This blog is supposed to be about Catholic Truths, but my book, Rachel’s Contrition, was a Grace Award finalist, (a Reader’s Choice award), and with that honor came the request that I please dedicate a day of blogging to the review of four good summer reads, which I am happy to do except that I promised myself that I would spend my reading time this summer immersed in theology and heavy literary works. Surprisingly, I’ve pretty much stuck to that goal, reading about the Church fathers and multiple books on doctrine and scripture. Fiction-wise, I’m finishing up Dante’s Inferno. All that has been wonderful for me, but not so wonderful for this blog. Nevertheless, I have found a way to fulfill this request. First off, I was told to recommend my own books, so I shall go with my two newest, which I think are also my best:
If you’re into politics and the horrors of what is developing in our country, you absolutely have to read DEATH PANELS (Tan Books), a political thriller set in 2042 when Christianity has been outlawed and abortion has reached beyond the womb. I wrote it in 1994, but it didn’t get published until last October. No one thought what I wrote was possible back in 1994. Now you’ll read it and see the writing on the wall. You can read the first chapter here:
If you like fiction full of intrigue and uncertainty, fiction that really makes you think, makes you ponder life, love and all the heart-wrenching things that bind us together, you should read RACHEL’S CONTRITION (Sophia Institute Press). It’s about love, loss, murder and friendship, told by a character who is mad with grief and can’t tell you the whole story until she figures it out herself. The first chapter is posted here:
Or for either book, click on the book covers on my website: http://www.MichelleBuckman.com
That’s about all I have to offer, so I’m turning the recommendations over to Sarah Reinhard who reviews books on a regular basis (including mine, thank you, Sarah), for her summer suggestions.
Sarah is a blogger. You can read more of her reviews and thoughts at: http://www.snoringscholar.com
ANNA MEI, ESCAPE ARTIST
Carol A. Grund
Pauline Books & Media, 2011
I was first introduced to Anna Mei in Grund’s first book, ANNA MEI: CARTOON GIRL, last summer. Though it’s arguably far beneath my reading level, I have a lot of young readers among my nieces and I have hopes of raising a couple of my own, so I like to know what’s out there. (At least, that’s my story.)
I enjoyed this newest adventure of Anna Mei Anderson as much as I enjoyed the first. In it, Anna Mei struggles with something that, as an adult, I STILL find myself facing: the question of what’s REALLY going on in someone else’s mind and the challenge of false assumptions about someone else’s motivations and actions.
Maybe it’s that I’m a girl too, but I found myself, even with an adult perspective and quite a few years on the main character, sucked right into the drama of the book.
This is a great introduction for intermediate readers and a situation girls in this age will definitely enjoy. The lesson that’s taught doesn’t feel preachy and the way it’s told makes it worth reading.
SAVE THE DATE
Jenny B. Jones
Thomas Nelson, 2011
This may be my favorite novel of the summer. It made me want to read more good novels, but it also made me wary: SAVE THE DATE is a hard act to follow.
This has all the elements of a good summer read: great characters, a dilemma that may or may not be resolved, and a hearty dose of humor throughout. I found myself laughing and staying up way too late to keep reading. I THOUGHT I knew how things would turn out, but the path to the end of the book is delightful and hilarious and even unexpected. It turns out that I not only didn’t see the end coming, I didn’t care.
The two main characters, Lucy and Alex, find themselves engaged out of necessity and then–you guessed it–they find themselves WANTING to be engaged except neither one knows that the other feels that way. It’s probably a classic romance set-up save one thing: the steamy side of things. And THAT is the reason that I have already shared this book with a niece who needed a book to read: there’s nothing to worry about and lots that I know she’ll enjoy.
In fact, this book is so good, I’ll be sharing it with a couple more people, I’m sure. (I always seem to be lending my books to people who need a good book to read.)
So there you have it. Summer suggestions.
I will add this: I shared a panel with author Eleanor Brown at a the SC Book Festival in the spring and just started reading her book The Weird Sisters this morning. Very engaging writing style! But I’m only on page three, so take that recommendation for what is worth.
Feel free to add your own reading suggestions in the comments. Happy reading!