Friday Fun is a group post from the writers of the NHWN blog. Each week, we’ll pose and answer a different, writing-related question. We hope you’ll join in by providing your answer in the comments.
QUESTION: It’s time to think about beach reads and lazy days in a hammock with a book. I never met a writer who didn’t love to read. What book or books have you recently finished and loved?
Susan Nye: My favorite book from this past winter has got to be Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. I was charmed. I also enjoyed Helen Simonson’s Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Chris Bohjalian’s Secrets of Eden and Tracy Chevalier’s The Girl with the Pearl Earring. My not-at-all-secret vice is detective novels and legal thrillers. Top of the pops is anything by Robert B. Parker, John Grisham and David Baldacci and, for fun, Janet Evanovich.
Lisa J. Jackson: The last couple of weeks, I’ve been digging into my TBR pile and have enjoyed a few books. In the mystery genre, The Next Right Thing by Dan Barden. It has a first-person narrator and it worked well. I’m a fan of Jessica Andersen’s 2012 Final Prophecy series, and just managed to read the first in the series, Nightkeepers. (I’ve read others in the series, but it took me a while to find a the first book!) And I’m currently reading a precious memoir my friend Mary Johnson wrote about her 20 years as a nun with Mother Teresa, Unquenchable Thirst. It’s powerful, insightful, and very gripping.
Julie Hennrikus: I just read Fun House, the latest Ceepak mystery/suspense novel by Chris Grabenstein. I love this series, and it is perfect for the summer. It takes place in a New Jersey shore town. Lately my Kindle has been filling up with mysteries by Julie Hyzy, Krista Davis, Lorna Barrett, LeeAnn Sweeney and others–all new releases in mystery series I follow. I’ve also been reading The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuk, and have Counting New Beans: Intrinsic Impact and the Value of Art on my bedside table. My book club is looking for our next read–any suggestions?
Wendy Thomas: Our library just had a book sale and I was able to get tons of books for the summer for mere pennies. Since the weekend, I’ve read, Tales from the Bed by Jennifer Estess (have a box of tissue ready) , Always Looking Up by Michael J. Fox (inspirational to say the least) and The Gallery of Regrettable Food by James Lileks (I laughed so hard the kids came in to see if I was okay.) I’ve also started Made from Scratch – Reclaiming the Pleasures of the American Hearth by Jean Zimmerman, and Are You Really Going to Eat That? Reflections of a Culinary Thrill Seeker by Robb Walsh but both of those books are going to have to be put on hold because I started A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin just to see what it was all about and I/m finding that I literally can’t put it down.
Deborah Lee Luskin: I just finished reading David Huddle’s new book, Nothing Can Make Me Do This, which I did not love, and I just started reading Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteredge, which I think I will.
Jamie Wallace: I “read” most of my fiction via the Audible Books app on my iPhone, but I have recently also enjoyed a few digital reads on my Kindle and – gasp! – as real world, paper-and-ink books. In part because of my multiple formats, I’m usually reading several books at once – some fiction and some (mostly business-related) non-fiction. Because it’s Friday and we’re talking about summer reading (which is typically full of guilty pleasures), I’m going to restrict my list to recent fiction reads. Here goes:
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – a romantic and magical story full of interesting characters and beautiful imagery … I really hope they don’t screw up the movie adaptation.
- The Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett – lovely essay on love, life, and the institution of marriage … made me want to read more Ann Patchett …
- … so I bought her book on writing: The Getaway Car: A Practical Memoir About Writing and Life. Loved it. One passage inspired a post about how our vision for our work can cripple our ability to create it.
- The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield – lush and dark, reminiscent of Jane Eyre … this one kept me coming back for the story and for the artistry of the language
Currently, I am reading Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones, The Secret of Lost Things by Sheridan Hay, and the hysterical Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson. I also just started listening to A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. On my “next to be read” list – something by Ray Bradbury. Though I don’t remember Fahrenheit 451, I was saddened to hear of this man’s death and have been reading all the tributes and remembrances. I think I’ll start with Dandelion Wine.