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(David Woodside / The Globe and Mail)
(David Woodside / The Globe and Mail)

Books

Readers’ picks for sizzling summer reads Add to ...

My pick is Old Filth, by Jane Gardam. I had loved others of her books – The Queen of the Tambourine, Bilgewater,Crusoe’s Daughter – and bought this one because of them. But what a revelation! Characters who became friends (or enemies); a plot unfolding with perfect craft and surprises along the way; my emotions involved one by one; and complete satisfaction at the end. I reread it because I must. It has become a treat to be savoured in the summer, with new insights, understanding and enjoyment each time. My favourite book/friend of all time. One of my guilty pleasures is to find a book by Donna Leon that I have not read, and to sink into the world of Guido Brunetti and his family in Venice and follow his latest murder investigation. – Lisey

The book I am looking forward to most this summer is Every Night’s a Saturday Night, by Bobby Keys, the saxophone player famous for playing with the Rolling Stones and others. He tells of how he ended up playing with all these A-list musicians. – Michael Ribicic

I’m reading Dance, Dance, Dance, by Haruki Murakami. How did I miss this guy? He writes like an angel with a magic pen. Very funny. The protagonist is middle-aged wise guy looking for meaning in his life, but first he has to chaperone a sullen 13-year-old girl around. – davek65

Guilty pleasures? Just the act of escaping from work deadlines and reading for fun – pausing frequently to savour a phrase or perhaps to think of nothing, while the rest of the world labours on – is deliciously sinful in itself! – Pollyanna

I just finished Housekeeping, by Marilynne Robinson. It's the story of two young girls raised by a series of relatives following a tragedy that befalls their mother. Disturbing but beautifully written. – mscharlie

I’m reading Americas, by Jason Lee Norman. It's a book of short stories, which is new for me. A quick, short, summer read, 22 stories, one for each country in the Americas. A beautiful combination of fact and fiction. I keep thinking about the stories days after I've read them. Excellent small-press work. – Edm Reader

This summer, I have some big, chunky reads planned: Bleak House, by Charles Dickens, and Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace. I hope to read as well The Art of Fielding, by Chad Harbach, which seems like a great book for summer! – JoJoWordsmith

I could not recommend Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel, more highly. Our book club raved over it, and we have the sequel, Bring Up the Bodies, slated for summer. I would like to add a word of thanks for not engaging in the usual diatribe about what constitutes a beach book. Those easy, fast reads that marketing departments everywhere suggest we pick up in the summer may be suited to some, but are certainly not for everyone. My love of reading sprang to life in the summer. I used to love afternoons spent in the hammock, strung between two trees, overlooking Lake Joseph and losing myself in wonderful stories. It was there that I read all of L.M. Montgomery's books, followed by the Brontës, Jane Austen and Tolstoy. Doesn't it stand to reason that when we have the time to spend a few hours reading, we spend it enjoying the greatest books ever written? – Elizabeth S. Brinton

Love these recommendations for reading. I've just finished the latest title, Elegy for Eddie, in the Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear. The entire series, featuring a female detective in post-First World War England, is worth reading. I do recommend, however, reading it chronological order. I’ve started Prague Fatale, by Philip Kerr, which features private detective Bernie Gunther. Again, the entire series is worth reading, beginning with the Berlin Noir trilogy. – C. Braun

I've been reading the novels by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö. They predate the current popular Scandinavian writers by some 30 years or more, but their series, set in the Sweden of the 1960s and 70s, is a classic. – Morgwen

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