Summer Reading List
With that in mind, here is Frank's Summer Reading List for 2006.
My first pick is The Foreign Correspondent by Alan Furst. This novel is set in the late 1930s is about a journalist who fights the Mussolini regime by working for an underground newspaper. When his editor is killed by the Italian secret police, he tries to keep the newspaper going while also trying to stay alive as the secret police turn their attention to him.
Alan Furst is, without a doubt, one of the best novelists writing today. If you haven't picked up any of his work before, this a great one to start with.
My second pick is Lost & Found by Carolyn Parkhurst. This modern tale focuses on a series of characters who are competing in a reality TV show. At first glance, the very idea of using a reality TV show as the setting for a novel made me want to gag, but the fact of the matter is that it's so well written that I couldn't help but fall in love with it.
Her characters seem very real and it's those characters, more than anything that would happen within this fictional TV show, that drive her story.
Telegraph Days is the latest novel from Larry McMurthy, who also wrote Lonesome Dove as well as co-writting the Academy Award-winning screenplay for Brokeback Mountain. I was never a fan of westerns growing up, but McMurthy writes them so well - with characters that are believable as well as dialogue and a plot that is compelling - that it makes me want to read more and more them.
John Updike's latest novel, Terrorist, is my fourth pick. It's about a teenager - the product of an Egyptian father who left him when he was 3 and an Irish-American mother - who grows up in a New Jersey mill town and becomes entralled with an Iman who preaches against all that is "corrupt" about American culture. The teenager - Ahmad Mulloy Ashmawy - becomes the homegrown terrorist that many have quietly feared ever since 9/11.
Updike's writing is tight, gripping and - above-all-else - believable. It's definately worth a read.
We Are All Welcome Here is my fifth recomendation. A polio victim and her 13-year old daughter are the focus of this novel by Elizabeth Berg that is set in Tupelo, Mississippi during the summer of 1964. All of angst and frustration that one could expect between a single mother and her teenage daughter play out in the midst of the unrest that was the civil rights movement.
Well worth the read!
Last, but certainly not least, the final spot on my list of recommended summer reads is reserved for Killing Molly by Eric C. Novack. His book comes from a small, independent press so you won't find it on Amazon.com. However, one look at all of the glaring reviews this book has received should be enough to persuade anyone as why this book is so worth your time.