Reading Recommendations for Writers, Summer ’10

by Suzannah Windsor Freeman

Stack of open books on grass

With August quickly coming to an end, I thought we should take a moment to reflect on the books we’ve read this summer, and recommend any gems to our fellow readers.

Here are some brief descriptions of the 5 books I’ve read this summer, along with my thoughts on recommending them to other readers:

Something Borrowed, Emily Giffin

Genre: Chick lit

Description: A good-girl lawyer inadvertently steals her best friend’s fiance and must decide what matters more to her–a life-long friendship, or true love.

The Verdict: Fun, but fluffy. A quick read.

Read reviews of Something Borrowed, or order the novel here.

Abide with Me, by Elizabeth Strout

Genre: Literary

Description: When his wife dies, a quiet pastor is left to deal with his two young daughters and a once-supportive congregation who has begun to turn on him.

The Verdict: A thoughtful, but slow, read. I really enjoyed this one, although it might not be for everyone.

Read reviews of Abide with Me, or order the novel here.

Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer

Genre: YA fantasy

Description: (As if you need a description…) The new girl in town discovers her boyfriend and his family are vampires. ‘Nuff said.

The Verdict: Yes, I finally broke down and read Twilight. I can see the appeal for a younger audience or anyone with an interest in vampires, but I really couldn’t get into it.

Read reviews of Twilight, or order the novel here.

Rush Home Road, by Lori Lansens

Genre: Women’s fiction

Description: When tragedy strikes, a pregnant young black woman is forced to leave her home and family. She spends the rest of her life trying to make her way in the world, but in her twilight years, she gains closure by helping an abandoned child find her own way home.

The Verdict: This was a great novel. Very well written, but also a page-turner. I highly recommend this one for women who enjoy character-driven stories.

Read reviews of Rush Home Road, or order the novel here.

The Prince of Tides, by Pat Conroy

Genre: Mainstream literary

Description: A football coach from South Carolina travels to New York to help his suicidal twin sister by telling her psychiatrist the story of their troubled childhood.

The Verdict: I’ve read about 450 pages out of almost 700 of this book, but even though I’m not finished, I’m still going to recommend it. Pat Conroy writes some amazing prose, although I must admit some parts are overwritten, and I’ve been tempted to skim. I think this book could have been edited down to half its length and still would have been an excellent story. *Update* A note of caution: after reading further, I must strongly caution readers as to the graphic and disturbing content that appears later in the book.

Read reviews of The Prince of Tides, or order the novel here.

What books have you read this summer that you would or wouldn’t recommend to others? Please let us know the genres, what the books are about, and your recommendations.

Thanks, and happy reading!

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