What We’re Reading


There’s something about the hot weather that makes me want to pick up a book or three. Maybe it’s that leftover feeling from childhood that summer will last forever, that there’s time enough for everything, even reading for pleasure.

So at the last NJNA chapter meeting I asked some of our brilliant, talented NJNA members for their summer reading “picks.” They were generous enough to share the following recommendations.

If you have favorite books to share, let us all know by commenting below.

Happy reading!  Mally Becker

  • Carol King is reading Robert Crais, who writes thrillers. “You never guess ‘who did it,’” she said. She also recommends Michael Connolly’s books, whih feature Harry Bosch.
  • Sue Chadwick gives a “thumbs up” to the “Goddesses Anonymous” series by Emilie Richards. These novels take place in Asheville, NC, and Sue likes that each story features women helping other women.
  • Carol Friedman recently read The Lady in Gold by Anne-Marie O’Connor, the true story that inspired the film “The Woman in Gold.” Carol then visited the painting at the center of the story, Gustav Klimt’s “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer,” which hangs in the Neue Galerie in New York City.
  • Heidi Kelleher enjoyed A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Bachman. People Magazine called this book: “A charming debut …You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll feel new sympathy for the curmudgeons in your life.” Heidi also recommends All Over But the Shoutin,’ a memoir about growing up dirt-poor in Alabama by Rick Bragg, a Pulitzer-Prize-winning reporter.
  • Nancy Brighton is in the middle of Havisham, by Ronald Frame. This prequel to Great Expectations tells the story of how and why Miss Havisham came to stalk the halls of her mansion in the tattered wedding dress she wore in Charles Dickens’ masterpiece.
  • Jill Williams enjoys the bibliophile mysteries by Kate Carlisle, featuring bookbinder Brooklyn Wainwright. She also recommends: the Gregor Demarkian series by Jane Haddam; Jeffrey Sigar’s mysteries, which are set in Greece; L.B. Hathaway’s Posie Parker series spanning the 1920s, Joseph Kanon’s thrillers, which are set primarily in post-WWII Europe; and, Susan Elia MacNeal’s spectacular Maggie Hope series, which begins with Churchill’s Secretary.
  • Cathryn Curia recommends The Bregdan Chronicles, a sprawling series of historical fiction novels that take place in the shadow of the Civil War. She also enjoys Adriana Trigiani’s stories, which include The Shoemaker’s Wife, and Jeffrey Archer’s historical family drama, The Clifton Chronicles.
  • Diane Burgess also enjoys Jeffrey Archer’s novels and those by Robert Galbraith (a.k.a. J.K. Rowling) featuring British detective Cormoran Strike.
  • Nancy Winterbauer likes Jacqueline Winspear’s series of mysteries featuring psychologist and investigator Maisie Dobbs, which takes place in Great Britain between WWI and WWII.



About Mally Becker

I'm the author of The Turncoat's Widow (Level Best Books 2021), a historical mystery that takes place during the American Revolution. I live in central New Jersey, where my husband and I kayak, hike and sail.

6 responses »

  1. You have helped me with my reading list, Mally! Some are authors I am familiar with, some are new and some I will be returning to read now that I have been reminded of their names. I am particularly interested in reading The Lady in Gold, since I heard of it from the movie and saw a poster of the portrait at the doctor’s office last summer. She did not know the name of the book and I couldn’t find it.

    I just finished reading a good mystery by John Farrow called The Storm Muders about a retired police detective in Quebec. I am going to the library to get another by him this week.

  2. I would like to add my three cents to the reading list. As some of you know, I am an audio book listener so that I can “read” while stitching or while driving in the car. A good narrator can make a so-so book really enjoyable and regrettably, a great book can be made awful by a non interested narrator. I lean towards good character studies but I love historical fiction with sometimes a bit of garnish of time travel, such as the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. With that said, here are some of my good listens from the summer:

    I’m in the middle of Flight Patterns by Karen White. I find myself not able to turn off the iPod on this one. It’s so interesting with a bit of mystery thrown in.

    For you Downtown Abbey fans, Julian Fellowes wrote Belgravia in the style of a script. Could there be a series not too far behind?

    Also notable is a book about feminism early in the 20th century. It’s called a Kiss from Mr. Fitzgerald and is by Natasha Lester.

    For Kate Morton fans, there is Lake House, which also has some mystery in it. Lastly, Somewhere out There by Amy Hatvany.

    I hope some of you will enjoy these as much as I have. Happy reading and stitching!

  3. In the initial posting a recommendation by Heidi was “A Man called Ove”, I am on the waiting list at the county library system, number 105. While waiting I found another book by the same author entitled ” My Grandmother Told Me to Tell You She’s Sorry”. It is a delightful story that had me laughing out loud as well as a few tears as it is a poignant story. I recommend this one as well.

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