Summer is almost here. I know some of you are still getting snow (I’m sorry) but it is in the high 80’s here. School is wrapping up. We’re planning for our summer already (travel, school plans for next year, college applications/tests/essays, etc). But always in my plans for the warm weather is summer books. And when one lives in a temperate to hot climate with the average temperature of 74 degrees F it always feels like summer (especially when we have what seems like months of triple digit weather). But no matter where you live or what your weather is…it is always nice to share books suggestions.
I’ve read all of the books and can honestly say THESE ARE WORTH READING.
Vampire Maman’s 2013 Recommended Summer Reading List
The Language of Flowers
By Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Beautiful book. It is both heartbreaking and will make you think again about the youth who are part of the foster care system. This book isn’t what I expected at all. Just amazing.
When Victoria Jones turns 18, she is no longer eligible for support in the foster care system. But life on her own is no easy feat and she is soon reduced to sleeping in a park. The remarkable garden she cultivates brings her comfort and soon after her talent with flowers catches the eye of Renata, a kindly shop owner who takes pity on the girl and gives her a job. Victoria’s understanding of flowers—that hawthorn is for hope, honeysuckle for devotion, or daisy for innocence—is as extraordinary as her ability to discern people’s needs and find blossoms that can help them. Soon she has a thriving clientele of her own. If only Victoria could make things right for herself….
by Gillian Flynn (who is brilliant)
There are so many twists and turns in this book that you’ll always be surprised. One of the best books I’ve read all year. Loved it. It was so much fun (and at times so uncomfortable but in a fun way). Just the right amount of sick and twisted to make it really fun.
On their first four wedding anniversaries, Nick’s wife, Amy, sent him on an intricate scavenger hunt to find her gift to him. When she disappears on their fifth, the police think the game has turned deadly…and Nick is involved. Amy’s friends claim she was pregnant and that he was furious, even though Nick swears it isn’t true. And his protests of ignorance regarding searches on his computer for death by smothering…nearby wooded areas…and how to obtain arsenic fall on deaf ears. Yet the beleaguered college professor cannot deny that his marriage was unraveling, and that he and a student have been having an affair.
Gone Girl is a masterpiece of suspense by Gillian Flynn—a publishing phenomenon that will keep you guessing till the end.
By Nora Roberts
This is a fun light read that I thoroughly enjoyed. Good characters. Good male point of views. Yes, it is a romance novel folks so don’t take it to seriously.
Whiskey Beach, delivers a strong belt of action right from the start, when the murder of Boston lawyer Eli Landon’s cheating, soon-to-be ex-wife makes him the cops’ prime suspect. A year spent proclaiming his innocence to no avail leads Eli to accept his beloved grandmother’s offer of refuge at her vacant 300-year-old home located high on the bluffs of Whiskey Beach. She wisely knows her housekeeper, Abra Walsh, a multi-talented free spirit, will be a breath of fresh air to a man in dire need of resuscitation. Abra inspires Eli to regain control of his life, first by hiring a private detective to clear his name. But as the couple’s attraction leads to intimacy, indications surface that someone has invaded Bluff House—searching for what, Eli is unsure. What he does know is that a family mystery stretching back for centuries has never been solved. And it soon catches Eli and Abra in its net—the same one that has already ensnared a desperate, cunning killer intent on destroying Eli Landon.
by Robert Crasis
I loved this book. This was one of those books I could really feel. Wow. This is a good one, especially if you like dogs at all. Even if you don’t like dogs. Exceptional.
They’re unlikely partners—and for both of them, this is their last chance. Eight months ago, LAPD officer Scott James was ambushed by masked attackers and his partner, Stephanie, was killed. Now, Scott, sidelined by post-traumatic stress disorder, is torn by rage and shame. Then he’s assigned his new—four-legged—partner: Maggie, a German shepherd who’s as damaged as Scott is. The dog served in Afghanistan until her handler died in an IED explosion; now, she, too, has PTSD. Scott still burns to find Stephanie’s killers, and Maggie has one weapon left in her arsenal: absolute loyalty. In Robert Crais’ Suspect, man and dog must rely on one another as they face their nightmares anew in a world in which nothing is what it seemed.
The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo
By Tom Reiss
This is the only non-fiction book on this list. But it reads like fiction. Wow – what a story. Even if you claim not to like history you’ll like this one. But how could you not like history?
Here is the remarkable true story of the real Count of Monte Cristo – a stunning feat of historical sleuthing that brings to life the forgotten hero who inspired such classics as The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers.
The real-life protagonist of The Black Count, General Alex Dumas, is a man almost unknown today yet with a story that is strikingly familiar, because his son, the novelist Alexandre Dumas, used it to create some of the best loved heroes of literature.
Yet, hidden behind these swashbuckling adventures was an even more incredible secret: the real hero was the son of a black slave — who rose higher in the white world than any man of his race would before our own time.
By Nathan Tackett
Not only is Nathan a great writer – I’m honored to call him my friend. THE is THE book to read this summer for unexpected horror (and fun). Damn, this was fun to read.
JOHN SCHMIDT is a loser.
He’s an overweight mall cop plagued with nightmares. His only joy in life comes from singing karaoke at the local dive bar.
Feeling adventurous, John goes out to a trendy Goth club to see an old friend perform – an old friend that died five years ago.
A few days later John wakes up to find the naked dead body of a missing co-worker on his kitchen floor.
Then shit gets really weird…
John soon discovers that he comes from a long line of losers cursed to save the world from an unknown evil-an evil so absolutely terrible that it threatens to destroy the universe with its own nightmares.
Armed with absolutely nothing other than his father’s notebook and a beat up Buick, John must ultimately decide if this world is even worth saving-saving from the evil that is only known by one word…THE.
The Graveyard Queen Series:
by Amanda Stephens
- The Prophet
- The Kingdom
- The Restorer
More fun than I’ll ever have with ghosts (but these ghosts are extra creepy). These Paranormal Romance books are even loved by folks I know who said they’d never read Paranormal Romance. A fun series that will keep you wanting more and more. Well written without a lot of over kill drama or silly gushing stuff.
Amelia Gray may see ghosts, but she’s always heeded her father’s advice to avoid acknowledging them—until a woman is murdered in a Charleston cemetery she is restoring. Amelia offers to help detective John Devlin when the killer begins leaving more bodies on old graves bearing symbols that could be grisly clues to his motives. (description of first book…take my word for it and look up the entire series.)
Always on my summer list:
By Sandra Brown
A hot and nasty page-turner – and I mean hot and nasty in many different ways – revenge, greed, betrayal, sex, writing…great summer reading. Take my word for it if you’re looking for a fun escape.
An explosive tale of a long-ago crime and the victim’s plan for revenge…When New York publisher Maris Matherly Reed receives a tantalizing manuscript from someone identified only as P.M.E., its blockbuster potential-and perhaps something else-compels her to meet its author. On an eerie, ruined cotton plantation on a remote Georgia island she finds Parker Evans, a man concealing his identity and his past. Maris is drawn into his tale of two young friends and a deadly betrayal … and to Parker himself. But there’s something especially chilling about this novel, its possible connection to Maris’s own life, and the real-life character who uses her, or anyone, to get what he wants.
By Lisa Scottoline
I just love this book. I really really do. I know it isn’t great literature but it is a great story and a great escape.
The description here doesn’t do it justice. Unexpected, fast, tense, sexy, thoughtful and just plain fun. The relationship between Cate and her best friend (mother of an autistic child) is touching and tugs at the heart. The characters are all fun and well developed. Take it from me…another perfect summer read.
Cate Fante is strong and sexy and wears designer suits like overpriced armor. She’s just become a judge but leads a dark double life that she hides from everyone.
Her cover is blown when a high-profile case in her courtroom takes a stunning turn. Overnight the tabloids tell her secret, her boyfriend dumps her, and her new career hangs in tatters. But Cate’s troubles are only beginning. An enemy no one anticipated sends her running for her life, and she’ll have to fight her way back to the truth . . . or die trying.
Feel free to add any books you’d recommend in the comments. We’d all love to hear from you too.
And why no, there aren’t any Vampire books here. There are ghost stories and a few other scary things. If you’re itching for Vampire stories I have a few on my blog – of course I do, this is after all a Vampire blog. Or for some different sort of fun with a few Vampires and other creatures try Kim Harrison books. Her books are always fun (and popular).
There will be a part two of this list sometime in the next few months.
In the meantime, have fun and happy reading. Oh, and don’t forget your yellow flip flops (the Elders wanted me to tell you that.)
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman