Book’d in Burbank Summer Reads
Book’d in Burbank, our absolutely favorite Los Angeles literary event, takes place Thursday, July 16th! In celebration, the participating authors stopped by to share the summer reads they can’t wait to dive into.
“Paw and Order by Spencer Quinn is at the very top of my summer reading list. The detective story, the buddy book, the odd couple pairing, all get turned on their ears with Spencer Quinn’s latest tale (tail?) of hard-boiled/hard drinking detective Bernie and his partner, Chet, a goofy black dog with one white ear. The novel (Quinn’s seventh in the series) is told from the dog’s POV. Believe it or not, this is consistently hilarious. ”
“What book is my pick for my top summer read? It’s Plantation Shudders, a cozy mystery by Ellen Byron! Why? Well, I’ve gotten to know Ellen partly because she won a prestigious grant from Malice Domestic, an annual conference for cozy mystery authors and readers that I often attend. She has since sold one of her novels, Plantation Shudders, to Crooked Lane, a crime fiction publisher, for release in August of this year–yes, late summer. I’m delighted to say I’ve gotten an advance copy to read. I’ve started it and love its characters, setting and suspense–not to mention the fact that I, a writer of Superstition Mysteries, am impressed by the possible superstitions and omens that appear early in the book… like shudders!”
“This summer, I’ve gotten deliriously swept up in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels. I’ve always been a fan of epic, girl-centric coming of age stories like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn or Mary Karr’s memoirs The Liar’s Club and Cherry, and Ferrante’s series – which so far includes My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, and Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay – ranks right up with those. The books are about the friendship between a pair of girls, Elena and Lila, who grow up in a rough Naples neighborhood in the 1950s. The girls are beset on all sides by misogyny, violence, poverty, and families more interested in putting them to work or marrying them off than in sending them to school. However, the ways Elena and Lila strive to change their destinies make them unforgettable, and readers will cheer and cry alongside them. Crack open a bottle of Pellegrino, make up a plate of prosciutto and cheese, and prepare to lose yourself in the pages.”
“I recommend A Bollywood Affair, by Indian-American author, Sonali Dev. I met Ms. Dev in May at the Romantic Times Book Lovers Convention, where she was on a contemporary romance panel. I wasn’t familiar with her, but her novel sounded interesting. So, when I attended a party hosted by her publisher, she was the first author I approached for an autographed copy. She was so sweet to me and took the time from her own signing to ask me, a romance newbie, all about my own writing. Author graciousness goes a long way! Hers was the first book I read when I got home.
A Bollywood Affair is about a young Indian woman, Mili, caught between traditional and modernity. She is married off to a boy in her small village at a ridiculously young age. Though they never live together, she believes, as she’s been taught, that when she grows up, her betrothed will come for her and they’ll begin their life together. But he moves away, forgets all about the silly ceremony, and marries and has children of his own. When Mili discovers this, she is devastated. She attempts to start a new life by moving to the U.S. – to Michigan, to go to school. Unbeknownst to her, someone sends threatening letters on her behalf to her “husband,” who begins to worry about the validity of his own marriage. His brother, Samir, a successful Bollywood director, ventures to Michigan to set her straight. Of course Samir is successful and famous and totally hot. And of course he and Mili, despite their differences, totally fall for each other! It’s a fun read flavored with interesting details about Indian culture, and, since Mili is a foodie, and Samir a decent cook, Indian food. Some of those descriptions made my mouth water, and led me to find a really good Indian restaurant in my own neighborhood. So I ended up learning a lot about Indian culture, and a little something about my own neighborhood.”
“I’m looking forward to catching up on lots of great reads this summer, but one series I’m exceedingly excited to continue with is The Twin Willows Trilogy by the awesome Nicole Maggi. The trilogy’s first installment, Winter Falls, came out in December 2014, and the sequel was just released this June; book three comes out in January.
The series follows 16-year-old Alessia Jacobs, who has always wanted out of her small Maine town where nothing ever happens—until the Wolfe family moves in. When Alessia meets handsome and mysterious Jonah, she finds herself falling in love for the first time—just as she’s starting to see visions of herself transforming into an otherworldly white falcon. As she’s trying to keep her mind—and her love life—together, she soon discovers her hometown isn’t as ordinary as she thinks…and neither is she.
Alessia is part of the Benandanti, an ancient cult of warriors with the unique power to separate their souls from their bodies and take on the forms of magnificent animals—and her hometown is the site of an epic struggle between the Benandanti and their enemy, the Malandanti, to control powerful magic hidden in the surrounding forest. This is such a moving, well-written, and fast-paced series, and Alessia is so easy to love—plus, Jonah is totally my bae!”
“My pick for Top Summer Read: Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll. I had the good fortune to be on a panel with Jessica last month at a book club event and I had wanted to read her novel before I met her. It had just come out days before and I was worried I wouldn’t have time to finish it. Well once I picked it up, I didn’t put it down. I basically cancelled plans and stayed on the couch. It’s one of those books that completely sucks you in with writing that zings and a story that centers around a complex lead character, a lot of secrets, and ultimately a lot of heart. It’s a great Summer Read.”
Hope these awesome suggestions gave you some ideas for your own summer reading list. We hope to see you at Book’d in Burbank.
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