It’s WWW Wednesday, where I answer three questions:

What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you plan to read next?

IMG_0742I’m on vacation in New Hampshire, at my mother’s summer house on Lake Sunapee. We had family members coming and going for the past few days, but now it’s quiet . . . so quiet that a pair of loons swam right past our dock late yesterday afternoon.

Here’s what we are currently reading:

I’m reading The Black Hour, by Lori Rader-Day. It’s a debut mystery novel by a Chicago writer, set at a university very much like Northwestern. Sociology professor Amelia Emmet thought violence was a research topic, not a personal issue — until she was shot by a student.

My mother is reading Heather Gudenkauf’s page-turner, Little Mercies, the story of a veteran social worker and devoted mother who makes a horrible mistake. Gudenkauf says she’s not sure how to categorize her books: “Are they literary mysteries, thrillers, or emotional family dramas? My hope is that they are all of these!”

coverThe last book I finished was The Arsonist, by Sue Miller — one of my favorite authors. It turned out to be quite appropriate, since it’s set in a small New Hampshire town. The novel centers on Frankie, a burned-out relief worker who’s returned home from Africa to spend time with her aging parents while she figures out what to do with the rest of her life. Almost as soon as Frankie arrives, an arsonist begins destroying the homes of summer residents. The most compelling part of the book for me was the portrayal of Frankie’s mother trying to cope with her husband, a retired professor slipping into dementia.

My mother has outread me on this vacation (I don’t think “outread” is a real word, but I’m going to pretend that it is.) She’s just read — and recommends —  I Can’t Complain, a book of essays by Elinor Lipman, Restless, a terrific espionage novel by William Boyd, and We Are Water, Wally Lamb’s latest. Maybe I’ll have to try We Are Water again — when I first tried reading it, I couldn’t get into it.

0814-9781460330197-bigwWhat’s next? I thought I had brought Chris Bohjalian’s new book, Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands, in my bag, because my mother wanted to read it — but it’s gone AWOL, so we may have to make a trip to the local bookstore to pick up a copy. I think the next book in her pile is an ARC of Mary Kubica’s debut suspense novel The Good Girl. (I was lucky enough to meet Mary at a publisher dinner earlier this year. The book has been getting a lot of buzz, including being chosen as an Indie Next Pick for August. I’m looking forward to reconnecting with Mary at an author event in Lake Forest on August 20.)

I’m planning on reading Bittersweet, by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore ( a family story set in a summer retreat in Vermont, recommended by my most trusted source, Sue Boucher) and No Longer and Not Yet, by Joanna Clapps Hermann (a collection of stories that take place on the Upper West Side of Manhattan).

We’d love to hear what you’ve just read, what you’re reading now, and what you’re planning to read next!



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27 thoughts on “WWW Wednesday — Mother/Daughter Version

  1. Greetings! Your update – most welcome and interesting, your setting, enviable. I have just finished The Pink Suit, a qualified recommendation, Dorothea Benton Frank’s The Hurricane Sisters – a thumbs up for fans of D.B.F., and Euphoria – again, a gentle recommendation. I am currently reading Sebastian Barry’s The Temporary Gentleman – a beautifully written, quiet, absorbing, transporting story. My next reads – the two most recent Jojo Moyes offerings – One Plus One and The Girl Left Behind. Looking forward to your next posting. Susan P.

    > .

    1. Susan, I absolutely loved The Temporary Gentleman. I think Sebastian Barry might be one of my fop five authors. His writing is gorgeous! Hope all is well in Lake Forest.

  2. I recently read Bittersweet (excellent),Hurricane Sisters, and China Dolls. Now I am reading The Cookbook Collector (came out 4 years ago). I will read Matchmaker next…..Erin Hilderbrand’s latest.

    1. Carolyn, I just finished Bittersweet — what a page-turner! It reminded me a lot of We Were Liars. I loved The Cookbook Collector! I think I’m going to read And Still We Rise by Laura McBride next. Hope you’re having a good summer!

  3. Little Mercies is on my TBR list, and I have The Arsonist and Bittersweet sitting here in my latest library-haul pile–I’m hoping to get to both of them soon!

  4. You have quite the selection of books on your vacay! I just finished The Black Hour (love what the title means at the reveal) and We Were Liars. I just started A Man Called Ove and love it so far.

  5. I tend to read more than one book at once, so I’m not sure how to deal with that in terms of these questions…I’m almost done with The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart, and I’ve just started Old Filth by Jane Gardam. I took a break from both to read A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson while I was camping in the White Mountains (because I could put it on the e-reader). Next I plan to keep going with the Old Filth trilogy. But I might get interrupted in that as well!

    1. Lory, I’m always reading more than one book at a time too — I like to have at least one “real” book going, one on my e-reader, and one on audio. I LOVED A Walk in the Woods — I was just in Hanover, NH yesterday and saw a group of Appalachian trail hikers, which made me think of that hilarious book. (Of course, I had to stop by the Dartmouth Bookstore while I was in town.) I really enjoyed Old Filth but for some reason haven’t read the rest of the trilogy.

  6. Ann, Just love your postings and look forward to them each week. The image of you and your mother reading lakeside is quite charming.
    I too recently read The Arsonist and found the mother dealing with her husband’s dementia quite compelling. Also the locals/summer people/locals who used to be summer people was a side issue that resonated with me now that I live in Door County.
    Was disappointed with China Dolls, not the compelling Lisa See read of our Snowflower days. On your strong recommendation I savored All the Light We Cannot See and have been encouraging near strangers to read it. Finally I Am Pilgrim, not my usual read, but a strong thriller with an intricately woven plot…especially compelling in light of recent CDC revelations. I will look for Sue’s recommended Bittersweet and your The Temporary Gentleman. Can’t wait
    Happy reading…and thanks for sharing. Enjoy the time on the lake.

    1. Gloria, so great to hear from you! I had the same reaction to China Dolls — I started it and never finished. Thanks for the recommendation of I Am Pilgrim — fun to read a thriller every now and then! I hope you’re having a wonderful summer.

  7. Ann, so happy to have discovered your blog! I read about it in Forest Bluff and spent some time going back to read older posts and discovering more books to add to my ever growing list.
    I just completed We Were Liars and was not disappointed. Its such a hard book to describe but I am encouraging others to pick it up. I am presently in Paris for work but getting to enjoy the weekend in the Paris countryside so I am looking forward to hours of uninterrupted reading. I am looking to either read The Red Tent which was recommended to me recently by two very different readers or The Black Hour.
    Thanks for bring the WWW Wednesday concept to your blog!

    1. Amanda, so glad to connect with you! Have a wonderful time in the French countryside — what a treat! I have to tell you I ultimately ended up being disappointed with The Black Hour. But The Red Tent is an old favorite.

  8. I just finished The Best Advice you will ever get by Katie Couric and loved it. She researched hundreds of leaders including the author who write the help and asked for their life lessons. Love the book!!

    i am reading and absolutely loving it Close your Eyes and Hold Your Hands by Chris B.

    I am going to France so I have in my bag

    Mr Mercedes by Stephen King The 4rth of July Beautiful Ruins The Stories You will never tell The Conversion

    I will let you know. But I love your blog so much I read it all of the time.



    1. Kelly, thanks for the suggestions! I just picked up a copy of Close Your Eyes and Hold Hands and am dying to read it. Where are you going in France? I’m going on a bike trip there in September and cannot wait! 🙂

  9. Go Mum!
    Am just finishing Melissa Hill’s “A Gift to Remember” and am enjoying it. And then will be “Indelible Ink” by Fiona MacGregor for book club.

  10. Wait. You’re on Lake Sunapee? I love that area. Friends of mine rent homes there every winter and ski like crazy all winter long. Beautiful area. And what a wonderful way to spend a vacation – reading, relaxing, visiting with family… Life is good, isn’t it? 🙂

    I’d love to hear your thoughts about The Good Girl. And I agree – I think that book is going to get a lot of attention very soon as an Indie Next Pick for August.

    Ann, I adore your blog. I love your choice of books. I love the way you cover them. You’re a real gift to the book-lovers blogosphere. Such an honor and pleasure to have you again on the Hump Day Blog Hop. You’re a treasure! Thank you.


    1. Thanks! I just got home from Sunapee and am already missing it . . . but I’m looking forward to another trip out there in a couple of weeks, this time for just a long weekend. It is a heavenly place!

      I haven’t read The Good Girl yet, but I will let you know!

      THANK YOU for your kind comments about my blog! I enjoy yours very much — and thanks so much for organizing the Hump Day Blog Hop.

      Hope you had a great vacation and are ready for re-entry.

  11. I’m currently reading a nonfiction book (I love nonfic as well as fiction), A Very Private Woman by Nina Burleigh. I’m listening to the audiobook The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo narrated by the talented Simon Vance. Enjoying both books!

      1. I hadn’t realized she had written about Amanda Knox. I’m really enjoying this book about Mary Meyer (A Private Woman). Her life was so much more interesting than her relationship with JFK and her untimely death.

  12. Oh goodness – so many more books for my ridiculously long TBR pile! Right now I’m reading Clara & Mr. Tiffany. (Love historical fiction and haven’t read any in a while.) Have so many things to choose from, I’m not sure what I’ll read next!

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