This month, there are some sizzling bestsellers that rival the hot weather for the heat they’re bringing to the season. Get them now, because trust me, someone will be telling you all about them, and who knows what essential details they may leave out or get wrong?
I am embarrassed to say that three of my girlfriends discovered GONE GIRL before I did. Of course, these women are hardcore readers, and Gillian Flynn did climb that bestsellers list pretty fast. Word has it that this fast-paced, ingeniously plotted, and pretty dark thriller has been bought by Fox for $1.5 million, and will soon be a major motion picture starring Reese Witherspoon. No doubt the petite blonde will be picture perfect as Amy Elliott Dunne, the wife who goes missing on the morning of her fifth anniversary; but who will play Nick Dunne, her handsome Midwestern husband? Nick is not exactly a great husband; he’s a liar, he’s weak, and he has a tendency to crumble under pressure. But is he actually capable of killing his beautiful, clever wife? The novel alternates voices, with Amy’s diary representing her side of the story. Read Woman Around Town’s review of Gone Girl here.
If you aren’t yet a Jennifer Weiner fan, pick up a copy of THE NEXT BEST THING, and give yourself a treat. Twenty-eight-year-old Ruth Saunders is determined to make it as a Hollywood writer. Weiner knows the territory well, having co-created and produced the 2011 ABC Family sitcom “State of Georgia.” The insider’s view of writers’ rooms and on-set politics, not to mention difficult actors and executives who are laser-focused on the bottom line, sets this novel apart for summer reading. The title refers to a sitcom Ruth has formulated, based on her life with her grandmother, with whom she has lived since the death of her parents. Weiner’s previous smash hit “Good in Bed” is now in its 56th printing, having sold over 1.6 million copies.
There are those of us who positively salivate over the idea of a new Anna Quindlen book. LOTS OF CANDLES, PLENTY OF CAKE is this Pulitzer Prize winner’s memoir, in which she ponders the lives of middle-aged women today, and how we cope in our daily lives. The topics range from faith, marriage, loss, and our friends to all that stuff we have in our closets. Among her observations: it’s more important to be nice than to be honest; white lies can be the secret to a successful marriage; our bodies are like cars, meant to carry our character from place to place, and all we really need are four tires and a working engine; a good parent is one who works to make children strong enough to leave home. Quindlen uses her own situation as a woman in midlife to provide a valuable perspective on what the rest of us are dealing with, too.
Linda Fairstein is another accomplished woman who has used her life experience to enrich her books. She’s a foremost legal expert on domestic violence and sexual assault, having been Chief of the Sex Crimes Unit for Manhattan’s District Attorney’s Office. While Fairstein often chooses to write about situations “ripped from the headlines,” NIGHT WATCH is particularly timely. Fairstein provided regular TV commentary on the case of the rape which was allegedly committed by Dominique Strauss-Kahn. In this fictionalized version, a maid at the Eurotel hotel in Soho accuses French West African leader Mohammed Gil-Darsin of having assaulted her. This is the 14th novel to feature Fairstein’s popular lead character, Alexandra Cooper.
ROBERT LUDLUM’S THE BOURNE IMPERATIVE, by Eric Van Lustbader, is the latest in the series about the famous rogue agent. This time, Bourne fishes out of the freezing water a man in a situation much like the one that introduced us to the covert ops expert. Who is the nearly drowned stranger who has lost his memory? Why is Mossad agent Rebekkah willing to risk her own life and affiliation to find him? And who is Dick Richards, newly assigned to the deadly and highly secretive Treadstone?
My definition of a perfect summer vacation is to stack up a bunch of great books, turn on the AC, and pretend I’m not home. Ah, the life!
To purchase a featured book on Amazon click on the title in RED.
Michall Jeffers is an accomplished Cultural Journalist and an avowed bibliophile. She writes extensively, both in print and online. Her eponymous cable TV show is syndicated throughout the tri-state area, and features celebrity interviews, reviews, and commentary. Michall is a voting member of National Book Critics Circle. www.michalljeffers.com