Monday, June 25, 2012

Summer Reading Part One- and Matching Snacks

So, summer's here, right? And you need something to read on your vacation, or your weekend, or just on your lunch break. What's it going to be? All this week I'll be featuring different lists of possibilities. Today it's what I think you should read. Tomorrow I'll tell you what I'm reading; Wednesday will feature some great new paperbacks and Thursday will feature books with LGBT themes as we round out Pride Month.

The number-one thing you have to read this summer if you haven't already is
The Passage, by Justin Cronin. Yes, it's a few years old. But. The sequel, The Twelve, is coming out in October and you want to be ready. I'm reading The Twelve right now (thank you, ARC fairy) and I'm telling you, you do not want to be behind on this! Get caught up now. A heart-stopping, gripping, can't-put-it-down post-apocalyptic literary treat, it's in paperback.

Read it with: a blanket and a decaffeinated beverage. You won't need anything to help keep you awake!

For something a little more, shall we say, risque, I have two for you. In hardcover, my summer pick is History of a Pleasure Seeker, Richard Mason's thinking-person's beach book about Gilded-Age Vienna and a social climber who will use his charms however he needs to, to get where he wants to go. Full of period detail, upstairs-downstairs shenanigans and more, it's fun.

Read it with: ice cream, in your favorite flavor, in a cone.

From the backlist, and in paperback, 2010's Enough About Love, by Herve le Tellier, is equally delightful. It recounts a series of interlocking love stories among a smart set of modern-day Parisians.

Read it with: a buttery, flaky croissant

 For some help with your BBQ or summer party, or with your vacation planning for that matter, you must pick up Lonely Planet's The World's Best Street Food: Where to Find It & How to Make It. This is the funnest, coolest cookbook I think I've ever seen, chock full of appetizer-portioned recipes for meat pies, rice balls, cheesy corn on the cob and more- snacks and goodies from all over the world. The recipes are short and achievable and look oh-so-delicious.  I will confess I haven't cooked from it yet but it won't be long!

Read it with: your grocery list handy!

For a fun foodie fiction read, pick up James Hamilton-Paterson's Cooking with Fernet Branca, a laugh-out-loud romp through the Italian countryside with a bumbling Englishman and his enigmatic, hilarious neighbor.

Read it with: arancini from the Lonely Planet cookbook and some prosecco.

Finally, for some nonfictional armchair travel, I loved David Grann's The Lost City of Z, the story of Percy Fawcett's last and mysterious trek into the Amazon, and the many attempts made over the years to find him. I guarantee it will make you very thankful for things like citronella candles and screened-in porches! It's a great, fascinating page-turner that you'll learn a lot from, too.

Read it with: a nice thick sandwich.

There are so many great books that are perfect for summer reading. Mysteries, bestsellers, romances, science fiction, what have you. What are some of your favorites? Tell me in the comments.

Tomorrow, find out what I'll be reading in the warm weather to come and share your picks, too.