When I was a teenager, I would read long novels very slowly over long summer days. I liked to get to know my characters. I got quite an education as an adolescent reading Judy Blume and even more of one later on reading Judith Krantz - although I'm not sure it was the education my Mother was expecting when she hauled me to the library.
I still love to savor the enjoyment of engaging with charcters a little at a time over a few days. This is why I much prefer to read or watch a drama than watch a movie. Also, I want the details. My work and hobbies are all about the details so why not my entertainment, too. You get out of something what you put into it.
My husband has gotten into the classics. Try as I might, I just can't read classic literature. I want to read about today's people. I read to learn, to escape, to enjoy. I like romance but with an edge. Like my chocolate, I don't want it too sweet. Neither do I want my adventure too gory. High body counts turn me off.
My Shelfari list is updated and here are a few of my all time favorite summer authors with a few specific books:
Mary Kay Andrews - anything and everything she has written is fun, good Southern writing. Hissy Fit is my favorite.
David Baldacci - I like the Camel Club series and a recent novel True Blue I just finished. But his best work is still his first - Absolute Power. The Lottery Winner is another pick.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips - the best in beach reads - funny, smart, romantic. Best to start with her earlier books as she often connects the characters from earlier novels into more recent ones.
Katie Fforde - This is a new author to me but apparently a prolific one. I just want to crawl into her novels and live in these current English settings.
Jude Devereaux - books set in the present day. I'm not into historical stuff especially time travel thing - although the Summerhouse was pretty good.
Sandra Brown - I prefer her thrillers to her romance novels - Envy, Charade. The only one I really hated was Smoke Screen.
Jane Green - all of her books have been very enjoyable reads - particularly Jemima J. If you've ever felt the need to lose weight to fit in, it is a must read.
Jennifer Chiaverini - I'm reading the Aloha Quilt now. She is a must read for quilters and anyone else who wants a good clean family story. Start with her first novel.
Fannie Flagg - one of my favs of all time is "Can't Wait to Get to Heaven." I read it twice and and tempted to read it again that is really rare for me.
Sidney Sheldon - He has passed away now but what a great storyteller. His books were some of those I read when I was a teenager.
Sophie Kinsella - Twenties Girl and Undomestic Goddess are very funny and engaging. I can't get into the shopaholic stuff.
Sarah Strohmeyer (I think I'm spelling that right) - Cinderalla Pact, Sleeping Beauty Proposal.
Judith Krantz - will probably always be my favorite author. I've read Scruples at least three times plus everything else she has ever written including her autobiograpy.
What do you like to read?