Summer Reading

It’s a holiday weekend so let’s keep this short. It’s summer, and a reader’s thoughts turn to that summertime read. Share with us, if you will, what book (or two) you are most looking forward to reading this summer.

 I have many on my list but there are two at the top. The first, which I am currently reading, is the wonderfully titled PETER PAN MUST DIE by John Verdon. It is the fourth in the Dave Gurney series and features another seemingly unsolvable mystery. I am not all of the way through it by any means but from what I have read so far it appears to be Verdon’s best effort to date. An aspiring politician is struck dead by an assassin’s bullet. His estranged wife is tried and convicted of the murder. Gurney, a retired NYPD detective who just can’t get away from the job, quickly discovers everything with the district attorney’s case is wrong. It’s a whodunit and a howdunit. The other is WAYFARING STRANGER by James Lee Burke. It is a historical novel in the Huckleberry Holland canon, set in the 1930s and 1940s and perhaps closer to Burke’s very early work than what has come afterward. I cheated a bit and read a few pages and decided I needed to delay gratification until I had nothing else on my plate. If the opening lines are any indication of what is to follow, however, the quality of Burke’s prose will bring tears to your eyes.

Enough of me. What say you? And have a safe and enjoyable weekend!

15 thoughts on “Summer Reading

  1. My ‘to be read’ list is becoming unmanageably long (auto correct is trying to tell me there is no such word as ‘unmanageably’. Oxford begs to differ).

    I have set the goal to read everything Harlan Coben ever wrote so next on the list is ‘Miracle Cure’. It was his second novel and he makes the rather strange decision to apologize for it on the very first page. He thinks it’s amateurish. I, so far, think it’s quite wonderful.

    I’m reading quite a bit. Can’t seem to write. Not sure if it’s the anticipation of my book’s release being delayed, or because it’s summer and I’d rather be outside from dawn to dusk.

    Whichever, it’s making me grumpy.

    • If you ever get the chance to hear Harlan at a convention, Amanda, don’t miss the opportunity. Several years ago I heard him describe the covers of the paperback originals of his first few novels. I laughed so hard I thought I was going to hyperventilate. And I agree, he has nothing to apologize for with MIRACLE CURE.

      I can relate to that creative impediment. Good luck. You’re not grumpy until you start kicking the cat.

  2. Joe, I’m with you on Wayfaring Stranger. Then there’s Mr. Gilstrap’s End Game, but I have to get my blood pressure under better control before starting a Jonathan Grave thriller. Other than those two, I seem to be going through older books that I’ve already once, or twice, or …

    • John Gilstrap’s END GAME is on my list as well, Lance. I’ve got it on the calendar to start reading in two weeks. Jonathan Grave deserves the a film adaptation to complement the print./

  3. Joe –

    I recommend Jo Nesbo’s “The Son”. A standalone that features what may be his best writing yet. Norwegian crime and brilliant characters in a gripping tale. An excellent intro to Nesbo for those who have not read him.

    I share your plan to savor JLB’s newest. Reading his books is like unwrapping a gift that I know will delight.

    For those interested in a fast-paced medical suspense/thriller (warning self-promotion alert) please consider NERVE DAMAGE. It debuted as a TKZ “first pages” submission, was edited by TKZ’s Jodie Renner, and James Scott Bell is credited in the acknowledgements.

    • Tom, I read THE SON a month or so ago and in my opinion it’s one of the best books of the year thus far. Hope you enjoy it. I also have John Gilstrap’s END GAME on my must read list and have it scheduled for two weeks from now. Mr. Gilstrap never disappoints. And, hey, we’re all about self-promotion here at TKZ, Tom! That’s quite a history concerning NERVE DAMAGE. Good luck with the book’s success!

  4. Always like your recommends, Joe. I’ve made the conscious decision to read more SF this summer. I’ve stayed away from it of late in favor of contemporary suspense, but I’m ready to go back in time and catch up with Philip K. Dick, Harlan Ellison, and revisit Ray Bradbury. I’ll sniff around in the new stuff, too.

    • Thank you, James. You named three favorites of mine, particularly Philip K. Dick, I loved the way his books all dealt with the theme of reality perception, then wrapped up with the VALIS trilogy, which kind of explained everything (or not). And then…he died. Wow. Great stuff. I still read THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE and UBIK every year. Hope you enjoy.

  5. Making my way through Mark Slouka’s Brewster and Bloodlands by Timothy Snyder. The first is well written and the second chilling.

  6. I’ve just ordered The Prime Minister’s Secret Agent by Susan Elia Macneal. It’s the fourth book in her Maggie Hope series that takes place during WWII starting in London. I like the historical setting and Maggie’s plucky personality as she learns how to be a spy.

    • I’ve heard good things about that series in general, Nancy, and about that book in particular. Sounds like a winner! Hope you enjoy.

  7. Two very different books that both look very interesting, Paul! Please feel free to drop back by with recommendations when you feel the urge. Thanks!

  8. Just read and enjoyed CHASING ZEBRAS: THE UNOFFICIAL GUIDE TO HOUSE, MD. Recommend it to House fans. Currently in THE BOOKMAN’S TALE, about a lost Elizabethean poem that Shakespeare may have annoted and used as the plot for “A Winter’s Tale.” Complex, well-crafted novel.

  9. Re: CHASING ZEBRAS, Elaine…that might also be a good book for those who are thinking about diving into the series on DVD if they missed it on its first go-round. THE BOOKMAN’S TALE sounds like a great summer read as well, something to keep one immersed and out of trouble. I may give it a shot. Thanks!

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