What’s On Your Summer Reading List?

Every year I look forward to summer because I have much more time to read than the rest of the year.  Long, lazy days spent with a book are days to be treasured for sure.  In celebration of the first day of summer, I’m sharing my summer reading list with fellow booklovers:

State  of Wonder by Ann Patchett

The Secret History of Costguana by Juan Gabriel Vásquez

A Map of Time by Felix J. Palma

This Burns My Heart by Samuel Park

The Devil All the Time by Donald Ray Pollock

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Stealing Mona Lisa by Carson Morton

Anatomy of a Disppearance by Hisham Matar

Check back often for reviews and don’t forget to leave a comment and let me know what is on your summer reading list!

Book Review: The Paradise Prophecy

The Booklover’s Rating:  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This book is probably going to be a big hit this summer.  I began reading it on June 17th and finished it on June 19th.  Granted I had alot of time to read over the weekend, but I really tucked into this book.  I wasn’t sure what to think about this book when I first opened the package from the publisher.  I couldn’t decide if it was christian fiction, which I have no objection to, or was it Dan Brownish?  It is definitely the latter.  If you like a good thriller with elements of religion or esoterica this is definitely for you!  This is a genre I like, so I throughly enjoyed this book!

Agent Bernadette Callahan is an  investigator for a shadowy U. S. government organization known only as the Section.  She is sent to investigate the suspicious death of Christian Pop Star Gabriela Zuada and requests the help of religious scholar Sebastian “Batty” LaLaurie.  The action begins in Brazil and races across the globe from there.  LaLaurie and Callahan decode clues left in ancient texts from The Holy Bible to Paradise Lost.  In the course of the investigation  they stumble upon a vast conspiracy-one beyond the scope of mankind’s darkest imagination.  Robert Browne has written a terrific ending, something many authors fail to accomplish after writing a great thriller.

If you like Dan Brown’s novels, Angelology, or Javier Sierra’s novels, then pick up a copy of The Paradise Prophecy next month.  You won’t be sorry.

Book Details:  Published by Dutton Adult (July 21, 2011), 416 Pages, ISBN: 0525952233.

The Swedes Do It Again

The Booklover’s Rating:  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I just finished reading The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler.  It is one of the best crime novels I’ve read this year.   I was hooked right from the beginning when the book opens with a terribly gruesome multiple murder.  There is only one survivor, a fifteen year-old boy.  This is how we are introduced to Erik Maria Bark, the hypnotist at the center of Kepler’s story.

Detective Inspector Joona Linna asks Bark to hypnotize the boy in an effort to find out who perpretrated the crime and to possibly save the boy’s older sister.  Bark has sworn never to hypnotize again and it has been more than ten years since he last practiced hypnotism.  He reluctantly agrees and sets in motion a terrifying chain of events.
The Hypnotist is an international bestseller and is set to appear in thirty-seven countries.  Stieg Larsson fans need to check out this book.  With Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy and Roslund and Hellström’s book Three Seconds in their camp,  I would say that the Swedes are the current masters of crime fiction!
Book Details: Published by Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux (June 21, 2011),  512 pages,  ISBN: 0374173958.

Looking to Leave Your Cartel?

The Booklover’s Rating:  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Recently I read “At the Devil’s Table” by William C. Rempel.  This is a terrific non-fiction book that reads like a novel.  Rempel’s book tells the story of Jorge Salcedo, an engineer, who is recruited by the godfathers of the Cali Cartel to oversee operations to take out Pablo Escobar.  Salcedo agrees to help the Cali Cartel in the belief that he is doing his country a service.  It is not too long before Salcedo has gotten himself into something he may not be equipped to handle.  He wants to leave his “employers,” but there is only one way to leave your job with a cartel.  That’s right…dead, not alive.

Salcedo provides security for the cartel and this provides the one way he might be able to get out —by helping U.S. Federal agents capture the godfathers.  The story of Jorge Salcedo’s deception is fraught with close calls, tension in conversations with godfathers, and periously dangerous situations for all those involved (even his and other cartel member’s families). 

One other tidbit for my readers: I became very interested in cartels and their opertations and wondered how similar the Mexican cartels were in their operations.  I found some great information in a CRS Report for Congress.  This is one of the great benefits of reading of all kinds, it leads you to explore a subject further.  The internet has become a great tool for actually viewing the locales you are reading about or seeking more information.  Take a look at the CRS report – it is much more interesting that you might think!

Back to Rempel’s book – this is a great summertime read.  It gives insight into Columbia in the 1990’s, the Medellin Cartel, the Cali Cartel and the corruption these organizations spawned in the South American country of Columbia.  An insider’s view of a world I hope never to experience first hand!

Book Details:  Published by Random House (June 21, 2011), 368 pages, ISBN:  1400068371.