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Read On, Wednesday! Summer’s Best thru History

By Leslie Lindsay

If you’ve done any shopping of late, you may be thinking summer is over.  The back-t0-school supplies are shiny and new in the aisles of your favorite stores, fall fashion icons are slowly filling the store windows–backpacks, boots, and blazers.  Yet in your mind, there’s still a good month to six weeks of summer left. I couldn’t agree more!

If you’re heading out to beach or the cottage “up north” you might like to snag a book to take along.  And who am I to blame you?!

Inspired by a recent article in Time magazine, I stumbled upon a listing of the “ultimate summer reads” dating back to 1970.  I’ll attempt to fill in some of the years Time left out (the side bar skips several years between 1970 and present).  I’m gonna pick some dates that are significant to me, in one way or another…I’ll let you determine how they may be significant! Here goes:

  • 1970:  LOVE STORYProduct Details by Erich Segal.  A Harvard Law student and Radcliffe girl fall in love and move to New York.  Sadness ensues. 
  • 1971:  THE EXORCIST by William Peter Blatty.  A mother enlists a priest to save her daughter from deomonic possession.
  • 1974: JAWS by Peter Benchley.  A small town in threatened by a man-hungry shark that’s (almost) too big to kill. 
  • 1976:  TRINITY.  Leon Uris.  The epic beauty–and struggle–of Ireland’s freedom
  • 1978:  SCRUPLES. Judith Krantz.  The ins & outs of the luxurious life of a Beverly Hills boutique and the people who work in it.Product Details
  • 1983: THE NAME OF THE ROSE by Umberto Eco.  A friar is sent to investigate a series of deaths in an Italian monastery.
  • 1985:  CIDER HOUSE RULES.  John Irving.  Rural Maine abortionist and medication addict has a dilemma in his orphanage. 
  • 1986: WANDERLUST.  Danielle Steele.  Sheltered and lonely orphan grows up to care for sister and wealthy grandfather set in 1930’s. 
  • 1989: THE RUSSIA HOUSE.  John le Carre.  Soviet physicist is into esponiage and Russian women.  A chaotic tale of Soviet defense.   
  • 1991: AMERICAN PSYCHO by Bret Easton Ellis.  Patrick Bateman is a businessman by day, but a deviant serial killer after hours.
  • Product Details1992: THE PELICAN BRIEF by John Grisham.  A law student and journalist investigate the deaths of two Supreme Court justices.
  • 1993: THE CELESTINE PROPHESY by James Redfield.  A man goes on a quest for insight after reading an ancient text.
  • 1996:  CAUSE OF DEATH.  Patricia Cornwall.  Foresnsic patholoist plumments to the depth of the seas to determine cause of death of investigtive reporter.
  • 1997:  PLUM ISLAND.  Nelson de Mille. Convealescing homicide NYPD cop learns of attractive young couple murdered to death on nearby patio.
  • 2001: P IS FOR PERIL.  Sue Grafton.  Respected nursing home phyician goes missing.
  • 2003:  THE LAKE HOUSE.  James Patterson.  A Colorado vet knows a secret that will change the history of the world. 
  • 2005:  THE MERMAID CHAIR.  Sue Monk Kidd.  Set in the Egret Islands off of South Carolina is a chair tucked away in a Benedictine Monastary.  Legend has it, the chair belonged to a mermaid before she was converted.  Product Details
  • 2007:  A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS.  Khaled Hosseini.  An unlikely friendship between two very different women. 
  • 2009:  THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE by Stieg Larsson.  The second in the series that follows a journalist and a hacker.
  • 2012:  GONE GIRL.  By Gillian Flynn.  A journalist in a troubled marriage becomes the suspect in his wife’s disappearance.  Product Details
  • As for 2013…maybe it’s Dan Brown’s INFERNO, or
  • J. Courtney Sullivan’s THE ENGAGEMENTS…time will tell! 

Which of these books have you read?  What may be fun to add to your “vintage” bestseller list?

Read on!! 

[This list was compiled with assistance from http://www.hawes.com/no1_f_d.htm#1970’s.  All images are retrieved from Amazon.com on 7.13.13]

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