Monday, June 13, 2011

Summer reading for grown-ups!

My mother never let me sign up for my hometown library's summer reading program when I was a kid. Her reasoning was that I was a fast and precocious reader, so it'd be too easy for me to win the prize for the kid who read the most books. Also, I had my nose in a book all the time anyway, so she didn't see why I needed to sign up for a program to encourage me to read more.

She had a point. Nonetheless, I'm happy to be able to finally compete/participate in the Seattle Public Library's Adult Summer Reading Program. For every three books read between June 1 and August 28 (regardless of whether or not I borrow them from the library), I get to turn in a form that will be entered in a drawing for a Nook. I already have a Kindle, so I'm not going to go out and BUY a Nook, but I'll happily compete for a chance to win one.

To make things more interesting, I've arbitrarily decided that any three books on the same form have to be in totally different genres. Here are the books from my first entry form:

1. The Girls Who Went Away, by Ann Fessler.
Genre: Nonfiction (social history)

I already blogged about this book here. It's based on personal accounts of women who surrendered babies for adoption in the 50's and 60's.

2. Gentleman Captain, by JD Davies
Genre: Historical fiction (Age of Sail/nautical)

I sought this book out after seeing it reviewed on Dear Author. Given my love for Aubrey-Maturin and Sharpe, I'll at least try just about any novel with a naval or military focus, especially if it's set in the Age of Sail/black powder era. This book is set in the 17th century, well before Jack Aubrey & Co., but I'm all for variety. While it got off to a slow start, and I felt a bit distanced from the story action whenever the narrator stepped back to reminisce on how things had changed in the 60 years since he lived through its events, it still qualified as a cracking good read.

3. Dare She Date the Dreamy Doc, by Sarah Morgan
Genre: Contemporary romance

I have to confess I never would've gotten past the title to read this one had it not garnered rave reviews on Dear Author and Smart Bitches and been named a Rita finalist. Not that I judge books by their covers and titles, exactly, but I do often look at them as signals of whether the publisher (in this case, Harlequin, of which Carina is an imprint, so it's my publisher too) considers me part of the target market or not.

Anyway, this book fully deserves the good reviews. It's a quick read--I polished it off in a single evening--but Morgan delivers fully realized characters, a strong sense of place, and a believable romance in her short page count.

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