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>Paging Julie Brown

>We’ve put together a summer reading list for your pleasure; please note that it fulfills no requirements and promises nothing but a good time.

Bruce Brooks kicked off my summer reading with a gift of the latest Prey book (Invisible Prey) by John Sandford. Give me Sandford’s Lucas Davenport in the summer and Donna Leon’s Guido Brunetti in the winter and I’m a happy man. Otherwise this summer, I’m planning to continue my binge on Turkey and the Turks and am currently enjoying Elif Shafak’s The Bastard of Istanbul and Hugh Pope’s Sons of the Conquerors. But that’s indoor reading, and for the beach–if I get there–I like ’em big and stupid. Any suggestions?

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. Jennifer Schultz says:

    >Do you like food writing or travel writing?

    They’re not fat beach reads, but Poppy Z. Brite’s mysteries set in the New Orleans restaurant world are fun reads.

  2. Jennifer Schultz says:

    >(Liquor, Prime, and Soul Kitchen are her NOLA mystery books.)

  3. >The two trashiest books I’ve ever read in my life are also two of the most enjoyable: RIDERS and RIVALS by Jilly Cooper. They’re gloriously 1980s English soap operas, with plenty of glitz, betrayal, and sex, and they’re fabulous.

  4. Kelly Fineman says:

    >If you’re a fan of the 1995 Pride & Prejudice mini-series and don’t mind a romance, check out Shannon Hale’s Austenland. It is the fluffy romp that the reviewers imply, but I thought that was a plus in this case.

  5. >2 breezy but worthwhile adult NF:
    Cross X by Joe Miller about an inner city HS debate team and their heroic coach and Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortensen about building schools in the remotest areas of Pakistan… And I don’t really like NF and I don’t really like adults…

  6. Roger Sutton says:

    >I love the Jilly Cooper suggestion and will track her down. A similar-sounding beach read is Olivia Goldsmith’s The Bestseller, of particularl interest to publishing people. And I’ve got Penny Vincenzi’s Sheer Abandon waiting in my wish list.

    My favorite New Orleans mystery is J. M. Redman’s The Intersection of Law and Desire–funny and lesbodacious but with a deep dark streak.

  7. Jennifer Schultz says:

    >A New Orleans book I haven’t read? How can that be….have to find it.

    Before I throw out other titles, I have to know: A Confederacy of Dunces. Loved it? Hated it? I’ve never found anyone (yet) who had a lukewarm reception to it.

  8. >Thank you so much for all of the fabulous lists on your site – the answer to an overly busy children’s librarian’s prayers, as summer reading descends on me at warp speed!

  9. Roger Sutton says:

    >this is from Ginee Seo, who was having trouble posting (as, I think, am I):

    Roger, I’m surprised Bruce didn’t turn you on to Lee Child. I ripped through most of his backlist while I was on maternity leave (with the watch-obsessed, gender-predictable kid described in your previous entry). THE HARD WAY was great good fun–and his newest book, which recently received a rave from the NYT, is supposed to be his best yet.

  10. Roger Sutton says:

    >And, Cheryl, your talk of soapy brit novels from the 80s has got my brain stuck on that immortal opening line from Shirley Conran’s Lace: “Which one of you bitches is my mother?”

  11. Elizabeth says:

    >I’m trying to get a copy of Jane Gardham’s OLD FILTH. Both George Nicholson and Regina Hayes passionately recommended it to me. And I’ve already given this to Roger, but one of the most enjoyable reads I’ve had in a long time is Snobs by Julian Fellowes, the screenwriter for Gosford Park.

    It’s not summer for me unless I reread The Long Secret (already read it in early May) and Pride and Prejudice. It was hard to stave off the reading of P+P when I was laid up with food poisoning, but Mansfield Park and Persuasion did the trick.

    Unlike Roger, I’ve always used summer vacation as the time I can read lengthier books (when I’m working, manuscripts are beckoning). I read two of my all-time favorites, Middlemarch and Bleak House, at Fire Island. This summer I’m going for Daniel Deronda. Roger, how about finishing up David Copperfield?

  12. Anonymous says:

    >maybe it’s time to go back and reread Josephine Tey?

  13. Rinda M. Byers says:

    >Hmmm….sorry all, I’m out in left field or is it right field with adult nonfiction right now but can’t resist recommending it as “steamy” enough…especially the pig stuff with DeSoto..not for the faint of heart exactly….
    “1941” by Charles C Mann…’s pretty breezy reading for a history book.

  14. Roger Sutton says:

    >I think of Dickens as winter reading, but Snobs is a great recommendation, and E, I’m sorry I forgot to bring your copy back.

  15. >As soon as I heard about Armistead Maupin’s new Tales of the City installment, Michael Tolliver Lives, I put the first six volumes in my beach tote, so I’d be all caught up.

    Though, with your Julie Brown reference, perhaps you’re really looking for recommendations like Chris Klein, or Keanu Reeves…

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