summer reading

There’s no time like summer and its accompanying longer days to indulge in some extra reading time. Without further ado, here are a few of my favorite fictional treasures.

Who Said That?
Kick off the season with a book told through a most unusual narrator: music. The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto, by Mitch Albom (known for Tuesdays with Morrie and The Next Person You Meet in Heaven), is an extraordinary tale of an orphan born with extraordinary musical talent, raised by a blind guitar teacher. Told through the voice of “music,” Presto’s meteoric rise to fame as a singer/guitarist takes him on a Forrest Gump type journey to exotic places and events with musical legends such as Elvis Presley. At its heart, it is a tale of love, loss and finding love again. After all, music is the sound of the heart – that is why it beats.

Must Love Dogs 
The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein, is a heart-wrenching but deeply inspiring and uplifting story of family, love, loyalty and hope – as only a dog could tell it. Enzo is different from other dogs. He knows he will come back in his next life as a man and is determined to learn all he can about humankind during his life on four legs. Educating himself by watching television, particularly race car driving (his master is a professional racer), he simultaneously laments his lack of opposable thumbs while trying to keep his family together during a contentious custody battle after his master’s wife dies. This book will surely make you look at your furry friend with new eyes.

Travel Back in Time
Caleb Carr’s The Italian Secretary is a trip back in time. Queen Victoria calls upon Sherlock Holmes and his trusty sidekick, Dr. Watson, through an encrypted telegram from Holmes’ brother, a royal advisor. The quirky duo are soon embroiled in a murder mystery. As most of Sherlock Holmes’ capers, this is just the beginning of a larger plot. Would Sir Arthur Conan Doyle be proud of Carr’s continuation of this lovable and adventurous series? Elementary, dear Watson.

Delia Owens’ Where the Crawdads Sing is at once a story of loss as well as redemption. Kya Clark, alone at a young age since her mother disappeared and her father walked out, was known as the “Marsh Girl,” a solitary, strange creature living in the deep woods of North Carolina in the late 1960s. When handsome and popular Chase Andrews is found dead, the Marsh Girl is suspected. But did she do it? Or are the townspeople just looking for a scapegoat that they don’t understand?

At a time when women are realizing their full potential and using their voices, The Alice Network, by Kate Quinn, is an edge-of-your-seat thriller about two women: a female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947, following World War II. These women’s stories converge in a fantastic saga of courage, sacrifice, honor and, ultimately, salvation.

So kick off your sandals, put your toes in the sand, and turn these pages to start your summer reading adventure!

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