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Summer Book RoundupJuly 4, 2009

I've been reading, and I keep forgetting to tell you about it, so here you go! A dump of book thoughts!

Charlaine Harris, the Sookie books
First of all, I think Charlaine Harris is a doll. Don't you? I adore the fact that she sold the first Sookie book for $5,000 after publishing 20 or so other books before it. I love that she was able to hire her best friend as her personal assistant. There's a wonderful picture of her here. And her books are just fun. I'm not a big vampire gal -- the Twilight books never grabbed me at all. But I love the HBO series True Blood that is based on her books. Granted, I skimmed the first one, Dead Until Dark, because it was similar to the TV show, and I wanted to get to what happens next. But I loved book two, Living Dead in Dallas. The writing is snappy and funny and fast-paced.

Jodi PicoultHandle with Care
About a child born with bones as fragile as glass, this book got stuck in my head and hasn't left it yet (which doesn't happen often; books slide in and out of my memory so quickly). At its core, I think it's really about what a mother is and what a mother can bring herself to do. I loved it. Rich and deep.

Deidre Knight, Butterfly Tattoo
I don't know how to begin telling you about this. I should just leave it at this: if you like romance of any flavor, you should read this book. I can't explain the premise behind it and make it sound at all like something you want to read. But I'll try. Okay, Hollywood star scarred by stalker falls in love with man who is mourning his dead (male) partner and trying to raise their pre-teen daughter alone. I KNOW! That's what I said! But it was wonderful, tear-jerking (and my tears, believe it or not, are NOT easily jerked by prose), and I think you should read it. Digital only (I know. Still worth it, even if you don't have an e-Reader. I swear).

Jan Hanff Korelitz, Admission
Has anyone else read this? I don't know what to think. I have never been so ambivalent about a book I liked so well. Does that make sense? No? Okay. Let me try it another way. Korelitz's language is gorgeous, pitch perfect. The story, about a Princeton admissions officer and a familial secret, was fascinating. But every time I put the book down, I wasn't exceedingly moved to pick it back up, even though when I did, I very much enjoyed reading it. I've never felt this way about a book, and I'm not sure what caused it. The narrative was mostly internal reflection, and it's certainly possible that I'm a vapid enough reader that I lose focus when there's not more dialog. But even with that said, I would still recommend it.  And I'd love to hear what you thought about it.

Kristan Higgins, Fools Rush In
Pure fun! Wacky hijinks! The best kind! I eat her books up with a spoon. This one had a premise I wasn't sure I could get behind, but I did, and I adored the characters, especially the leading man who, in my mind, looked like a cross between Aidan Quinn and Sam Shepard. And with that last sentence I realize I am perhaps older than I thought I was. My idea of sexy is still rooted in early 90's movies. Huh. That's kind of surprising. That and Johnny Depp. And the guy that plays Eric in True Blood (creepy yum).

Marisa de los Santos, Belong To Me
Did you read Love Walked In? This is its sequel. I'm not done with this one, but I can tell you right now, it's even better. It's one of those books that I can't stand to be not reading, but I'm trying not to read it too fast, because I don't want it to be gone. (Also, it's her second book and I'm busy being WILDLY jealous that this is her sophomore attempt. My sophomore attempt is in the hands of my wonderful agent (who suggested this book, actually), and although it's apples to oranges, I can't help but wonder what the author's process was like.

(Amazon links provided for convenience, but please support your local bookseller.)

And Lala appears to be as verbose as I am today. Go read her Rah-rah-Summer entry (and get a look at that good-looking new nephew of ours!).

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Comments

I loved both of de los Santos's books, though I haven't read the first one in a while.

There's a romance book I re-read periodically because it's part of a larger series. And when I'm not reading this book, I always think how much I dislike this particular one, how boring it is, how it's the clunker of the greater whole.

And then I pick it up to read and I'm stunned! It's fantastic! There's LOTS that happens in this book, and there are some of my favorite moments between the main couple. I can't believe how much I love this book!

Then I turn the last page, set it down, and in the morning I'm back to thinking I don't like it. I have no explanation for this. LOL Just me being weird, I guess.

I'm in the middle of the first season of True Blood (Netflix). Thanks for reminding me about the second book. I downloaded it from the SF library. I love audio books!

PS: Your summer sweater is nice :-)

Happy Birthday!
Always think of you when the fireworks start and somebody says *happy birthday*......heh.

Thanks for your recomendations, I've read quite a few books that you're suggested since starting to read your blog a few years back and I've enjoyed them all except maybe Still Life with Chickens but I think that was mainly that I felt a bit bitter that when my marriage broke up I couldn't afford to buy a house by the sea and totally renovate it!

Have put a few of these suggestions on my Amazon wishlist so thanks again!

I always enjoy your reading lists - I'm 3/4 done with Handle With Care...sort of skimmed a little in the middle but now into every word. I feel the same as you do about Admission. Loved the story, too. How can one read Butterfly Tattoo without an e-reader? Just asking.

I adored Love Walked In, and have Belong to me sitting in my bedside table, because once I read it, it will be gone. So I have had it, in hardback for over a year, and still, not read it. How dumb is that??

Aidan Quinn and Sam Shepard. Yup.

i agree: the second de Los Santos book was realy good (and better than the first). :)

Thanks for the recommendations, always looking for a good read.

i'm on book 5 of the sookie series and i've been reading them at a furious pace. can't stop.

Having a really hard time with "Admission", myself. I have a high school junior, so am actually interested in the college admissions aspect, but enough already! It reads like PR for Princeton. I'm only half way thru, and am irritated beyond belief to hear about the orange folders Portia is hauling everywhere.
Maybe that's the problem -- she's always working, or thinking about work and it's just not interesting to hear about someone else's job non-stop. Great, Princeton admissions puts a lot of thought into their decisions, but can it really be the basis of a book? Not with that kind of a protagonist.

I'm so glad you got through the Sookie books. You probably pronouced her name correctly from the beginning since you saw True Blood first!

Ok- this is probably a waste of your time... is there a way to get butterfly tattoo on to my Kindle 2?

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.

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