Summer Reading: Some Great Finds

‘Tis the season for great reads! Here are a few books—some old, some new– that are really worth the investment:

This is a collection of eleven non-fiction pieces that appeared in publications like The New Yorker. They are all unique, well-written and interesting. If you like quirky trivia, and good, clean reporting, this is the book for you. While you’re reading Grann, be sure to check out his last one, THE LOST CITY OF Z, which just came out in paperback.

FOR ALL THE TEA IN CHINA:  HOW ENGLAND STOLE THE WORLD’S FAVORITE DRINK AND CHANGED HISTORY by Sarah Rose is an interesting biography of Robert Fortune, a nineteenth century plant hunter who traveled to China, on behalf of the East India Company, to acquire plant material and the skills necessary to build tea plantations in India. Part espionage, part history, the book is a delicious brew that will appeal to foodies, travelers, tea drinkers, and anglophiles.

Nelson DeMille has a new one on the shelves! I was thrilled with his return to the Gold Coast last year and now he’s returning to the characters—including John Corey—from THE LION’S GAME. The new one takes place after 9/11. It’s hard to beat a good beach chair and several hundred pages of DeMille. It’s titled, simply, THE LION.

Check out faculty alum Jackie K. Cooper’s review of THE LION here.

Tessa Dare is one of my new favorite voices in romance. She now has five or six books out in paperback. I recommend that you start from the beginning and check out GODDESS OF THE HUNT. You won’t be disappointed!

Upmarket (Book Club) Fiction
THE TALE OF HALYCON CRANE is hard to beat. It’s a quick read filled with creepy Victorian houses, an isolated island community, murder and family secrets. The author, Wendy Webb, worked as a newspaper reported for more than twenty years. The result is that her prose is crisp, clear and well-paced.

You also should check out HONOLULU by Alan Brennert. It’s the story of a woman who leaves her family in Korea to become a picture bride in Hawaii at the turn of the twentieth century. In short, it’s awesome.

General Fiction
Mma  Precious Ramotswe is back in Alexander McCall Smith’s latest book, THE DOUBLE COMFORT SAFARI CLUB. This book is just what readers have come to expect from this series:  kind, insightful, and deliciously African.

I’m back on the Robin Hobb kick. She has a new one out called DRAGON KEEPER and it takes place in Rain Wilds, part of the same world as the Mad Ships Trilogy and the Assassin Trilogy. I went back and read the first two trilogies again and loved them even more.

Middle Readers
The Golden Hamster series, by Dietlof Reiche, and illustrated by Joe Cepeda is a terrific series for kids AND parents. I enjoy reading these as much as the kids. They are funny, unique and surprisingly literary for the age group. Start with the first book where the reader is introduced to the incomparable Freddy. It’s called I, FREDDY.

Post if you’ve read or are reading any of these. I’d love to talk books! Be sure to post or email with your suggestions. We all love a good book.

I’ll be back later with some more ideas. I’m looking at my TO READ pile right now and I see a mystery, some general fiction, and some more non-fiction. I’ll post suggestions all summer.

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