Books For Summer — Take 5!

Summer is here and there is no better time than now for one to take action in adding books to his or her reading list.

Here are five books titles along with reviews gleaned from the Internet that one should consider:

1. And Then She Was GONE: A riveting new suspense novel

Okay, so I’ve never heard I’d Christopher Greyson before, but he’s on my radar now. This was a clean mystery. Not entirely “language”-free, but it was definitely sexual-situation free. And the morals in the story are spot on.

I could fault nothing in this story. Now, it remains to be seen if the rest of his books are like this. The main characters were teenagers, Army-bound with college in mind, assisted by the military. It wasn’t written in a juvenile fashion like many books are with teens as the focus. This was good, well written, suspenseful, and funny. Great dialog. Not sure if this was labeled as Christian fiction but it could be close.

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2. The Illegal Gardener


A dear Goodreads friend recommended this book to me; otherwise, I would have never noticed it. It turned out to be a wonderful novel. The Illegal Gardener is number one in a series of 19 books focused on the population of a small village in Greece.

This was a different story for me, and is so elegantly told by author Sara Alexi. It is totally character driven, focusing on the relationship between a British Greek-English translator named Juliet and Aaman, her illegal Pakistani “houseboy”, 16 years her junior.

These two, initially separated by class, come to respect and deeply care for one another. Despite their obvious differences, they find a lot of common ground.

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3. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

I will admit to having a tortured relationship with stuff. I grew up in a cluttered house and married the King of Clutter (he’s the type of person who’ll open a credit card bill, pay it online, and then just leave the empty envelope, inserts, and bill itself randomly strewn on whatever surface happens to be nearby).

I don’t like the disorder of clutter, but dealing with it is such a soul-sucking experience that I haven’t gotten very far. Many days I semi-wish the whole place would burn down and save me from having to deal with it.

Typically I’ll catch an episode of Hoarders, fear that I’m one incapacitating injury away from being the focus of an episode (if I can’t clean up all those strewn papers, they’ll just pile up to the rafters, after all!), and then go through a stack of junk in a fit of unhappiness. Not the best way to deal with it all.

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4. Sister Sister: A Gripping Psychological Thriller

So much potential, thrown away because the author decided to turn the heroine into a complete moron 70% of the way through the book.

Clare is a married solicitor who lives with her husband, two young daughters, and Mom in the home she grew up in.

Pretty happy life, except for one thing, when she was little, her Dad took her younger sister Alice away to America for good, against the will of the Mom, and, after years of searching, Clare and her Mom finally hear from Alice, and the family is quickly reunited. But, of course, all is not what it seems.

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5. The Secret Wife

The story of the fate of the Russian royal family in the early 20th Century is well known, they were butchered by the Bolsheviks after they were transported from pillar to post during World War I. Whilst war raged, Revolution at home was building. The conspiracy theory persisted that there were indeed survivors of the mass execution, people came forward who later in the 20th century claimed to be Tatiana or Anastasia or Olga… the Romanov children who had somehow survived the massacre. And it is with this tiny percentage of doubt about the fate of the children that Gill weaves a credible and gripping story.

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Carol Maye, Readers Bureau, Fellow

Edited by Jesus Chan

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