The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
It is 1946 and author Juliet is looking for a new writing project. Inspiration comes when she receives a letter from a member of "The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society", a special book club formed on the island of Guernsey during the Nazi occupation. The tales of the author and the Guernsey inhabitants are shared in this charming epistolary novel that celebrates the power of books and the human spirit.
The Flavia de Luce Mysteries
by Alan Bradley
(1st in the series: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie)
Flavia de Luce is the hilarious young sleuth at the heart of this series. Flavia, a spunky 11-yr-old with a love for science, lives in a small town in the British countryside in the 1950s. Her curiosity constantly leads her into the middle of a local mystery and her smarts lead her to the clues necessary to unravel the crime. Flavia is an absolute delight! Her constant scheming and attempts to outwit her older sisters, the criminals, and the police are laugh-out-loud funny. Going on a road trip this summer? Pop one of these in the CD player; these stories are wonderful on audio.
by Jacqueline Winspear
Maisie Dobbs runs a private investigation agency in England in the 1920s and 30s. This first installment in the series tells of how Maisie, a bright, steadfast young lady, worked her way up from service to running her own business with the help of a wealthy benefactor and a mentor. She takes on her first case which begins as a simple investigation into infidelity that leads to something much more.
Any thriller by Harlan Coben
Looking for more complex, edge-of-your-seat, plot-twisting mysteries? Try a novel by Harlan Coben such as Tell No One, Hold Tight, The Woods or any of the Myron Bolitar Mysteries. They are fast-paced, entertaining and always keep the reader guessing.
by Kathryn Stockett
If you haven't read The Help, you've just got to do it before the movie comes out August 10! This novel tells the story of Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan who returns home to Jackson, Mississippi in 1962 after graduating college. A budding writer, Skeeter decides to pen a daring book that sheds light on the lives of the African-American help that run the white households and raise the children but are treated like second-class citizens. A must-read.
by Curtis Sittenfeld
This fictionalized account of a life strikingly similar to Laura Bush's imagines what might motivate the reserved former First Lady. A touching, compelling look at life within a political family.
by Nancy Horan
This fascinating novel describes the love affair between the architect Frank Lloyd Wright and the wife of one of his clients, Mamah Cheney. The story successfully blends historical facts, scandalous love, an early 20th-century woman's desire for an intellectual life, and insight into the brilliant architecture of the eccentric Frank Lloyd Wright. A huge fan of Frank Lloyd Wright, I really enjoyed an inside look at this fascinating man.
by Tina Fey
Tina Fey talks about her nerdy childhood, improv comedy, marriage, and parenting in this hilarious autobiography. Her observations, told with her trademark wit and self-deprecating humor, are laugh-out-loud funny. If you are a Tina Fey fan, definitely check this one out (preferably the audio book read by the author)!
Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind
(and others in the Miss Julia series)
by Ann B. Ross
Wealthy widow Miss Julia is shocked when a blonde bombshell shows up on her doorstep with a 9-year-old son claiming that the boy's father is Miss Julia's late husband of over 40 years. This is quite a shock for the spunky Southern, Presbyterian lady, but Julia Springer takes this on as she takes on everything, in her own unique (and hilarious!) way. This delightful series pokes fun at the church, small towns, and Southern customs in an amusing, charming way. Great summer reads!
(and anything else ... )
by Sophie Kinsella
Lara starts receiving visits from her great-aunt Sadie who has recently passed away. Is it her overactive imagination again? Or, is there more to these visions of Sadie, the feisty flapper asking Lara for help in finding her treasured necklace? Twenties Girl is a heart-warming, hilarious romp.
These are a few books on my "to read" list. They might be of interest to you too:
by Monica Ali
What if Princess Di had not died in that awful car crash in Paris? Where might she be today? This novel imagines a possible different ending.
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
by Helen Simonsen
The story of Major Ernest Pettigrew, an honor-bound British widower who is struggling to get along with his changing family and falls for a local shop owner, a very unlikely match.
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
by Jamie Ford
Set in the 1940s in Seattle during the Japanese internment period and alternately in the same area in the 1980s, Hotel of the Corner of Bitter Sweet is the story of Henry a Chinese-American widower and Keiko, the Japanese-American girl he loved in grade school.
Check out USA Today's summer reading lists for more ideas.