Archive for June, 2010

Beach Reads – Thrillers

Before we get into the thrillers:

Don’t forget to check out the Summer Reading page.

Dialogue on Idaho Public Television recently did a show on Summer Reading. They invited author Anthony Doerr, who is finishing his stint as the Idaho Writer-in-Residence, to comment on his choices for the year. Click here to get a list of his recommendations or to watch the episode.

Now on with the show. This week, we’re looking for beach reads in the thriller genre. (If you need a definition of a beach read, check out the previous post.) The definition of a “thriller” is a bit more vague than that of a romance – and no, it has nothing to do with Michael Jackson. Here, I’m defining a thriller as a book in which our hero/heroine are in peril virtually every step of the way, and action – especially running from something – is a huge part of advancing the plot.

Whether they’re writing legal, medical, political, espionage, or historical thrillers, here are 20 of the best:

David Baldacci

Lee Child

Robin Cook

Clive Cussler

Jeffery Deaver

Barry Eisler

Linda Fairstein

Vince Flynn

Alan Furst

Tess Gerritsen

Heather Graham

John Grisham

Andrew Gross

Tami Hoag

Alex Kava

Dean Koontz

Robert Ludlum

Christopher Reich

James Rollins

Lisa Scottoline

Beach Reads – Romance

(Don’t forget to visit the Summer Reading page!)

I realize that Twin Falls is pretty far from a beach, but that doesn’t have to stop us from digging into a good beach read. (Okay – you can also call them “airport” reads, but “beach” has much better connotations, n’est-ce pas?). Our definition of a beach read is a book that is:

  1. A page-turner – something with a fast-paced plot or cliffhangers at the ends of chapters
  2. Easy to get into and out of – in other words, something you can pick up whenever
  3. Not a huge loss if you accidentally lose it in the ocean – but if it’s a Library book, you might want to take a bit more care with it!

This week, we’re highlighting 20 authors who write great romance beach reads. Check out one or more of their works for a good time.

Jackie Collins

Jennifer Crusie

Jude Deveraux

Katie Fforde

Helen Fielding

Julie Garwood

Emily Giffin

Jane Green

Sophie Kinsella

Lisa Kleypas

Johanna Lindsey

Debbie Macomber

Judith McNaught

Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Amanda Quick

Nora Roberts

Sidney Sheldon

Nicholas Sparks

Sherry Thomas

Lauren Willig

Summer Reading is Back!

Even if the weather doesn’t cooperate, we are geared up and ready for summer – reading, that is. This year’s theme is:



Click here for details about the program.


In honor of the theme, here are a few good novels (with “water” in the title, of course!) to get you started this summer. Those with asterisks are highly recommended by me.  (Annotations provided by NoveList Plus.)

Eternal on the Water by Joseph Monninger*

  • Falling in love with the free-spirited Mary during a sabbatical from his teaching job, the nature-loving Cobb is devastated to learn that Mary may be carrying a gene for an incurable illness that runs in her family.

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel*

  • At the beginning of the 20th century, Tita, the youngest of three daughters, is expected to serve her mother for the rest of her life, but in order to show her love to Pedro, who is engaged to her sister, Tita cooks for him.

Night Over Water by Ken Follett

  • An English aristocrat, a German scientist, a murderer, a thief, and a beautiful woman are among the desperate passengers who board the most luxurious airliner ever built to escape from England two days after the declaration of war against Germany in 1939.

On the Water by H.M. van den Brink

  • Tells the poignant story of Anton and David, two oarsmen trained by a mysterious German coach in the golden Amsterdam summer of 1939. (Courtesy of the TFPL catalog.)

Shadows on the Water by Elizabeth Cadell

  • A widow, a missing father, and a new love add to the tension on board a ship bound for Buenos Aires.

The Seduction of Water by Carol Goodman*

  • After writing a story about her late mother, Iris Greenfeder returns to her childhood home at the remote Hotel Equinox in the Catskills, intending to write her mother’s biography, only to stumble into the middle of a haunting mystery.

Thicker Than Water by Linda Barlow and William G. Tapply

  • After years of denying a legacy of mystical healing powers, Dr. Rachel Morgan must use her heritage to rescue her son, kidnapped by her mother’s enemies, as she follows a dark trail of evil that reaches back to the brutal medical experiments of the Nazi concentration camps.

Trial by Water by George Cuomo

  • Just when he thinks everything is going his way in his new home of Trent, Massachusetts, transplanted New Yorker Florian Rubio finds his world turned upside down when his son is implicated in the deaths of two teens.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (our Book Club pick – join us June 8th at 5:30)

  • Ninety-something-year-old Jacob Jankowski remembers his time in the circus as a young man during the Great Depression, and his friendship with Marlena, the star of the equestrian act, and Rosie, the elephant, who gave them hope.

The Water Dancers by Terry Gamble

  • When Native American Rachel Winnapee takes a job at the March summer home on Lake Michigan, she soon learns her place amidst the upper-class, until a war-wounded Woody, the family heir, returns home wounded in body and soul, and falls in love with this very different woman.

Water Witches by Christopher Bohjalian

  • As Vermont faces its worst drought in memory, a cynical lawyer representing a ski resort that wants to draw water from a local river is challenged by a female shaman who can find water beneath the earth.

The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve

  • A photographer who has come to a small island off the coast of New Hampshire to shoot a photo-essay about a double murder that took place there over a century ago, notices parallels between her own life and the lives of the murder victims.

White Water Trail: A Western Trio by Dan Cushman

  • In this new trio of short novels, “The Phantom Herds of Furnace Flats” opens to a mysterious murder in the Dry River Range. In “Boothill Loves a Pilgrim” Harvey T. Watney has been an assistant bookkeeper in a Chicago accounting firm for over twenty years when he unexpectedly inherits a ranch in Montana Territory. Tim Calloway in “White Water Trail” originally left Alaska because he didn’t want any part of his father’s salmon business, but that was four years ago. (Courtesy of the TFPL catalog.)

Wide is the Water by Jane Aiken Hodge

  • Mercy and Hart Purchis are separated by the Revolution with Hart a prisoner in England and Mercy traveling from Boston to Philadelphia and London to reunite with him.

A Yellow Raft in Blue Water by Michael Dorris

  • Moving backward in time, Dorris’s critically acclaimed debut novel is a lyrical saga of three generations of Native American women beset by hardship and torn by angry secrets.