Summer Book Report

The summer is winding down and I thought I’d take a look back at what I’ve read. It’s been a wild mix of indie, conventional, classic and new, in a range of genres from historical & paranormal mysteries to literature and non-fiction, with detours into romance, science fiction and fantasy. Once again, my Kindle has proven to an indispensible travel companion. Torturous airport delays and jetlag inspired sleepless nights are so much better with an entire library in my bag. Almost as good as afternoon coffees in cafes and time set aside just to read. That’s what I call reading for pleasure!

The season began with a couple of stellar biographies: ‘Daughter of Earth and Water: A Biography of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley by Noel Gerson and ‘Shakespeare: The World as Stage’ by Bill Bryson. I also enjoyed ‘The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine’ by Michael Lewis. Read it even if economics and finance give you a headache

When I hear ‘Charles Dickens’ my thoughts go to ‘Oliver Twist’ and “Great Expectations’ but Dickens was the pulp maestro of his time, often paid by the word to churn out fiction. I stumbled upon ‘Hunted Down’ and enjoyed revenge Dickens style. ‘The Man Who Would Be F. Scott Fitzgerald’ by David Handler was another kind of period piece. It’s the vintage publishing world of the mid 1980s in NYC, so it’s sex, drugs and literature. Pre-social media, it’s almost tame, but still a fun romp.

I indulged my childhood Sherlock Holmes obsession with a few NEW Sherlock books including ‘Art in the Blood’ by Bonnie Macbird. In the realm of paranormal romance, I enjoyed Eve Paludan’s take on beauty & the beast—set in a magical land with a werewolf beast and vampires. I also reread the mystery ‘Painting in the Dark’ by Russell James and it held up. A book that’s better the second time around is a true summer surprise!

I’ve decided not to dwell on the books that were awful. I pushed myself to finish some and abandoned others after valiant attempts to conquer hapless prose, predictable characters or flabby storylines. I’d rather sing the praises of the two best summer books (as of August 22)…


‘The Mannequin Defense’ is the start of a new series for paranormal mystery author Kirsten Weiss. It’s a fabulous page-turner. Read it!

I adored ‘The Elegance of the Hedgehog’ by Muriel Barbary—a delicate confection about love, art, friendship & the meaning of life. It’s brilliant. I sent a copy to a friend for her birthday!


The perfect place to read. A cafe in the Netherlands with wonderful coffee.

The perfect place to read. A cafe in the Netherlands with wonderful coffee.


  1. The most memorable books I’ve been reading lately have been by M.C.A.Hogarth. She’s an indie author with a number of series but the first one I stumbled on was an odd mixture of very good sci-fi world building, and masochistic male romance that doesn’t actually devolve into erotica. Not my usual fare, and I have to say the masochism disturbs me, but the writing is excellent so I’m trying to keep an open mind.

    • Candy Korman

      What an interesting mix of sub-genres in one series!

      I think it’s important to venture outside your reader comfort zone. I give you props for reading fiction that includes masochistic male romance. I’ve been reading all sorts of things this summer—pushing my boundaries just to see how it feels. Non-fiction, classic fictions, indie, conventionally published, and all sorts of genres… I would not have read ‘The Elegance of the Hedgehog’ had one of my freelance clients not suggested it. And I LOVED it.