The long lazy days and cool breezy nights of summer are the perfect time to relax and renew the spirit with a great read. If you’re familiar with my books, you might think my reading tastes reflect the topics I write about with such passion—romance, family, friendship, food and the immutable power of love to change a life.
And it’s true that I do love books in that vein, but when it comes to reading, I am a dedicated omnivore. Depending on my mood and interests, you might find me engrossed in a thriller, reading aloud to one of my favorite kids, reading a memoir, a book of poetry or even a cookbook.
I’m a dedicated true-crime junkie and a history buff, so Blood Royal by Eric Jager satisfies both of those urges. Although it’s a true account of the murder of Louis of Orleans by a gang of thugs, the story reads like a classic gumshoe detective novel. Think Sam Spade goes to fifteenth century Paris.
The Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand is a deeply moving and ultimately uplifting novel of a woman whose giving spirit knows no limits. Bonus: The book is set on the author’s home island of Nantucket, which is one of those places we all dream about—roaring waves, sea breezes, an enduring history and every booklover’s paradise—a proper Atheneum.
A story that starts with a letter from a fan to a renowned author is always going to get my attention. I was completely smitten by That Part Was True by Deborah McKinlay, a pen-pal relationship sparked by a shared love of food and France—which happen to be two of my favorite things, as well.
There is no reading quite so rewarding as sharing a book with a child. A well-written children’s book is one that holds both the listener and the reader in its spell, and this season brings some real gems. My school-age stepson and I are huge fans of Suzanne Selfors, who writes hilariously about boys, dogs, adventure, fantasy and friendship...and then the characters sneak up behind you and touch the heart. Her latest series—the Imaginary Veterinary stories—features every kid’s favorite mythical creatures. Check out the latest: The Rain Dragon Rescue.
And finally, it’s a little-known fact that Holly Hobbie is an author, not just an iconic doll in a bonnet. As a first-time grandmother, I’m excited to share my favorites with the adorable Clara Louise, who likes to read at least a book or two before every nap. The Toot & Puddle series is perfect, and “You Are My Sunshine” is one of the few songs I know from start to finish. It’s the perfect baby-read.
Enjoy the summer, the sunshine and most of all the stories that inspire your heart and mind. Don’t forget to laugh, cry, dream...and read.
We want to hear from you--What have been some of your favorite romance reads this summer? Let us know in the comments.
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