So, I have three great reiews to post after this one, but first I have to tell you, I have read  some clunkers lately.  I’ll warn you that these are authors and books that most of the world has been gushing about.  I may be the only person, who didn’t like these well written stinkers, but stinkers none the less.  By authors I usually really enjoy, too.

So, here’s what I think you can skip this summer, and what I think you should read instead:

1)  The Witness by Nora Roberts, so I can almost hear you all saying as loudly as my book club screamed what were you thinking reading Nora Roberts anyway?!?!? Well, I’ll tell you what I was thinking.  I needed a break from serious literature, an engaging story about original characters,  and predictable drama.  I wanted to revisit the fun and mild thrill of The Three Fates also by Roberts, and frankly one of the best beach reads I’ve ever picked up.  So skip the new one and dig this one out.

Reprinted from  When the Lusitania sank, one survivor became a 9780515135060Mchanged man, giving up his life as a petty thief—but keeping one small silver statue he lifted. Now, nearly a century later, that priceless heirloom, one of a long-separated set of three, has been stolen. And Malachi, Gideon, and Rebecca Sullivan are determined to recover their great-great-grandfather’s treasure, reunite the Three Fates, and make their fortune.


2)  Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, please don’t throw rotten tomatoes at your computer screen, they are really hard to clean.  I liked GG well enough, I guess.  It left me in kind of a funk about what horrible, crazy people can really do to each other.  Who cares if reality is ninety percent perception, when your point of view is f***d at the beginning.  If you are looking for the crazy things that can happen to crazy women in bad relationships, then check out the ambassador’s daughter in Erik Larson’s In the Garden of Beasts. If what you want is a suspenseful read about mental instability and the damage it can do in the wrong relationship , or if you are just looking for the chronology of a truly dark relationship, then you’ll want to find Diary by Chuck Palahniuk.

Reprinted from   Misty Marie Wilmot was an artist. Misty Marie diary-us-trade-1Wilmot was full of talent. Misty Marie Wilmot was in love. Was is the important word here.  A maid in a hotel on the beautiful tourist island Waytansea, Misty is playing clean-up crew for her comatose husband, Peter. He was a contractor who wrote despicable messages in the walls of homes he remodeled before his failed suicide attempt. Now he is being sued by the angry owners who are discovering these messages, leaving Misty with nothing but failed dreams of being a famous artist.  With her mother-in-law and daughter cheering her on—or coercing her with backwards threats—Misty starts painting again. Each piece she paints becomes a masterpiece to be shown at the hotel for all of the tourists to fawn over. Her husband’s expected death and daughter’s unexpected death put her in a state of pure creativity during which she gets locked up in the hotel, given a catheter so she doesn’t have to leave the room, and fed every so often.  People start acting abnormally, interesting things start happening, and Misty is no longer sure if she is painting because she wants to or painting because they are forcing her to.  Palahniuk gives readers a look into the convoluted world of a washed up artist with no idea how to think for herself. He hands out a gaze into an island of seriously venomous people. A twisting end brings Misty full circle in Diary and leaves us wanting to never travel to an island again.

3)  Last, but not least Gold by Chris Cleave.  Ugh, again with all the adult melodrama of infidelity, endangered children and adults who can’t seem to get their mental act together.  It’s possible I just get too emotionally invested in the books I’m reading and can’t handle them very well. I picked this up, because I enjoyed Little Bee.  For all it’s far flung plot scenarios and wildly unlikely coincidences, it was still a very good story and very well written. If you haven’t read that one, you should.  Instead of this, if you are looking for a story that tugs on your heartstrings, and leaves you feeling like there might just be hope in the world after all, I recommend The Fault of Our Stars by John Green.

Reprinted from  

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The #1 New York Times bestseller that Time Magazine called “damn near genius,”The Fault in Our Stars is the story of Hazel Lancaster and Augustus Waters, two Indianapolis teenagers who meet at a Cancer Kid Support Group.


Pool books/Beach reads

Ok, now that I have that off my chest, I’ll tell you what I am looking forward to reading before the end of the month.  I’ll let you know how it goes:

Three as yet unannounced, new for review titles from Atria.  Many thanks to them for keeping me in reading material.

Veronika & Astrid by Linda Olsson.

The Eye of God by James Rollins (I know, not very literary of me,  but I am a huge fan of the Sigma Force novels.  If you want a great introduction to Rollins’ work try the short story “Tracker”).

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery (thanks to Alison at The Book Wheel for the tip).