The smartest thing Entertainment Weekly ever did was convince Stephen King to write for them. Whether or not you like his books, you have to admit Uncle Stevie is an interesting guy. Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, King gives us seven books that he thinks we should read this summer. And heck, because I'm a librarian, it's my blog, and frankly, because I can - I'm going to provide some commentary on his selections. Here we go:
Shatter by Michael Robotham
Uncle Stevie Says: "Gideon Tyler, the deranged villain of this exceptional suspense novel, is a devil so persuasive he's able to talk his victims into killing themselves."
Wendy Says: I don't drop the F-bomb on this blog very often, but what the hell? This sounds fucking fabulous! Suspense in the summer is like chocolate and peanut butter. They just go together.
Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson
Uncle Stevie Says: "Swashbuckling pirates with candles in their beards, a smart and beautiful young woman liberated from slavery, kinky sex, sword fights, double-dealing...and a stirring account of how rational scientific thought was born. All told with a sense of humor. Very cool."
Wendy Says: It's ambitious, over 900 pages and not my thing. But Stephenson has quite a loyal following, so no arguments here.
The Tourist by Olen Steinhauer
Uncle Stevie Says: "Here's the best spy novel I've ever read that wasn't written by John le Carré."
Wendy Says: A coworker read this recently and told me at a meeting that he frickin' loved it. It strikes me as a thinking man's beach read. If my Dad read fiction (which he generally doesn't) this is one I'd get for him.
Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
Uncle Stevie Says: "His most sentimental, absorbing, delightful novel...and yes, you will like it....explains the whole Bernard Madoff mess. If I'm lyin', I'm dyin'."
Wendy Says: OK Uncle Stevie, you've lost me. The two best things about graduating from college? That I was finally done and that no one would be able to force me to read Charles Dickens ever again.
Drood by Dan Simmons
Uncle Stevie Says: "Simmons is always good, but Drood is a masterwork of narrative suspense. It's a story of Egyptian cults, brain-burrowing beetles, life-sucking vampires, and an underground city beneath London...or is it?"
Wendy Says: Historical thriller starring Charles Dickens (him again?) and Wilkie Collins. Got fabulous reviews. Strikes me as a bit "dense" for a summer read though. But that's just me.
Dog On It by Spencer Quinn
Uncle Stevie Says: "Fans of both Marley & Me and The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency are going to fall head over heels in love with this hard-boiled detective novel, which is narrated by the PI's smart (if sometimes forgetful) mongrel sidekick, Chet."
Wendy Says: Outside of children's picture books I don't "do" talking animal stories. I mean, how bloody precious can you get? That said, I ordered a lot of copies of this for work. Excellent reviews and anything with what I call "The Dog Gimmick" seems to be circulating well these days. To each his own.
Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult
Uncle Stevie Says: "You men out there who think Ms. Picoult is a chick thing need to get with the program. Her books are an everyone thing, and the current offering — about a little girl whose bones are so brittle that they break almost at a puff of wind — is her best since My Sister's Keeper."
Wendy Says: Kudos to King for recommending this book to a male readership, whom I suspect would rather be boiled in oil than pick up a Picoult title. That said? Picoult sets off my "weepy" alarm. And while "weepy" is OK - it's typically the last thing I want to read during the summer. I want all the good stuff - sex, violence, fun, fast, flirty....not weepy. Yes, it's true. I really am that shallow.
So there's King's list. Gotta say the only one here that truly excited me is the Robotham title (I am so requesting an audio copy from work). What about you? Any of these look interesting enough to add to your summer reading list?