Toss in some bare feet, a seat on the porch, and a Fla-Vor-Ice, and life was good.

Now that I'm well into adulthood, I tend to do something similar. I'll re-read my Victoria Holt's or scan the library shelves for anything clad in old sixties or seventies library binding. And my Fla-Vor-Ice is replaced by something chocolate.

So I'm not entirely sure how I ended up reading freaky, nightmare-inducing novels this summer, but I have, and I've got the strange dreams to go along with them. I've been spending a lot of time with books by Ted Dekker, king of Christian creep-me-out fiction. And now I'm just making my way into Valley Of The Shadow, Tom Pawlik's sequel to Vanish. Great reads, but definitely not soft and fluffy.

Which makes it necessary for me to throw in something to lighten up my summer relaxing. Next on my shelf is a change of pace in Eva Marie Everson's Things Left Unspoken and Rene Gutteridge's Scoop. And I hope to discover a few new gems this season out of the deepening pool of Christian authors.

Beach books, however, are a different breed entirely. For me, great seaside reading has to have some suspense to it along with a mysterious setting. If there are unusual locations, stormy days and thick mists, we're getting somewhere. Think Mary Stewart or Phyllis Whitney. The problem is finding some I haven't read. There's nothing worse than carting a stack of library books to the beach only to realize I've read all but two of them.

So any suggestions you have, pass them on. I'm desperately seeking new material... and looking forward to enjoying some happy summer reading.

I hope you do the same!


Lori Stanley Roeleveld said...

I'm having a great time reading American Lit classics so I can choose Hannah's summer reading and must-read novels for 11th grade next year. I've made my way through Catcher in the Rye, The Great Gatsby, Huck Finn, The Namesake, Fireflies in December, and Karen Kingsbury's One Tuesday Morning so far. I'm having a great time at the Y taking suggestions for what are the most important novels to be on Hannah's American Lit novel reading list - Uncle Tom's Cabin is there along with the one's listed above - any suggestions?

Blakelyn said...

I just finished The Namesake, and it was fantastic. I've recently started on the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith, and that is very easy, pleasurable reading for the summer. Those are my recommendations! You can come raid my bookshelf anytime - it's stocked from all my yard-saling :-)

C.J. Darlington said...

Oh, I can recommend many books! Here are a few:

Saving Sailor & Taking Tuscanny by Renee Riva (I think you would love the humor in these, Jennifer.)

The Rivers Run Dry by Sibella Giorello (The writing is amazing.)

Have you read the Katie Parker Production series by Jenny B. Jones? You HAVE to! (In Between is Book #1). Again, lots of humor but some serious issues as well. Wonderful balance.

The Ivy Malone mysteries by Lorena McCourtney are wonderful (Invisible, In Plain Sight, On the Run, Stranded).

Need anymore? :)

Jennifer Valent said...

Thanks, ladies! This should give my summer reading a boost! If you come up with anymore, pass them on.

Lori, you're one busy woman! I don't know how you pack it all in!

Blakelyn, I might take you up on your offer!

CJ, thanks for the book suggestions that contain good humor. You know how much I enjoy that!

debbie said...

Don't know if you want this much suspense, but the setting for Randy Singer's books is in Virginia Beach and Regent University. It's got lots of law and suspense. :)

Jennifer Valent said...

Sounds perfect, Debbie! Suspense combined with a beach setting is just what I'm looking for on vacation. Thanks!