The summer months usually mean vacation - time away from work; time to relax and do the things that give us joy. I had the privilege of escaping the tail end of our winter to enjoy the extended summer New Zealand was experiencing in March and April. One of my favorite activities is, of course, reading and I was able to get through ten titles in my five weeks away. So, I thought I would like to draw your attention to some books that you may want to dip into. For me, summer is a time for “light fiction”. This lies somewhere between gruesome serial killers (better for winter reading) and “brain candy” books (taste great but empty calories). Over the past year I have discovered four authors I particularly enjoyed that fit into this category. The characters are believable, the plots interesting and the themes relevant. So perhaps you may wish to pick up a couple to read as you swing in your hammock with a cool drink close at hand.
Kristyn Kusek Lewis has three novels under her belt. Save Me is a heartbreaking and wise novel about every woman's nightmare: Infidelity. Daphne, the protagonist is living her dream life until her husband comes home one day and tells her he’s in love with someone else. In How Lucky You Are we see three women struggling to keep their longstanding friendship alive. Half of What you Hear, Lewis’s most recent offering deals with a woman moving to a small community and uncovering the many secrets that hide behind closed doors. Lewis’s novels are perfect for readers who are fans of Liane Moriarty and Elin Hilderbrand.
Sarah Jio has ten novels to date. I highly recommend The Bungalow, a sweeping saga of thwarted love, murder, and a long-lost painting, set both in modern times and in Bora Bora during World War 2. Always, alternating between that past and the present, is a beautifully unfolding exploration of a woman faced with an impossible choice, a woman who discovers what she is willing to save and what she will sacrifice for true love.
Katherine Center writes bittersweet comic novels about how we get back up after life has knocked us down. She writes about hope, and how to hold onto life’s joys, even in the midst of all its hardship. I recommend Happiness for Beginners and How to Walk Away. Things You Save in a Fire will be published in August and we will have it in the collection as soon as we can.
If none of these appeals, you might like to try Deanna Rayburn who provides an enjoyable read with light-hearted murder mysteries in the style of Agatha Christie. Rayburn sets her serial novels in the late 1800s and 1920s. I mention her here because her novel Silent in the Grave has the best opening lines I have read in a while:
"To say I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband’s dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching on the floor.”
I know I focused solely on books for women by women this month so if you are a husband whose body hasn’t reached the twitching stage, I shall do the opposite next time and provide titles aimed at the male audience.
If you’d rather watch a movie instead of reading a book (Shock! Horror!), don’t forget that we have Family Movie Nights starting July 11 at 7 pm.