Another Summer

June 29th. 2010

It’s that time of year when I crave a beach book. Something fun, light-hearted that gives me a mental vacation. So wandering my favorite independent bookstore, Barrons, the other day. I bought three books from Vickie’s summer reading table. I just finished, Another Summer. Georgia Bockoven’s novel about a house and it’s summer renters was charming and delightful. I was so intrigued by the prologue that I really wanted more from those characters, but that wasn’t the direction of the novel. If you’re in the mood for a good story about a rocky cove outside Santa Cruz,California and the lovely people who live there then buy this book.

Songbird Under a German Moon

June 20th. 2010

This novel by Tricia Goyer has special meaning for me because a) its set in an area Mel and I lived twenty years ago b) I’ve sat through one of Wagner’s Ring operas in that Festspielhaus c) I chatted with her for research purposes related to this novel. On top of it being a sweeping good story, I feel so connected to the plot! This is part of her WW II collection and takes an interesting angle with the post WW II pause as Americans were still stationed in Germany after the war.  It’s an easy read and one that is sure to resonate with anyone who has an interest in the music of that era. Don’t pass this one up!

Recent Books

June 14th. 2010

Since school has wrapped up for summer, and I finished edits on a novel with my editor, I’ve actually had time to read. Of the four books I will list  one I loved, one made me laugh out loud and two I had to work to finish.

Jacqueline Winspear’s The Mapping of Love and Death was the sixth (?) in the Maisie Dobb’s series and I was a fan of the earnest private detective making her way in a male dominated society from the first page of book one. This new novel has moved the reader a few months farther down the road of Maisie’s life and introduced a character, that though murdered, is imminently intriguing. Ms. Winspear must have an inexhaustible reference for World War One and in particular British life during those times. Once again, I was with Maise through her turmoils with Maurice and the bloom of romance with James. I’ll patiently wait for the next novel.

Years ago, I read Franky Schaeffer’s Portofino and thought it was one of the funniest novels I’d read because I could relate to the family. This second novel in the Swiss missionaries life, Zermatt, deals frankly with a young boy’s deflowering, male depression and questions of faith, but I laughed so hard I cried at their antics. Mainly because this man (son of Francis Schaeffer) knows intimately well the conflicts of conservative evangelicals and he has a deft hand at pointing fingers at their eccentricities. (Of which I seem to have a few too.)

I read two authors new to me, Dorothea Benton Frank (Bulls Island) and Cathleen Schine (The Three Weissmanns of Westport) but honestly, for all their literary connections and acclaim, did not connect with either of the stories or their characters.