Since we're all always looking for reading recommendations... and since I was asked about which of Jim Shepard's books I love best... and since I have two friends whose books have just come out...
Here are some ideas for your summer reading list!
1) You Think That's Bad; Jim Shepard (Brand new. Waiting anxiously for it to arrive from Amazon.)
2) Remembrance of Things I Forgot; Bob Smith (Bob was also in my writers group a million years ago, and I adore him. He's a super talented writer, and a VERY funny guy. So funny, in fact, that he was the first openly gay stand-up comic to perform on The Tonight Show. I haven't read his newest book yet, but I ordered it from Amazon a few days ago, and it should get here in time to be my plane reading when I go to Minnesota later this week!)
3) Never Sit Down in a Hoop Skirt and Other Things I Learned in Southern Belle Hell; Crickett Rumley (Crickett is a friend and neighbor, and she is the epitome of the transplanted Southern Belle. So when it comes to Belle Hell, she's got serious cred. I'm only about fifty pages into Never Sit..., but I've laughed out loud at least five times. If you're looking for a light, fun, make-you-laugh summer read, this is the book for you.)
4) Like You'd Understand Anyway; Jim Shepard (This book was a National Book Award Finalist. I don't think anyone is as good at creating unique, finely-drawn characters as Jim Shepard, and Like You'd Understand Anyway is a prime example.)
7) This one's not a book. It's an article, written by my friend and colleague Daniel Voll for Esquire Magazine. I worked with Daniel and with one of the subjects of the article, Tim Clemente, on Lie To Me, and while I knew Tim was a true American hero... this article still blew me away. Read it, and you'll understand why.