National Read a Book Day on September 6 comes at a perfect time just as the kids are heading back to school and hitting the books. For the rest of us, here are a few ideas for celebrating from some well-read Lake Oswegans.
THE JEALOUS KIND by James Lee Burke
James Lee Burke is one of my all-time favorite authors, not only because his stories are immensely captivating, but also because they are highly literate. The level of detail in his work is humbling to other writers, such as myself. I read everything this man writes. I loved this coming of age novel and highly recommend it. As are most of Burke’s books, this one is a “guy’s book,” for sure, but women who enjoy a bit of grit will find much to like in this work. If you are a writer, read this AS a writer. You will be impressed … and you will be inspired.
In addition, I highly recommend HEAVEN’S PRISONERS, also by James Lee Burke. This is the second book in the Dave Robicheaux series, and one of the best. If you want to start at the beginning of this amazing series, NEON RAIN is the one you want. Enjoy!
Graham Salisbury, (Author of UNDER THE BLOOD-RED SUN, and others books)
THE LAST DAYS OF NIGHT by Graham Moore
I love reading historical fiction! This tells the story of George Westinghouse, Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla as seen through the eyes of a young attorney who was hired by Westinghouse to battle about light bulb patents. Unbelievable, but true!
Cyndie Glazer, Lake Oswego Library
WHO ORDERED THIS TRUCKLOAD OF DUNG? Inspiring Stories for Welcoming Life’s Difficulties by Ajahn Brahm.
A collection of 108 Buddhist-based tales that offer insight in an easily digestible way to help us deal with some of the curves life throws us. It was amazing!
Jennifer Schiele, Principal, Lakeridge High School
THE SCRIBE OF SIENA by Melodie Winowar
This was one of the contenders for this year’s Lake Oswego Reads but still considered a good read even though it didn’t make it to the top of the list. A time-traveling neurologist finds herself enmeshed in a medieval power struggle, investigating the opposing forces of Siena’s cultural/artistic glory and its devastation by the plague…oh yes, and there’s a love story thrown in.
Ricky Korach, Retired Lake Oswego high school English teacher
LINCOLN IN THE BARDO by George Saunders
It’s a post-modern kinda-historical novel about the death of Willie Lincoln, the President’s son that is poignant,bizarre and inventive in a way that few books I have read are. George Saunders summons his genius in it, his first novel, and he also summons his inner Samuel Beckett as his characters philosophize and bumble their way through the dim-lit void. It’s a pretty special book. I also loved Brian Doyle’s Martin Marten and so dearly appreciated my friendship with Brian. The soaring humanity and enduring playfulness and tenderness of Brian Doyle’s writing opens me up in ways I crave and need. Will miss that guy, his essays, his books, his perspective so beatific. Those two stand out from this summer, but I’m always reading of course.
Rollin Dickinson, Principal, Lake Oswego High School
YOU WILL PAY by Lisa Jackson
Barb Randall hasn’t had much time to read this summer as she has been focused on marketing her own book, WILLAMETTE VALLEY WINERIES, a pictorial history of the Willamette Valley wine industry. But she admits…
On my nightstand all summer has been a copy of Lake Oswego author Lisa Jackson’s YOU WILL PAY, released in June 2017. I have interviewed Lisa Jackson and her sister, Nancy Bush, several times; they are two of the most zany, smart and delightful women I’ve ever met. Both are highly successful New York Times best-selling authors with a huge fan base so I imagine I will enjoy YOU WILL PAY when I finally do get to sit down and read it.
This novel of suspense shows how the past can come back to haunt us as the deadly secrets from a summer twenty years ago resurface in light of an investigation into the human remains discovered at a former summer camp.
Barbara Smith Randall, Author and Lake Oswego Review reporter
BEACH MUSIC by Pat Conroy
One of the ways I define my summers is by the books I read. Last year was the summer of Harlan Coben. A friend of mine turned me on to this prolific mystery and thriller novelist whose more than 25 novels kept me quite entertained. This was the summer of John Grisham and Pat Conroy—two of my favorites that I revisited because some things bear repeating. But BEACH MUSIC is on the top of my best reads list ever because of the storyline that addresses themes of dysfunctional families (a Conroy staple), the Holocaust and the Vietnam war; the setting in two of my favorite places—Charleston, South Carolina and Rome, Italy; and most of all, Conroy’s prose which I can only say, “I can’t read slow enough.”
Kevin Costello, Lake Oswego Realtor
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