For several years I have participated in the Adult Summer Reading Challenge Program sponsored by my local library. This summer I read 20 plus books and won the grand prize of an Acer 10-inch tablet, which my granddaughter is thoroughly enjoying.
One book I selected because I thought it would be a good summer-time read was The President Is Missing, by Bill Clinton and James Patterson (2018). I was not disappointed. Throughout the novel I could clearly hear former President Clinton’s voice. The idea of a cyber terrorism plot that would create chaos across our nation was terrifying. Very early in the novel, the reader learns an assassin has entered the country. Needless to say the suspense from that point increased tremendously. Finding out how things work in the Oval Office was interesting. This novel was very intriguing, very suspenseful, and had a satisfying conclusion.
I also read the complete “If I Run” series by Terri Blackstock—If I Run (2016), If I’m Found (2017), and If I Live (2018). Blackstock stated in an “Author Note,” that this three novel series was inspired by the TV program, “The Fugitive.” Casey Cox is a female fugitive on the run. Accused of killing her best friend Brent, she flees the scene. Dylan Roberts, a veteran with PTSD, is hired by Brent’s parents to find Casey and assist the local police department. Throughout each novel, it’s amazing the strategies Casey uses to continue to elude the police, how Dylan is able to track her, and how corrupt the local police are. Once you start this series, you will not want to put it down until you reach the conclusion in If I Live.
The most chillingly suspenseful novel I read was The Woman in Cabin 10, by Ruth Ware (2017). At first I thought “Cabin 10” was a primitive cabin at a summer camp somewhere deep in a national forest. Wrong! Cabin 10 was actually the last cabin on a very expensive and exclusive ocean liner traveling from England to Norway to view the Northern Lights. Cabin 10 is also unoccupied. The narrator is Lo Blacklock, a journalist in Cabin 9, who drinks too much and has anxiety issues. The unraveling of what Lo sees and hears and who she can actually trust kept me on the edge of my seat. The glaciers and fjords of Norway sounded beautiful—but I think I’ll pass on that particular cruise until I get over the chill created by this book.
The most challenging book I read was The Mosaic Crimes (A Dante Alighieri Mystery) by Giulio Leoni, translated by Anne Milano Appel (2007). Dante Alighieri is better known as a poet, author of Divine Comedy. The setting for the novel was Florence, Italy, in June 1300. The Middle Ages time period, the Italian words (even with the use of the glossary, which I discovered halfway through the book), and my lack of knowledge of the Catholic Church made this a most challenging book to read. How the mosaic artist was killed was intriguing. I did not discover who the murderer was before Prior Dante did.
Another book that was challenging but for a different reason was an audio book—Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer, recorded by Stephanie Cozart (2017). The challenge was to listen and imagine the story without holding a book in my hands. I found I could color in an adult coloring book while listening to the story of Grace Mallory, a telegraph operator, whose life is in danger. Amos Bledsoe arrives to help her at the same time a Pinkerton Agent shows up. Which man is telling the truth? And who is the wounded man that Helen Parker finds? I did enjoy the book not only for the glimpse of a historical time when bicycles were a new form of transportation, but also for the romance(s). I look forward to reading more books in “The Ladies of Harper Station” series.
What books did you read this summer that you would like to recommend?