My Bookshelf Traveling post for June 26th described how I found a copy of The Sunne in Splendor one summer when I had no books, no library card. and no money, and was instantly enthralled. I have never read so slowly in my life as I tried to make the book last as long as possible! I haven't read The Land Beyond the Sea yet but I will never forget it was the last book I purchased in March 2020 before the bookstores in Massachusetts closed for the pandemic (I definitely wanted to own it and like long books but 688 pages would have lasted some readers through the entire pandemic!). I always hoped to meet Ms. Penman and am sorry not to have had the chance.
* Did you know there is a mystery for every mood? I am never at a loss for the next book to read but I found this recommendation amusing because I have been following Don Winslow enthusiastically on Twitter and wondered if I should read one of his books.
If you are COMPLACENT/APATHETIC, read:The Border by Don Winslow
(I may be complacent but I am never apathetic!)
* If you don't like any of those moody mysteries, here are the Best Mysteries of 2020 from Kirkus, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Virginian-Pilot, Publishers Weekly, and the Goodreads Choice Awards. Two of my recent reviews, The Searcher and Long Bright River, turned up on several lists. I think Long Bright River would be a great book group selection.
* The New York Times has a popular real estate feature, What You Get, aimed at making New Yorkers miserable with how little they get for their money! An entry I came across today featured a 1940 colonial in Bennington, a 1925 clapboard house in Mankato and a 1938 home in Reading. Julie Lasky at the NYT is on the ball (as my father used to say):
This property is in Lincoln Park, a neighborhood of Victorians and Craftsman-style homes that was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995. It is about a mile southwest of downtown and the same distance northwest of Minnesota State University, Mankato. (Gustavus Adolphus College in the city of St. Peter is 13 miles north; Minneapolis is 80 miles northeast.) The childhood home of Maud Hart Lovelace, the author of the Betsy-Tacy children’s book series introduced in the 1940s, is three blocks away.
* Poet and recent Harvard graduate Amanda Gorman's post-Inauguration fame continues to grow. Penguin had already signed up two books and is planning a commemorative edition of her Inauguration open. Today Penguin announced it plans to print one million copies each of all three of Gorman's upcoming books, which are due out later this year. This is great news for anyone who likes poetry and books (when I sold books for Penguin the only author I recall with such large print runs was Stephen King and I can't pretend I enjoyed them). Now this glamorous young woman has signed a modeling contract with IMG! It will be fun to follow her multi-faceted career.