Remember, just a few months ago, when the summer seemed endless and our Loyal Blog Readers were asked what books were going into beach bags and which were being chucked in the backseats of cars? Some were novels recommended by a friend; others were purchased because of the rave reviews of trusted literary critics; still others were ones that had been Christmas gifts that we were finally going to have time to read. Well, now those readers report back, with thumbs up or down or sideways about those earlier choices, and some that snuck in somehow…impulse buys or gifts. Here’s what you had to say about your summer reading selections:
Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
“Delightfully droll…. Semple…cuts a wry slice of a life-one that’s populated by private school helicopter parents, obsessively eco-conscious neighbors, and green-juice swilling, TED-talking husbands-and one that’s sharp enough to make us feel slightly relieved about not having to live anywhere quite so bucolic.” (Megan O’Grady, Vogue)
Joyland by Stephen King
Not too much joy to be found from one reader, who deems Joyland to be merely “so-so.”
“An amusement park and murder figure into a coming-of-age tale in this miniature thriller with a hint of the supernatural.” – Los Angeles Times
THUMBS UP! TWICE!
Many readers read this over the summer and highly recommend. More chimed in saying they have it on their lists as well. Hey, there are still a couple more weeks left in the summer of 2013!
Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation by Michael Pollan
In Cooked, Michael Pollan explores the previously uncharted territory of his own kitchen. Here, he discovers the enduring power of the four classical elements—fire, water, air, and earth—to transform the stuff of nature into delicious things to eat and drink. Apprenticing himself to a succession of culinary masters, Pollan learns how to grill with fire, cook with liquid, bake bread, and ferment everything from cheese to beer.
Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
This novel appeared on our Summer Reading Suggestions for 2013 and we are happy to report it met our readers’ expectations.
Erik Larson—author of #1 bestseller In the Garden of Beasts—intertwines the true tale of the 1893 World’s Fair and the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their death. Combining meticulous research with nail-biting storytelling, Erik Larson has crafted a narrative with all the wonder of newly discovered history and the thrills of the best fiction.
Sorry, Mr. King, but you’ve made the “meh” list twice this year. Maybe it’s because sometimes you want the literary equivalent of McDonald’s, but then you eat/read it and you realize it tasted like masking tape. Anyhoo…. here’s the description should you feel like a (un)Happy Meal:
Graphic artist Clay Riddell was in the heart of Boston on that brilliant autumn afternoon when hell was unleashed before his eyes. Without warning, carnage and chaos reigned. Ordinary people fell victim to the basest, most animalistic destruction.
And the apocalypse began with the ring of a cell phone….
Meet Frank Cauldhame. Just sixteen, and unconventional to say the least:
Two years after I killed Blyth I murdered my young brother Paul, for quite different and more fundamental reasons than I’d disposed of Blyth, and then a year after that I did for my young cousin Esmerelda, more or less on a whim.
That’s my score to date. Three. I haven’t killed anybody for years, and don’t intend to ever again.
It was just a stage I was going through.
OTHERS BOOKS THAT ALSO GOT THUMBS UP!
- Fall of Giants (Triology) by Ken Follet
- Declare by Tim Powers
- N0S4A2 by Joe Hill
- The Night She Disappeared by Alice Henry
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green