Sunday, June 2, 2013

Fun in the Sun: Nic’s 2013 Summer Reading List

Ah, summer… ’Tis the season of lazy, hazy days when sprawling poolside with a tall lemonade and a good book is the perfect pursuit. I don’t know about you, but when winter is in its death throes, I find myself building my summer to-be-read pile as eagerly as I plan my first pedicure paint color. Now, with Memorial Day in the rearview mirror, the summer season is upon us. So, without further ado, here are my top five picks for reading, Summer of 2013 style:

The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II5. The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II by Denise Kiernan
“What?” you say. “Non-fiction in the summer? Nic, what happened to fun-in-the-sun reading?” But what could be more fun than the war-time tale of a secret city in the mountains, populated exclusively by women, hired to work in a mysterious complex of factories and labs without any idea of how their jobs relate to the jobs of their colleagues? Well, the entire tale is true. We’ve all heard of Rosie the Riveter, but the ladies of Atomic City, hidden deep in the American countryside, were building bomb parts and no one knew it—until now. So this summer, I’m going to celebrate the untold achievements of the women who came before me by reading all about their hush-hush role in winning my freedom and yours.

4. The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
The Long GoodbyeI’m an enthusiastic Chandler fan, but somehow, I’ve never read this winner of the 1955 Edgar® for Best Novel. Many, including Chandler himself, have said this novel is his best work. Others say it’s his worst. So, I realized, I should decide for myself. After all, Chandler’s work is foundational to my own. If we’re writers, we’re following in the footsteps of others who’ve paved the way. Why not read the work of an author who blazed the trail you follow? For me, that’s Chandler and his Edgar®-winning work.

3. The Other Woman by Hank Phillippi Ryan
The Other Woman

I first met Hank Phillippi Ryan at a champagne reception in San Francisco. My first manuscript was up for the Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® while her debut novel was on the short list for the Golden Heart’s® big sister, the RITA®. She probably wouldn’t remember me among the nervous writers who clutched a champagne flute that day, but I certainly remember her first novel. This year, it came as no surprise to hear her latest book won the 2013 Mary Higgins Clark Award. This summer, I plan to enjoy Hank’s latest novel as much as I enjoyed her RITA®-nominee.

The Other Typist
2. The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell
Summer is the perfect time to find a new love and that’s why I’ve got my eye on this debut novel from doctoral student, Suzanne Rindell. Kirkus is calling it a cross between a Hitchcock film and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s most famous work. So if you’ve got a crush on Jay Gatsby, and if you want to flirt with a fresh mystery about a Flapper-era police stenographer caught in the middle of a murder case, make a date with this book.

London Falling
1. London Falling by Paul Cornell
A veteran of the writing team that brought us the return of Dr. Who, Paul Cornell says he faced a genre identity crisis when it came to writing this book. And which of us writers can’t relate? Cornell believes Urban Fantasy—and maybe some Paranormal Romance—is rapidly becoming the new Horror. As a result, London Falling straddles genres. But with its new take on two cops combating evil on London’s dark streets, I can’t wait to get my hands on it, no matter how the booksellers decide to shelve it.

Now you know what I’ll be reading this summer. When you visit the pool, if you see a woman with There’s Something About Cherry on her toes and one of these books in her hand, that’ll be me. Feel free to stop by and say hi. In the meantime, tell the Rockville 8. What’s on your summer reading list?


  1. Love your list! There's some goodies on it. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Great list! Honestly not sure what's on my TBR pile for the summer, but my toes are wearing a coat of OPI's Can't Find my Czechbook. Woot!

  3. Thanks, Shellie! I hope you'll have time to loll about with one of these books this summer--or another fun pick.

  4. So you haven't got a summer TBR pile, but that's all right, Keely. You're halfway there. You've got a summer pedicure!

    I myself am about to trade my OPI Barefoot in Barcelona toes for some Sally Hansen Racey Rouge. Oh yeah!

  5. Awesome list, Nichole. Love it. I will have to add these books to my own reading list. They all sound great and I love book recommendations. So you've just sold five books. Yeehaw! Thanks. ;0)

  6. Thanks, Candy. You know, one of our Twitter followers moved us into her "Influencers" category because we recommend others' books and not just what we've pubbed or are working on. Now, that's a compliment!

    (BTW, folks can follow us on Twitter. We're @Rockville8 )

  7. Hurray for non-fiction!!! The Girls of Atomic City sounds great, Nichole. As far as fiction goes, Chandler is a great choice, too. I may round out those two with another semi-fictional selection: a book on dog training (since I recently adopted a new friend). I say "semi-fictional" because to me, dog training is clearly non-fiction, but I don't think my dog agrees!

    Have a great summer.

    - Dave

  8. Thanks for stopping by the R8, Dave. Feel free to bring your dog along next time. We're all dog fans here.

    I'm glad you like my non-fic pick. Seems guys gravitate toward non-fic, but hopefully dome gals will pick it up, too. And if you find a non-fic guide to dog training, come back and let us know. A few of us could stand to read it!