Summer 2011 reading picks
Summer reading picks.You could squander your summer plowing through a pile of trashy paperbacks. You could spill iced tea or margaritas on their pages and never mind the damage. But if summer brings you more than your usual quotient of time to relax, why not delve into books with a little more meat on their bones? Here are some of summer fiction's best bets.
‘The Family Man’
Author: Elinor Lipman
Plot: Lipman's characters are intelligent and urbane, and they do not behave with incivility, even if their ex-wives have dumped them for crass, wealthy businessmen.
‘The Secret Speech’
Author:Tom Rob Smith
Plot: The sequel to last summer’s “Child 44” follows a security officer as he struggles to forge a new life with a new job at the Moscow homicide bureau.
‘The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet’
Author: Reif Larsen
Plot: Raised just north of the appropriately named Divide, Mont., by his rancher father and scientist mother, the precocious 12-year-old T.S. is a talented cartographer who dreams of mapping the natural world.
‘The Way Home’
Author: George Pelecanos . He wrote for a gritty HBO drama.
Plot: A generational battle between working-class Thomas Flynn, owner of a carpet business in Washington, D.C., and his son, Chris, who is more concerned with the rules of the urban streets than with his future.
‘Lime Tree Can't Bear Orange’
Author: Amanda Smyth
Plot: In her debut novel, Smyth paints a vivid portrait of a naive young girl who learns some hard truths about herself and her family. Arresting and powerful, it is a shining testament to human resilience.
‘The Little Stranger’
Plot: A satisfyingly retro ghost story with an extraordinarily sharp dose of psychological terror.
Plot: A bittersweet love story and a rousing adventure set in the remote stretches of the Wind River range of Wyoming, where a couple has planned their 10th annual backpacking trip.
‘Good Things I Wish You’
Author: A. Manette Ansay
Plot: Freshly divorced Jeanette Hochmann is juggling her teaching job at a Miami university, raising her 4-year-old daughter and writing a book on the relationship between 19th century German pianist Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms, the protégé of Clara’s husband, Robert.
‘Where the Money Went: Stories’
Author: Kevin Canty
Plot: The college boy still reeling from having almost killed his brother; the married drinker who realizes that his new sobriety demands a big change in his life; the father who realizes he can't protect his 4-year-old son.
‘The Angel's Game’
Author:Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Plot: In this gothic novel, a young writer receives an offer he can't refuse from an editor.
‘Do Not Deny Me: Stories’
Plot: More contemporary short stories from one of David Sedaris' favorite writers.
Author:Chuck Hogan and Guillermo del Toro
Plot: Vampires threaten humankind in the first of a planned trilogy.
‘The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder’
Plot: A girl grows up in Louisiana and presumably learns divine secrets about the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.
Author:James Lee Burke
Plot:Texas sheriff Hackberry Holland attempts to uncover a grisly mass murder case in a town near the Mexico border.
Plot: A woman wrongly charged in a drug case seeks the real culprit in the first novel from the former Miami Herald columnist.
Author: William Vollman
Plot: A National Book Award winner tackles the moral aspects of life on the U.S./Mexican border.
Plot: Another National Book Award winner blends noir and the psychedelic '60s.
‘South of Broad’
Author: Pat Conroy
Plot:Charleston teens form a bond for life.
‘That Old Cape Magic’
Plot: Middle-aged people experience joy and angst in Cape Cod.