Books I’ve Enjoyed this Summer



Does anyone else think this summer is over before it really began? I can’t remember a year when I didn’t complain about the heat one time. (Yes, that’s me wearing a fleece to make s’mores in July). And unlike most years, most of my reading this summer was by authors who were new to me. In all honesty, most of them were mediocre or at best, mildly entertaining. Quite a few needed some serious editing. But the three exceptions made up for all the others.

Outlander

I can’t believe I never heard of this book (or series), but since I was getting ready to move to Russia when it came out, I guess I had other things on my mind. But I’m glad I found it.

Outlander tells the story of Claire Randall, who has been reunited with her husband after World War II. Then she falls through an ancient stone circle in Scotland and finds herself in 1743.

This book has clearly been lovingly researched. The wealth of detail is amazing and made me hear, see and taste the world Claire finds herself in. It was a pleasure to read. The wealth of detail does extend to the sex and violence scenes, so if that’s not for you, be warned.

Magic of Thieves

I quickly go caught up in this story of a young girl, Ilan, whose parents were killed for being magical. Her only hope to survive was in the thieves of Dimmingwood, a brutal band led by Rideon the Rad Hand.

Some reviewers thought Ilan annoying or whiny as she grew into a teenager—I didn’t see that. My take was here was here was a girl taken in by thieves at the age of five or six—that she wasn’t worse is amazing. I had a lot of sympathy for her. Magic of Thieves was very well written and engaging and pulled me in right away.

I don’t say “well-written” lightly. I’ve read three or four books this month alone that lacked significantly in way they were written. Consistent grammar or punctuation mistakes, major plot holes, or lame resolution all contribute to my opinion. Those are books I won’t bother to review.

Here’s one sentence, just to give you a taste of the vivid writing in Magic of Thieves:

Each new gust sends a storm of red and ochre leaves showering to the earth to crunch beneath my boots as I follow a well-remembered path to a better remembered destination, one that has been my home almost longer than I can remember. One that will be my home no more after today.

A Perfect Fit

I usually don’t read romance, but since A Perfect Fit was offered for free, I gave it a try. The premise was interesting, although a bit far-fetched: When Cami and her sister go to hear their father’s will read, they learn he had four other daughters, all by different women. The father left a plush resort to his six daughters, on the condition they all live and work there for a year and make a success of it.

But once I got past that, A Perfect Fit was a fun, if a little predictable romance. The twist with the sisters forced to live and work together led to some interesting situations. I enjoyed it enough to buy the next one in the series. If you are looking for a little light reading and are willing to go with the premise, you’ll probably enjoy this one.



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