Summer Loving, Loving Summer

Quote of the Day: “You gave your love to me/And I remember perfectly/High above all time and space/And I remember summer days…” – The Partridge Family, “Summer Days”

Work-wise, it was a busy spring and a busier summer. Waiting for HUNG to come out. Finishing up the proposal for the new non-fiction book. Putting the finishing touches on a long-aborning novel, a suspense thriller that went through a few different incarnations until I felt like I’d gotten it right. Getting my agent the young adult novel I’d been promising her since the beginning of the year. Whew. Done. But now August is here. What do I do now? I could start that new novel, based on the idea I’d been carrying around in my brain for a few months. I could go back to the screenplay that I told myself I’d finish by next spring. But I think I’m gonna let writing go for the rest of the summer. I just want to read. Go to that pile of books that’s been growing by the day and plow right thru the bunch of ’em. Yeh, that’s what I’ll do. Revert to that time of my youth when I would join the book club at the library and spend the hours (when I wasn’t shipped off to sleepaway camp and falling victim to completely inappropriate summer-long crushes) curled up with a good book.

But where do I start? With Jill Nelson’s Finding Martha’s Vineyard? I could call Random House and get the new Joan Didion. Maybe do my biannual Song of Solomon or Sula re-read. Or finally dig into Ian McEwan’s Saturday (particularly in light of the tragic recent occurences in London, my other favorite city). Or I could play catch-up and pull out the stuff I missed while getting all that writing done: the last two Easy Rawlins books or The Closers, Michael Connelly’s latest Harry Bosch thriller or the new Ian Rankin.

Then there’s the Tilly Bagshawe’s Adored which is being sold as a new-school version of those great high-drama, high-living, page-turners of the 70s and 80s by dames like Jackie Collins and Shirley Conran and dudes like Harold Robbins. I haven’t heard much good about Adored but then again, what I’ve heard has only come from “book people” (and, so you get my drift, I say that with the same cynical intonation that Thelma Ritter uses when she talks about “picture people” in All About Eve…) Are there any fans of big splashy commercial fiction like me out there in SPB Q Land who are adoring Adored? If so, let a brotha know…I haven’t read Erica Kennedy’s Bling yet either, as it came out during my writing period. I also ask because the new book that I’m thinking of starting next is a big juicy, multi-charactered saga of a novel that I think of as Scruples-meets-Sophisticated Gents—I’m dating myself, I know, but there ya go—and I’ve been curious what the reaction’s been to both Bagshawe’s and Kennedy’s books. A writer friend called Bling run-of-the-mill “chick-lit” but I couldn’t take him seriously since he doesn’t even read “chick-lit”. When it comes to fiction, he only reads “literature”. He doesn’t mix his Morrisons and Franzens with any Dan Browns or Nelson De Milles, lest he be sickened by a commercial fiction hangover. His loss.

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