Summer Picks from Mom

Recently, on a trip to Chicago with my Mom (to celebrate my Grandmother's 91st birthday), she pulled out her iPhone, on which was listed her Summer reading picks and announced, "OK. This is what you should be reading this Summer." We all pricked up our ears and took note.

Here's what Mom has to say:

My favorite book so far this summer is All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr.  Takes place at the end of the second war, with characters I loved, a fascinating plot and so well written.  A stop everything and just read book.

I read The Girl on The Train.  I didn't like any of the characters but the plot was good and kept me reading.  *Recommended with reservations.*

The Swimmer, by Joakim Zander, is  a much better choice for anyone who wants a suspenseful read.  Also fascinating characters with much more depth than those Train characters.  Written by a Swede but not depressing.  So a real plus.

I read a cozy mystery by MC Beaton, Death of a Kingfisher.  It's a fast read, (I read it in the rain on the porch).  No depth in the characters. Not sure how the author could have done more with the book.  Short, sweet perfect for a rainy summer afternoon.  Easy to put down and pick up.  

At The Waters Edge, by Sara Gruen.  World war II, the Loch Ness Monster.  More a romance than a mystery, everything neatly tied up in the end.  Not the kind of book I usually read, but WWII and Nessie?  What's not to like.  I think a lot of people will like this book and it will probably be a movie.

This Dark Road to Mercy, Wiley Cash.  Baseball, North Carolina, a twelve year old protagonist, just wonderful.  I would put this on everyone's summer fiction reading list.  

The Fifth Gospel, Ian Caldwell.  I really couldn't put this book down, but not everyone I've recommended it to, liked it as much as I did.  Takes place in the Vatican, so there are all sorts of fascinating tidbits of what it's like to live in a separate country inside Rome.  One of the characters is an Eastern Orthodox priest who is a bible scholar, so there is biblical discussion.  
A story about two brothers, the politics of the vatican, all rolled up in a murder mystery.  In our wonderfully politically correct society, some people are offended by any mention of religion or faith, and my pc friends didn't enjoy the book.

I loved it because every page gave me something to chew on.

That's all I've read.  I listened to a Jack Reacher book (Lee Child) for something to do in the car.  Also am listening to The Messenger by Daniel Silva. (which I read when it came out in print)  I know the Jack Reacher character appeals to lots of folks, but by comparison, Child's stuff belongs in comic book form.  Silva is just so elegant, characters so conflicted, so many good discussions of world politics.  That is not saying that Silva's bad guys are portrayed as conflicted.  They are interesting and have dimension, but are basically just bad -- so when they 'buy it' we're glad.

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