A self-proclaimed bibliophile and neurotic shares her contemporary favorites.
THE MANGO OPERA An Alex Rutledge Mystery By Tom Corcoran Readers should enjoy this first book in Corcoran's Alex Rutledge Mystery series while lounging by the poolside, boat drink in hand. Alex Rutledge, the title character, will make women swoon and grown men go on a desperate search for a Shelby Mustang convertible. If you have finished all 21 of John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee adventures, then head south to Key West for some time with Rutledge.
ELLA MINNOW PEA A Novel in Letters By Mark Dunn
Dunn's creative novel takes place on the fictitious island of Nollopville, whose government is ruled by a pangram tiled on the pedestal of a sculpture of Nollopville's founder. When letters of the pangram begin falling off the pedestal, residents who continue using the fallen letters in speech or writing are punished. Dunn himself eliminates the use of each letter as the tiles fall into oblivion. A fun and easy read.
THE POWER OF ONE By Bryce Courtenay
South Africa of the 1930s and 1940s provides the setting for Courtenay's inspirational novel of power and love. There are countless scenes that leave the reader spent.
84, CHARING CROSS ROAD By Helene Hanff
A charming account of 20 years of correspondence between a New York freelance writer and a small-scale, used-book dealer in London. That the book is autobiographical makes the record of their long-distance friendship all the sweeter.
BRILLIANT By Marne Davis Kellogg Think Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief in modern-day London and you have Kick Keswick, the colorful protagonist of Kellogg's fast-paced and entertaining mystery. A friend recommended this one, and I am now spreading the word.
THE POLYSYLLABIC SPREE By Nick Hornby
This is a collection of Hornby's essays from his monthly column in The Believer magazine. Its humorous account of a compulsive book buyer provides some comfort to those of us who cannot walk past a bookstore without adding to our ever-expanding "to read" pile. The collection is also a wonderful guide for selecting which books should be added to that pile.
HIGH TIDE IN TUCSON Essays from Now or Never By Barbara Kingsolver
I have read, loved, and admired each of Kingsolver's works; however, I keep...