Finally, it’s summer! The time of year where we can proudly carry around those candy-colored confections known as chick-lit without any embarrassment. The same goes for all those wonderful paperbacks with the Oprah Book Club stickers prominently displayed on their covers. It’s also the best time of year to dip into some well-loved horror novels. This isn’t to say that we can’t enjoy these books all year round, but it’s somehow more appropriate to use the summer for purely recreational reading; literature and heavy nonfiction tomes just don’t seem to fit as well in a beach bag.
Two of my favorite chick-lit writers are Jennifer Weiner and Anne Rivers Siddons. Jennifer Weiner’s books, especially her debut novel, Good in Bed, are filled with strong, sassy, and interesting female characters that can make you laugh and cry over the course of the same page. Anne Rivers Siddons novels are lush, lyrical odes to the landscapes where they take place (usually in the South, although a few are set along the New England Coast). For Siddons fans, it’s all about location, location, location. The heroines in her novels may begin to fade when the last page is turned, but the places she creates linger in the mind long after you’ve finished that last sentence.
To this day, my favorite Oprah book is one of the first. Wally Lamb’s novel She’s Come Undone has stayed with me since I read it the summer after I turned 17. It is a must read for the summer.
As an unabashed fan of horror, I have some new favorites to add to my ever-growing list of fun, fast-paced, scary books. As always, at the top of my list is Stephen King. With his last two books, Lisey’s Story and Cell, I believe the master of the macabre has returned to top form. However, the prize for scariest book for the summer goes to his son Joe Hill. Heart-Shaped Box is everything a good horror novel should be and then some. Make sure you have a nightlight handy before you dig into this terror-ific book.
FYI—If you’re like me and a little nervous about bringing those mylar-jacketed, brand spankin’ new, library books with you to a sandy beach or on a long dirty hike, then be sure to check out the Books for Sale at OWL, located in the cabinet next to the copier. For a dollar or two you can treat yourself to a perfect beach read, with no worries about getting it wet, or smushing it in the bottom of your bag. For any YA blog readers there is also a paperback swap basket on top of your section, to keep you reading (fret free) all summer.
~Tricia is the youth librarian at OWL, and loves books, movies, Motown, zombies, and learning how to be a better cook.