What We’re Reading

Maine Crime Writers are readers, too, and here are some of the books we’re reading this summer.


Kaitlyn Dunnett/Kathy Lynn Emerson: I’ve been rereading the paranormal “Arcane Society” series for a while now. These books are written by Jayne Ann Krentz, some of them under that name (set in the present), some as Jayne Castle (set in the future) and some as Amanda Quick (set in the past). Then, since it’s the beginning of beach reading season, publishers always release lots of new titles, so my TBR stack is especially high. I’m currently reading Dianne Freeman’s historical cozy, A Lady’s Guide to Gossip and Murder. Next up will be Patricia McLinn’s Hot Roll, the newest in her series about a television reporter turned amateur sleuth, and Sheila Connolly’s Digging up History, the latest in her museum series.

Kate Flora: I have a ton of reading I have to do, but for those quiet afternoons when I’ve written my daily thousand words, I have three books set out. One is Kate Atkinson’s new Jason Brody, Big Sky, because I loved the other four. One is a book of Wallace Stegner essays about writing, On Teaching and Writing Fiction, which a friend suggested. The third is a book I know nothing about, but I read a review that said it was brilliant and everyone has to read it. It’s by Ocean Vuong and called On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous.

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Barb Ross: I’m reading Big Sky, too. I’m on vacation this week. We’ve rented the place next to our old house in Boothbay Harbor and the kids and grandkids are here. I was so excited when I realized this book was releasing the week before. I’m only 80 pages in, but I’d say it’s the perfect book for porch reading.





Maureen Milliken: I, too, am reading “Big Sky.” Or, let’s say, plan to. I rarely buy a hardcover anymore, but when I saw one of my favorite authors, Kate Atkinson, had a new one, I couldn’t resist. I have an issue reading fiction when I’m in the midst of writing a book — it’s not a choice, it’s a mental thing. People have tried to argue me out of it, but you can’t, really. It just is. So mabye “Big Sky” will be my reward when I finish my book.

Looks like Kate Atkinson will have to wait until my book is done. The nonfiction books, mostly true crime, though, are piling up this summer.

I CAN read nonfiction, particularly true crime books that have themes that connect with what I’m writing about. I just finished “The Innocent Man,” by John Grisham. It’s his only nonfiction book and I became intrigued when I watched (twice) a documentary on the same topic and with the same name on Netflix.  I’m also reading, for the second time, “Erased,” by Marilee Strong. It’s not available in ebook and, written in 2008, it’s out of print, but I found a used copy online. I’m also deep into “The Franco-Americans of Lewiston-Auburn,” by Mary Rice-DeFosse and James Myall, which also has to do with what I’m writing. Next in the lineup is “The Skeleton Crew,” by Deborah Halber which I bought at Crime Bake a couple years and may have something to do with the book I’m working on, too.

Sandra Neily: Ohhhh I want to read Big Sky too and also On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. What an amazing title. I am on the road a lot lately. (Either that or typing madly for a deadline). I’ve never read Daishiell Hammett so I am lapping up the audio book versions of his various works. And drinking in lessons about crackling, unexpected dialogue. And as far as Sam Spade goes, taking note of emotional originality. (A quality I’m trying to infuse into my characters) Although I have to do deep breathing around Hammett’s female characters (versions of dames) and the rivers of booze. To stay in the mood of the novel I’m finishing, I am rereading Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold, and dipping in and out of The Maine Woods by Henry David Thoreau, and want to revisit Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place by Terry Tempest Williams. All three are non-fiction where the natural world jumps off the page, leading us onward toward better ways of seeing it and ourselves.  “Perhaps the wilderness we fear is the pause between our own heartbeats, the silent space that says we live only by grace. Wilderness lives by this same grace. Wild mercy is in our hands.” from Refuge.


John Clark: I’m reading Maybe This Time by Kasie West

and Nexus: The Androma Saga Part 2

I gorged on YA fiction last week while we were on vacation, but barely made a dent in my TBR pile.

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2 Responses to What We’re Reading

  1. bangorgirl says:

    Reading Maddie Day’s Grilled for Murder…newly discovered series for me. Nice light summer read.

  2. susanvaughan says:

    Thanks for all the reading recommendations!

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