15 June 2010

Some lighter options for summer reading

It's no secret that I tend to be drawn to darker, literary tomes that carry some weight, both literally and figuratively, but what's less known is what a colleague of mine (not from my store, will remain nameless) refers to as my "book slumming." (She's hardcore when it comes to her reading. If there's even a hint of commercialism, she's not likely to pick it up.) I don't see it as slumming, actually. When there are so few people out there who make reading a priority in our lives, why on earth would we want want to denigrate readers who read books written by authors who will never, ever win a literary prize?

Which leads me to my post today. Books for entertainment. Books for fun. Books that might even be, dare I say it, funny. Perfect for those days when you don't really want to be burdened with more depressing insights into the human condition. These are not books where you will be blown away by the beautiful prose stylings of the artiste.

Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire by Margot Berwin, published by Vintage in paperback. A woman recovering from a divorce reluctantly gets involved in helping a friend search the Yucatan peninsula for nine plants with a mythical collective power. Along the way she encounters an ethereal orchid grower, a mystical marijuana cultivator, and a man who will stop at nothing to get the nine plants first. In this delightfully distracting read, the author takes us for a romp that is equal parts romance, adventure, magical realism, and self-discovery. It’s a colorful, frothy, well-paced novel perfect for summer escapist reading. Think any of the Indiana Jones movies or Romancing the Stone and you'll have a pretty good idea where this book is coming from.

The Leisure Seeker by Michael Zadoorian, published in paperback by Harper. Ella and John, a couple in their 80s, want to experience one last hurrah. Despite their children's horror and their doctors' warnings (she has late-stage cancer and he has Alzheimer's), they head west in their RV on Route 66 in search of lost time. Full of laughter and poignant moments, this book is a reminder that a life well-lived to the very end is a rare, sweet thing, indeed.

Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith and Jane Austen, published in paperback by Quirk Books. If you thought Pride & Prejudice & Zombies was just a tantalizing in media res novel, this is the book for you. You'll discover Br. Bennet's dark past, uncover the secret of the unholy plague, and swoon with Elizabeth Bennet's debut is interrupted by a legion of the undead! Good fun all around.

1 comment:

  1. Emily,
    If I lived near you, I'd love to make lunch or coffee a regular occasion. I love reading, writing, photography and traveling about in our RV. I'm going to read The Leisure Seeker! Thanks for the recommendation. I have two blogs: A Camp Host Housewife's Meanderings and Levonne's Pretty Pics (to encompass my loves). I look forward to following you.


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