Last week we brought you Carey's picks for the best Summer reads. This week we talked to our friend Aly Renee about which books she counts as her most favorites, and thinks you should try out if you haven't already.
I heart Frank Herbert's Dune with a fiery passion. It's a big awesome political ecological religious sci-fi soap opera and it gets better every time I read it.
More of Aly's picks after the jump!
For silly frivolous girl books, I adore Stella Gibbons Cold Comfort Farm. It is a semi-tongue-in-cheek mash up of gothic literature and the late jazz age with a dash of Jane Austen and lots of humor. There is also a great little movie version of it with Kate Beckinsale and Joanna Lumley.
For new series, I like the Jasper Fforde Thursday Next series....it is great for biblio/anglo-philes.
Watership Down... battle rabbits. Need I say more?
We've reviewed a few of Jasper Fforde's books on the podcast, they are a lot of fun.
As for my #1 pick, I could have a lot of trouble picking just one. There are classics and there are sci-fi novellas on my desert island list, but for this summer's beach reads, I'd like to suggest Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer. I found the hardcover in the bargin bin of the local Giant Eagle grocery store -- which I guess may have indicated something bad about the book's quality, but the cover was so adorable, I had to pick it up. Turns out, you can kind of judge a book by its cover, because this one remains not only one of my favorites, but my favorite of both of these authors.
Before Agnes, I was unfamiliar with Crusie and Mayer. They each have many terrific novels in their own genres -- romance and action, respectively -- and have even formed a publishing company called "Who Dares Wins Publishing." Their latest collaboration, Wild Ride is a supernatural thriller, which should delight anyone who's a fan of Supernatural (they watched the show as research.)
Agnes & The Hitman is their second collaboration. (Don't Look Down, their first, is pretty good, and features a lot of accurately researched talk about Wonder Woman.) There's a lot of action and sex, as you would expect. But it's also hilarious. I mean actual laugh out loud hilarious. It's also suspenseful, and a mystery, with some Bridezillas and maybe some Married to the Mob. (Definitely SOME Mob.)
I seriously have purchased this book several times, because I buy copies and foist them on family members and friends. It remains the most amazing bargain-bin purchase I have ever made, book or otherwise. Recently I made it to a Jennifer Crusie book appearance thing where she was promoting Maybe This Time (a supernatural thriller of her own,) and she talked about her writing process with Mayer. It was fascinating, and a little scary. I now have no idea how they even finished one book together, let alone three.
Check out Agnes and the Hitman and then Crusie and Mayer's back catalogues, you won't be disappointed.