Vacation Reading Round-Up

One of my main objectives while on vacation was to finally read without guilt or interruption, and to make a serious dent in my TBR (to be read) pile near by bed, which was beginning to reach epic proportions.

As such, I have a roundup of all my "vacay reads" right here, so let's go, starting with audiobooks!

The Virgin's Lover by Philippa Gregory

I actually listened to most of this audiobook before the trip and finished it while I was packing. I love anything Gregory and especially anything Elizabeth I, but this abridgement left something to be desired - Elizabeth as a whiny girl and Dudley as a egomaniac while Cecil comes off as an angel...just didn't ring true with me. A good fictional historical, though!

 Foul Play by Janet Evanovich

Dad and I listened to this quick and amusing read on our way north. An out of work clown, a veterinarian, a missing chicken and a lot of romance - very cute and full of laughs!

Vertical Coffin by Stephen J. Cannell

Right as we started this audiobook, I heard that Cannell had died of cancer, and I was SERIOUSLY bummed, because Shane Scully is one of my favorite characters in fiction. This was a great listen, though I was sad to see that it was seriously abridged. Still, a great addition to the Scully genre that I hadn't read before....

Private by James Patterson

James Patterson is stupidly popular, so at least once or twice a year I feel obligated to read a novel so I can keep up with recommendations and am able to speak competently about his writing - which, while a bit pedestrian, does move quickly through the plot. This stand-alone weaves together about 5 storylines, any one of which would make a good story, but instead get muddied around in this "I am a god-like private investigator" novel. Good, but....

Rumor Has It by Jill Mansell

Doesn't that cover just make you happy? The novel did too - girl moves to a new town to dust herself off, takes a job with a quirky family, tries to avoid falling for the boy with the reputation, and does it all in a sleepy British town. This was just an easy, breezy, cozy read - loved it!

One Day by David Nicholls

I really loved the premise of this novel - Emma and Dex met on the last day of college, and then this story follows them for the next 20 years as they grow together, grow apart, take other lovers, take other jobs, travel and more, but eventually are drawn back together. Interestingly, the story is moved forward by each chapter featuring July 15 of each year, starting with their meeting in 1988. I was loving the book, so absorbed, but when the author took a totally maudlin, unnecessary, cowardly step at the end, I nearly threw it across the room in disgust, and now that reaction overshadows the brilliance of the writing, the plot and the clever telling. Sigh.

After You by Julie Buxbaum

Apparently I had a real British theme going, as the first several novels I read were all set in England. This was a fantastic read - Ellie flies to England when she receives word that her best friend Lucy had died right in front of her daughter. Ellie moves in to care for young Sophie and Lucy's husband, while avoiding her own family conflicts. This book held several twists and surprises, but ultimately was just a tender read that was really well written.

Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin

I've been a fan of Giffin's since Something Borrowed, so I was ready to read this, her newest novel, but I'll be honest, it didn't seem to have the same "spark" as before. There are three main players: Nick, the handsome plastic surgeon, his wife Tessa, and mother of a burn victim, Valerie. Their lives become intertwined, and their hearts as well, until you aren't sure who are you supposed to be cheering for, and end up disappointed one way or another. I still tore through it, but...

Going in Circles by Pamela Ribon

Ribon, or "Pamie" on the web, has written another "girl in crisis" book, though this time, the main character is more whiny than I remember her other characters being, and seems like a pathetic excuse for anyone, until she somehow turns it all around though, seriously, roller derby. A quirky read, to say the least...

Angel's Tip by Alafair Burke

I really enjoyed the first "Ellie Hatcher" mystery from Burke, so this has been on my list for a while. A great mystery and detective story with a great NYPD protagonist. Enjoyable!

The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow

I actually met Durrow this summer at ALA and had her sign my copy of this title. This incredibly quick read is about the one survivor of a family of mother and children who jumped from the top of a building - but the story is about so much more than the trauma, but rather the family relations both before and after the tragedy. A really interesting premise....

The Lies We Told by Diane Chamberlain

Though the book jacket sounded absurd, I really got into this novel. Maya and Adam are the perfect surgeon couple trying to have a baby, and Rebecca is Maya's tumultuous sister who works in a "Doctors Without Borders" type organization. Throw together a hurricane, a helicopter crash, a bit of Deliverance, adultery and mix well. And yet, somehow, the story moves at a breakneck pace and keeps you interested. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would!

An Ideal Wife by Gemma Townley

This is the final installment in the "Jessica Wild" series, about a British girl who finally has the right guy, but now needs to make herself "perfect" in order to fell worthy of him. Throw in a Russian stripper, the mafia, the obligatory gay friend, missing money and more and you have the makings for a truly silly, but truly enjoyable quick read!

So there you have it! Though I was hoping to read more, it feels good to mark these "off the list"! Yay for vacation reading!

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