Even though the weather isnt quite warm enough for the beach yet, I think you would agree that a "summer read" is a type of book we all enjoy.
How to define a summer read? I think my first priority in a book is good strong characters whose lives grow and evolve somewhat, characters I can relate to on a certain level, whose lives I can participate in. I remember when I read The way the crow flies by Anne Marie MacDonald I felt that the main character had become a part of my life and was someone I actually knew!
I also enjoy a book I cant put down. An example is the The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown which was so engrossing that I found my work was interfering with my reading time! I desperately wanted to get to the end to find out what happened, however I also wanted the book to go on forever.
We can satisfy the desire for a story to continue by reading series and sequels. After finishing The Da Vinci Code , I read Browns previous novel, Angels and Demons which featured the same main character, world-renowned physicist, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon and enjoyed another illuminating (pardon the pun) novel.
There are also some great series to be read and here is a very short list of some of them:
Dorothy Dunnett :
The Lymond Chronicles
Each of these six novels is linked to the game of chess and features the hero, Francis Crawford of Lymond, roaming Scotland, to the courts of 16th century France, the Middle East, and even Russia. There is intrigue, romance and exciting historical adventure.
The House of Niccolo
A series of eight well-researched historical novels (each running over 500 pages) that propels its 15th-century hero, resourceful merchant Nicholas de Fleury, across Turkey, Poland, Italy, France, Flanders, the Sahara Desert and Scotland in search of gold, legitimacy, glory and family.
The Stone Barrington mysteries and The Holly Barker mysteries
Here are two series for those of you who enjoy suspenseful and exciting mysteries. In his latest book, Reckless Abandon , Woods pairs Holly Barker, chief of the Orchid Beach, Fla., police department (of Orchid Blues , etc.) with PI Stone Barrington (of Dirty Work , etc.) in his latest adventure.
The Joanna Brady mysteries
There are already 11 titles in the Joanna Brady mystery series which features Joanna Brady, the sheriff in a small town in Arizona. The unlikely sheriff (her husband had run for the office, and she entered the campaign only after his death) is an engaging heroine, vulnerable but determined to meet the challenges in her personal and public life.
Greg Bear :
The Darwin series
With just two titles in this science fiction series, Greg Bear has proven to be one of the modern masters of hard science fiction. Centred on well-developed, highly believable figures that are working scientists, his novels are sure to please anyone who appreciates literate, high-tech science fiction.
The Wheel of Time series
With 11 titles still in print, Jordans richly detailed fantasies present fully realized, complex adventures that appeal to fans of classic quests. Like Tolkien's Ring trilogy, Wheel of Time is a single, extended novel rather than a series.