My top 20 choices, not necessarily what America’s reading. Great choices in different genres for my readers to choose from and buy the book right here.
Everywhere you look these days there is a list about something, not as many as in the David Letterman days, but still, everyone seems to have a list. As you know, for me it’s books and, of course, I have my favorite authors Stephen King, Dean Koontz, John Grisham, James Patterson, and the list goes on and just as is normally the case, they each have books not only on my list but on Best-Seller Lists like the NYT, Barnes & Nobles, Amazon, and others.
So, without further ado, here is my Top 20 for July, not necessarily what America’s reading, but should consider:
1. Camino Island – John Grisham Is What America’s Reading.
There a theft of rare books from Princeton’s Firestone Library, which are insured for $25 million, Bruce Cable is a book dealer on the sleepy Camino Island resort off Florida, who dabbles from time-to-time in black-market manuscripts and other questionably acquired books.
2. Into the Water – Paula Hawkins
From the author of The Girl on the Train, I have not read this, yet, though I have read many reviews about the book. Some believe there are too many characters and the backstory on those take too long to pull some readers into the story soon enough, while others found the many characters a plus, if it is as good as The Girl on the Train, I’m sure I will gobble it up like a Twinkie before dinner and I’m sure you will too.
3. Come Sundown – Nora Roberts
Another good story by a great author. At times, some of the storylines seem familiar if you’ve read a lot of Roberts, but it’s so compelling you just have to push on to find out what happens to this young runaway who gets kidnapped trying to go home.
4. 16th Seduction – James Patterson & Maxine Paetro
Those who love Patterson and the Women’s Murder Club will not be disappointed as it tied up some loose ends from the 15th Affair and had a very interesting storyline of its own. I lost a lot of sleep because I just couldn’t put it down.
5. I Can’t Make This Up – Kevin Hart
A book of life’s lessons by an immensely popular comedian and big-screen star. Of course, you’re gonna laugh, of course, you’re gonna love it.
6. Dragon Teeth – Michael Crichton
I thought I had read my last Crichton work four or five years after his death in ’08; however, it seems his wife found this, blew the dust off, presumably did a little editing, and published a good story about paleontology and the Old West. Not great, but definitely worth a read, particularly if you are a Crichton fan.
7. No Middle Name – Lee Child
A collection of Jack Reacher short stories, if you’ve read a lot of Reacher stories, you may find some of these are familiar. As a 28-year Veteran, I found some of the military stuff to be untrue or very unbelievable. One character gets promoted to full-bird Colonel about ten years after his graduation from West Point, OK, not likely to happen. You’d do extremely well to reach that milestone in less than 20. Other than that, it’s another good Reacher story!
8. If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? – Alan Alda
I really enjoy reading Alan Alda’s stories, but to me at least, if you’re looking for actual advice on how to communicate better, there are better books out there. Alda is a good story teller and I always feel as if he is talking directly to me and wants to hear me laugh, it works. Alda is what America’s reading for entertainment, but not necessarily for advice.
9. Point of Contact – Tom Clancy
Another action-packed Jack Ryan Jr. page-turner… need I say more? Do I? OK then, The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, Shadow Recruit… there are dozens more I could list here, but seriously, just read it!
Tom Clancy has always been what America’s reading!
10. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness – Arundhati Roy
This is a story about the displaced people of India’s contemporary society, the Dalits, the Chamars, the transgenders, and the Untouchables. The novel tells of the stunning beauty and terrible darkness of these dissenters and those left out of India’s new democracy, who hope to be heard and included. This book is more like a group of short stories that are only tied together by a thin thread but are so compelling and vivid you’ll want to make the connection. Every character introduced, no matter how insignificant, you will feel as if you know them personally.
11. Nighthawk – Clive Cussler
Enjoyable and entertaining reading. NUMA fans will be happy with Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala in this fast-paced refreshing thriller; in fact, some will likely forget to breathe during the final chapters.
12. The Zoo Keeper’s Wife – Diane Ackerman
This true story is set in war-torn Poland during WWII with the Nazis sending Jews to extermination camps, the zookeeper and his wife (Antonina) are saving people by hiding them in the Warsaw Zoo. Now a box-office success, as well. Some have even compared this to the stories by Leon Uris, horrifyingly beautiful and haunting.
It’s currently what America’s reading and watching at the cinema!
13. The Fix – David Baldacci
Another detective story about Amos Decker, “the man who can forget nothing” story from the author of Memory Man and The Last Mile. If you have read the first two, you know that you are getting ready to dive into an action-packed adventure and get your detective Decker fix. With no apparent motive and no connection between the killer and the victim, this one is even a tough one for Decker to solve.
It’s what America’s reading because Baldacci keeps cranking out winners!
14. The Silent Corner – Dean Koontz
The new Jane Hawk series everyone has been waiting for… it’s Dean Koontz, so we know it will be smart, suspenseful, and scary. You can read my full write up and a note from the author, here.
15. I’ll Be Seeing You – Mary Higgins Clark
It is rather difficult to get through the beginning of the book and its introduction of characters, but once you do… Wow! The rest is just a blur of quickly turning pages to get to the end to find out what happens, and then, you wish it wouldn’t end.
Mary Higgins Clark – She is what America’s reading!
16. Gwendy’s Button Box – Stephen King
The button box is both magic and tragic, push the wrong button and chaos could soon ensue. Gwendy, a rather plump middle school girl is given the box for safe keeping. It soon curbs her appetite and cures her parent’s urge for alcohol. However, the trade-off for Gwendy cost her two very close friends. It’s fun reading for everyone.
Stephen King is what America’s reading now and for the last fifty years! And, later this year he is what we will be watching to when The Dark Tower comes to the big screen. Also, I expect he and his son Owen will make this list at some point this year.
17. Indecent Exposure – Stuart Woods
If you like Stone Barrington, you know what to expect and Stuart Woods does not disappoint! You will feel as if you are back amongst friends, in familiar surroundings. The only problem it is too soon done and you will find yourself like the rest of us, waiting for the next story.
18. Norse Mythology – Neil Gaiman
If you love Neil Gaiman and the stories of Thor, Loki, Odin and other Norse Gods, you’re going to love this compilation of stories. This will not be very enlightening to those knowledgeable in Norse Mythology, there may be no surprises for you, but for those with only a passing knowledge, you’ll come to learn more about these characters through Gaiman’s retelling of these tales.
19. Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher
The story that inspired the Netflix series. Dig a little deeper to find the real reasons why. There is nothing like the written word to clear up your questions.
20. Behold the Dreamers – Imbolo Mbue
I just discovered this book because it is in Oprah’s Book Club and I haven’t had a chance to read it yet. This is a debut novel about a couple from Cameroon trying to make it in New York City as the Great Recession begins and welcomes them to their new land.
It seems Oprah always finds the authors that are the answer to what America’s reading.
Honorable mention, Lord of Shadows – Cassandra Clare – #2 in the Series Dark Artifices
If you’re familiar with the legendary Shadow Hunters, this novel continues the story of Emma and Julian started in Lady Midnight. Even if you haven’t read Lady Midnight, you are likely familiar with the Shadow Hunter lore from The Mortal Instrument series by the same author, now a hit TV series.
I hope you liked my little list, it may not necessarily be what America’s reading, but if you can’t find something you’ll love on this list, don’t worry I will update it next month with more literary labels. So many wonderful stories out there and I will try to help you find a few that are right for you.
If you have a suggestion, or you’ve read something you think I should review, let me know. If you’ve written and published a book and want me to review it, send it to me and I will try to read it and give you an honest review. But, I only have so much time, so your story better grab me and pull me in quick.
So, help me tell my readers, What America’s Reading.
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