lounging poolside: summer must-reads

it’s still hot as hades here, so i’m continuing my imaginary poolside adventure with my list of the best summer reads i’ve found this year, all of which definitely belong in my beach bag.  i’ve been reading like a fiend this summer, and have found so many great titles i’ve been dying to share with you!

for “serious” literature, the little giant of aberdeen county (by tiffany baker) is one of the smartest fiction books i’ve read in a while. completely engrossing plot, and wonderfully written – the plot is a little too complex to easily sum up, but if you love winding tales that teeter on the brink of the unbelievable, this should be very high on your list.  along those lines, i re-read isabel allende’s the house of the spirits every year or two, and i’m in the middle of it right now.  if you haven’t read this amazing book, i can’t recommend it highly enough.  it’s so wonderful and intricately written that no matter how many times i read it, it’s brand new.

of course, after my second or third daiquiri, i’ll be looking for something a little less intellectually stimulating. i just devoured a brand new book called schooled, by anisha lakhani (still only in hardcover, but due out in paperback on 8/11). think the nanny diaries meets gossip girl – it chronicles the story of a brand new, overly-optimistic teacher dropped into the mad, mad world of manhattan private schools. it didn’t make me any smarter, but it was such a fun read! i polished this book off in a matter of hours, and loved every minute of it.

for my philippa gregory fans, nefertiti (both by michelle moran) is the egyptian equivalent, right down to the dueling sisters. if you’re jonesing for a little palace intrigue, this will tide you over until the next season of the tudors starts. i can hardly wait to start the next in the series, the heretic queen.

and, last but not least, it’s a bit off the beaten path from my typical picks, but if you’re a non-fiction person, i really loved the gardner heist, by ulrich boser. the isabella stewart gardner museum in boston is probably my favorite museum anywhere, and the incredible story of the (still unsolved) art theft there back in the 1990s has always fascinated me. if you’re into crime stories, or just a law & order junkie like me, you’ll love it.

next, i’m planning to pick up lisa see’s new novel, shanghai girls.  what’s on your reading list this summer?

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