Washington Reads (Summer 2008) - Beach Reads

It is glorious in Washington this summer, and our carefree days of sun and our laid-back, western environment offer an invitation to unwind with exceptional books set in the state.  Whether your plans are to read on the beach, or read in a tent by flashlight, or conserve gas on a “stay-cation,” an astonishing number of books of all types are available to provide escape and entertainment. If you want to laugh, cry, or get caught up in a masterful plot with superbly drawn characters, a number of authors provide the ticket to a pleasurable reading journey. Kick back and read, Washington!

Emerson, Earl. Firetrap.

This is a gripping, action-packed story of Seattle firefighters caught in a mystery that is top-notch. Emerson’s chapters are short, and this page-turner has his customary surprising plot twist.

Hannah, Kristin. Firefly Lane.

This captivating novel spans three decades of enduring friendship, love, and loss of two women in the Pacific Northwest. It is an unforgettable story that embraces the humor, depth, and complexity of women’s friendships. You won't want to put this one down.

Lawson, Mike. The Second Perimeter.

A lethal, female spy is pitted against good guys, Joe DeMarco and his friend Emma, in an espionage thriller that takes the reader from Bremerton to Washington, D.C. and to Vancouver, B.C.   As the Speaker of the House’s “fixer,” Joe finds himself matched against a deadly foreign agent and other criminal operatives in a conflict of attack and reprisal.

Macomber, Debbie. Twenty Wishes.

This thought-provoking, fast read is based on the premise of each person making lists of twenty wishes.  These lists enable the women to begin to accomplish things they always wanted to do but never did.  This is one of Macomber's "Blossom Street Books," set in Seattle, that appeals to women worldwide.

Sherer, Michael W. Island Life.

This mystery surpasses the usual tales of suspense with rich characters and a tight, gripping plot. The psychology of couples' lives and losses intertwines with a strong mystery.  You will root for the hero.

Stein, Garth. The Art of Racing in the Rain.

Told from the viewpoint of Enzo, a dog with an old soul who sees the world through the lens of his learning about human life from television, this is an unforgettable novel.  The plot is riveting, covering both the adventure of car racing and the complexity of human relationships.  It has it all:  love and tragedy, betrayal and redemption, family, love, and loyalty.  You will laugh, cry, and look at human life as you never have before.

Young Adult
Alexie, Sherman. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.  Art by Ellen Fortney. 

Alexie’s first novel for young adults is a coming-of-age novel that will make you laugh while it breaks your heart.  With wit and humor, it chronicles Junior’s attempts to rise above the expectations people have for him, in Wellpinit and Reardon, Sherman’s hometowns.  Already selected as a one-book read by several Washington communities, this book will stand the test of time.

Caletti, Deb. The Nature of Jade.

 Jade DeLuna, a teen with anxiety and panic disorder, copes with her syndrome by visiting the elephants at the zoo to stay calm.  She finds herself in a situation in which she learns and grows.  Caletti tells a heart-warming story, weaving a plot and characters that will appeal to teens and adults.

Losi, Carol.  Salt and Pepper at the Pike Place Market.  Illustrated by Amy Meissner.

Romp with Salt and Pepper, dogs who look like twins, but are distinctly different. One is an obedient lady, while the other is a wild guy with bad manners.  Enjoy the illustrations as the dogs are switched at the Market.