Bruce gives props to classic authors Dorothy L. Sayers, Josephine Tey, Ngaio Marsh and acknowledges contemporary authors Sara Paretsky, Sue Grafton and S.J. Rozan.
And then, he gives a shout-out to three talented women with new novels out this month: Alex Kava, Chevy Stevens and Sophie Hannah. You can read all about their books here.
Who are your favorite female mystery authors? And do you have a response to the question Bruce poses in his column:
Do female-penned novels offer up enough grittiness, or do they favor sweetness, light and romance?
American history. A father-daughter relationship. Pulse-pounding thrillers. Any of that sound like something you would read? If the answer is yes, keep reading for more on this week's coverage on BookPage.com:
Read an Independence Day roundup
America’s Revolutionary War is so encrusted in myth and preconceptions that there always seems room for another angle. Three new histories take only sidelong glances at the war itself, instead examining such aspects as motivation, political maneuvering and the significant people who never achieved the status of “Founding Fathers.”
Read an interview with Lily King about new novel Father of the Rain
Author Lily King is known for her sensitive exploration of family ties. In her third book, Father of the Rain, she follows the tumultuous relationship of a father and a daughter. She answered a few questions for BookPage about her work, the place and ideas that inspire it, and the dangers of falling in love with your characters.
It's been a fairly slow week of book news, but a couple of blog posts still caught my attention. What posts would you recommend?
The Best In Completely Trashy, Guilty-Pleasure Reading
Posted by Sadie on Jezebel
I got a kick out of a recent Jezebel post on beach reads. At BookPage, our loose definition of "beach read" would probably be a page-turner you want to unwind with, maybe something a little steamier or lighter than your usual reading fare—see some of our picks from the July print edition for examples. But Jezebel gives a different description:
When we say "beach read," we're talking about the books whose covers you conceal from your airplane seat neighbor, the ones for which Lillian Vernon used to sell those anonymous needlepoint covers.
What's on your "completely trashy, guilty-pleasure reading" list? I'll go ahead and add Judy Blume's Summer Sisters, which my tween friends and I passed around like candy the year it came out.
All ALA coverage
Posted by Laura Rodgers on Laura's Life
Laura is a fourth grader who has not only read every single Newbery Medal-winning book, but she blogs about them, too. At the Newbery Caldecott banquet last weekend, Laura was introduced and applauded for her impressive reading accomplishments. I love Laura's honest book reviews (she'll let you know when she absolutely loves a book; but if it just didn't work for her, she won't sugarcoat anything). She also write many interesting posts about ALA.
For more on Laura, watch her ALA interview:
As a former fiction editor, author Harriet Evans knows what makes for a compelling story. After a more than a decade of publishing women's fiction at Penguin UK and Headline, Evans left the industry to become a full-time writer. She has now published four books, the most recent of which is I Remember You.
In a post exclusive to The Book Case, Evans shares her all-time favorite vacation reads.
Perhaps you’re like me and reserve a lot of your reading for the summer holidays, when you can freely indulge in a pageturner, get sucked into it and devour it in a way you can’t the rest of the year. I was a very moody teenager who didn’t much like summer holidays with my parents and sister but was too pathetic to go off and do something exciting by myself, either. (How nice she sounds, I hear you cry). So all summer long I’d read instead (or write terrible poems, but don’t worry, I’m not going to inflict any of them on you), and that has stayed with me ever since. I’m quite particular about a summer read. I want something not too heavy, but it can’t be totally brainless, either. Here are a few books and authors I’ve enjoyed on my summer holidays over the years, which I remember as part of the holiday as much as the ouzo in Crete, or the spaghetti in Florence…
Have a great summer.
Harriet Evans is the internationally bestselling author of I Remember You and three previous novels, Going Home, A Hopeless Romantic and The Love of Her Life. Find out more about Harriet at harriet-evans.com. Do you have a favorite summer reading selection? Tell us in the comments!
Happy Fourth of July weekend! Anyone going on a trip?
BookPage is closed on Monday, and I'm heading off for a long weekend at the lovely Greers Ferry Lake in Heber Springs, Arkansas. Where I'm going there's no internet, spotty cell service and lots of La-Z-Boys and lounge chairs. You can bet I'll be reading for about 72 hours straight, perhaps occasionally surfacing for a margarita.
Here's what I'm packing:
What are you reading over the weekend?
Audrey Niffenegger's The Time-Traveler's Wife has become a modern book club classic. Our book club columnist Julie Hale thinks Niffenegger's follow up, the creepy Gothic tale Her Fearful Symmetry, which has just been released in paperback, will prove just as appealing: "Niffenegger writes with persuasiveness and originality about matters of the heart and matters of the afterlife."
What is your book club reading this month?
Scholastic announced today that the print run for Suzanne Collins' Mockingjay has been increased from 750,000 copies to 1.2 million copies.
BookPagers have been fans of The Hunger Games series for a while now, but we hear from Scholastic that interest in the series and sales of The Hunger Games and Catching Fire continue to build every week.
I know many readers will be thrilled to hear that in August Collins will go on her first book tour since September 2008. Per a Scholastic press release:
Beginning on the August 24, 2010 publication date for Mockingjay, Collins will tour bookstores in New York City, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Boston. . . In September 2010, she will continue the tour in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, DC, and in October she will travel to Chicago, and Minneapolis/St. Paul. The tour will conclude in November 2010 with visits to bookstores in Northern California, Seattle, and Vancouver.
In How to Booze: Exquisite Cocktails and Unsound Advice (Harper), authors Jordan Kaye and Marshall Altier pair classic cocktails with every imaginable social situation. We challenged them to come up with four drink suggestions for the July 4 holiday, and they more than met our expectations. If you want to add some flair to your Independence Day celebration, read on!
The government wants you to spend Independence Day buying cars. Your neighbor wants you to slather on face paint, buy half a ton of Lipton’s tea bags and protest on the White House lawn—or at least on the lawn of that socialist who lives down the street and won’t stop babbling about the World Cup. But deep down, you know that there’s only one way to honor the day, and it’s how the Founding Fathers would want you to do it, too: fire up the grill, throw on the steaks and—oh, yes!—shake up a nice, cold cocktail.
Of course, beer is also a fitting choice, but it will surprise your neighbor to learn that while beer comes from Europe (that sorry, suffering land of universal healthcare and trains that go too darn fast), nothing is more American than the cocktail. The cocktail, like freedom itself, was born here. Even better, there happen to be a few cocktails absolutely perfect to enjoy with barbecue. So here are four July 4 choices, for four different locales:
#1, Urban Dweller
If you aren’t going anywhere for the weekend, there is no better place to watch the fireworks than from your own roof. Just hope the landlord doesn’t notice you trying to squeeze the Weber into the elevator, and make sure your kids (if you have them) are shackled to the chimney pipe. Here’s a drink made from the official spirit of the American Revolution. The economies of the rum trade were part of the formula that led to rebellion and, when the party ended, George Washington ordered a barrel of Barbados prime for his inauguration.
2 oz aged rum
½ oz strained lime juice
¾ ginger beer
1 dash Angostura bitters
Shake rum, lime juice and bitters without ice, pour over fresh ice into collins glass and top up with ginger beer. Garnish with a wedge of lime
½ oz unsweetened pineapple juice
½ oz fresh lemon juice
½ oz orange juice
1½ oz Bourbon
½ tsp grenadine
1 dash Angostura bitters
Shake with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass.
1 bottle Brut champagne
1½ oz Cognac
1½ oz Cointreau
1 bottle club soda
Rind of 1 orange(s)
Slices of pineapple(s)
Slices of orange(s)
Mix in a punch bowl. Garnish lavishly by placing orange and pineapple slices into the mix and placing sprigs of mint into each individual serving glass
2 oz Irish Whiskey
1 oz strained lime juice
½ oz simple syrup
3 slices of cucumber, muddled in mixing tin
8-10 leaves of lightly bruised mint
Shake with ice, double strain (to remove mint and cucumber bits) into old-fashioned glass over fresh ice
Garnish with a fresh mint sprig and cucumber slices.
I know it's only June (almost July, if you can believe it), but it's never too early to start planning! Did you know that September is Roald Dahl month? (The author was born on Sept. 13.) To commemorate the month, Penguin Young Readers Group is releasing a slim volume called The Missing Golden Ticket and other Splendiferous Secrets. The book is billed as "the top secret missing chapter from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," but as I flip through the pages, the most interesting content has to do with interesting Dahl-related details.
For example, did you know that the Oompa-Loompas were originally called Whipple-Scrumpets? Or that Dahl and illustrator Quentin Blake were friends in addition to collaborators? I love this quote from the author:
It is Quent's pictures rather than my own written descriptions that have brought to life such characters as the BFG, Miss Trunchbull, Mr. Twit and The Grand High Witch. It is the faces and the bodies he draws that are remembered by children all over the world.
If you read this blog regularly, you'll know that BookPage editors are crazy for Dahl. For some of our thoughts on the author, read about a recently-released companion to autobiography Boy or musings on adult novel My Uncle Oswald.
Some of you were pretty psyched when we posted about Jan Karon's In the Company of Others back in April. So when the galley came in today's mailbag, I felt like I had to share the opening lines with you:
Sheets of rain lashed the windshield; the high beams of their hired car barely penetrated a summer twilight grown black as pitch. It was a classic Irish downpour.
The road had narrowed to a single lane scarcely wider than a sheep track and was bordered by dense hedges. He took Cynthia's hand; his wife's fear of being hemmed in was only slightly greater than his. Crammed into the rain-hammered Volvo with a carton of books and a testy driver and pressed on either side by the sullen hedges, he counted this very moment as the reason he was no traveler.
The flight from Atlanta to Dublin had lived up to his worst expectations. Following a delay of seven hours due to storms in the Atlanta area, the trip across the Pond had been an unnerving piece of business which shortened his temper and swelled his feet to ridiculous proportions. Then, onto a commuter flight to Sligo airport at Strandhill, where—and this was the final straw, or so he hoped—they met the antiquated vehicle that would take them to the lodge on Lough Arrow. When he located an online Sligo car service a month back and figured out how to dial the country code, hadn't he plainly said the trip would celebrate his wife's birthday as well as her first time in Ireland? Hadn't he specified a nice car?
Excerpt from In the Company of Others by Jan Karon, published October 19, 2010 by Viking Books.