Summer Rental

June 30th. 2011

This day doesn’t get much better. I’m at the beach, with friends, and it’s a glorious 90 odd degrees with a perfect white beach and incredible surf. I pull my beach chair up to the line where the tide washes in, sink my feet into the wet sand, kick back in the rusty old chair and read. And read. And read until I’m sunburnt and parched, BUT I had to finish Mary Kay Andrews’ new release Summer Rental while I had all the elements just right. (Not that this is necessary to enjoy her latest beach book manifesto on good living–but it doesn’t hurt.) Once again, Mary Kay Andrews nailed what is right and fun about a novel–escapism. This time the vehicle is an ancient beach house perched on  a dune in Nag’s Head, NC (The house is as much a character as the people who rent it for August.) She writes about real, scarred and authentic characters (houses too) and the crazy circumstances they knot themselves into–albeit with a little condensing courtesy of a fantastic writer. This book goes on top of my summer reccomend list and I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I did. Although, thanks to chapter ten, I’m now on the hunt for a fried grouper sandwich which may or may not be a good thing for my waistline. Thanks, Mary Kay.

Georgia on Her Mind

June 14th. 2011

Another benefit of e-readers: finding books that my bookstore wouldn’t carry. I just read Rachel Hauck’s Georgia On Her Mind via my Kindle this weekend and loved getting a dose of fun, well-written story with a great message. If your bookstore is like mine, they’re cutting back. Only going with the big title books and well-publicized authors. So poking around Amazon’s Kindle store is like finding that old dusty Half-Price Books on the backside of Broadway Avenue (I WAS a regular at my beloved San Antonio’s Half-Price Books; dust, drafty windows and all) and discovering a whole shelf of books by a favorite author. I’ve yet to read anything by Rachel Hauck that I didn’t enjoy so if you have to go to an e-book store, then spend some time downloading her titles. You won’t regret it.

Buckingham Palace Gardens

June 6th. 2011

Judging by the vast list of titles on the flyleaf of Buckingham Palace Gardens, I’m a little late discovering the wonderful stories that Anne Perry creates and sets in 1920s London. I’d chatted with a friend about Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobb series (Love it!) and she turned me on to reading Anne Perry’s detective series with the returning characters of Charlotte and Thomas Pitt. Although, I really didn’t see them as movers and shakers in this story. The murder investigation, and its perception by different people involved with it, left little time to get to know Mr. and Mrs. Pitt. I guess I’ll have to go back to the first novel and start at the beginning if I want their background. In BPG Ms. Perry writes easily about a heinous crime that is far more complex that a simple case of murder. I do like those stories that are layered and by the end you realize that what appeared to be the essence of the plot wasn’t more than a jumping off point, although the Gardens implied in the title never is a factor in the mystery–a better title? Something Nasty in the Queen’s Bedroom, but that might have been a spoiler.

If you’re looking for a good summer read that will travel well to the beach or coffee shop–this one is a good choice.