Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Take the Time...

To read.

I know.
It's hot, it's muggy, you don't seem to find the time.
And when you do, you are flat-out tired and all hinky feeling.
But enough is enough, Mister.

It's important to relax those gray cells in a way that allows calm, quiet and serenity into your life.
Even if just until you doze off.
It signals the body and the brain: "This is down time and it's well deserved."

Here's a list of interesting beach reads if you will, involving the island, and one series from my new fave place off-island the State of Maine.
Hey, it might inspire you to put our region on your next vacation to-do list.

Vineyard Authors
For mystery, I turn to Phil Craig and Cynthia Riggs - two different types of authors, if I ever saw one.
Ladies first.

C. Riggs website
Cynthia Riggs writes a mystery series featuring Victoria Trumbull, a "fiesty" New Englander, born and bred Islander, and amateur detective. The series of now-10 books, each titled in some way after an island plant, involve no jumping-out-and-scaring-you plots. It's a great, lighter mystery read, that you can pick up and put down, look forward to reading, even if for just a few minutes. What I also love, but this is probably because I am a writer, is that you can see the author's writing grow and evolve as the series moves along. The first in the series is called Deadly Nightshade.

the late Phil Craig
Phil Craig wrote island mysteries from an entirely different character viewpoint - former police officer and dedicated fisherman Jeff Jackson.  He was a sometime visitor to my parents' Salon Evening Series - authors and interesting people discussing interesting topics in my parents' living room. His 22-book series chronicles Jackson's fishing as much as it does his mystery solving. Over the length of the series you come to know pretty much what the issues are here on the island, even if done over in fiction form. And ladies, don't shy from these books, they appeal to an everyperson's sensibility. The first in the series is called A Beautiful Place to Die.

Geraldine Brooks
Geraldine Brooks has just penned an island historical fiction,  Caleb's Crossing. In it, a Puritan minister's daughter befriends the first Native American (and a Wampanoag) to graduate from Harvard College. If you liked any of her other wonderfully written novels, this one is a must-read.

Stephen L. Carter
Actually, so many island authors to mention. Yale law professor and author Stephen L. Carter is another. His legal thriller Emperor of Ocean Park involves upper crust African American society who summer on the island and the inner circle of an Ivy League school.

And romance fiction often finds a setting here on the island, too - Judy Blume, Jean Stone, Holly Chamberlain, Jane Blackwood, Karen G. Bates, to name a few.

Finally, I am currently hooked on the light read mystery series set in Maine by Sarah Graves. The main character is a former finance advisor to the Rich and Infamous in NYC. She flees Manhattan for Eastport, Maine, starts rehabbing an old house while falling into mystery and intrigue with a newfound friend at her side. Think Lucy and Ethyl in flannel and Maine accents lol. Sidekick Carol first lent them to me and I recommend them to anyone who wants mystery, a small New England town setting, an ongoing series, and interesting characters and plot twists.

That's my go-to list.

Have any books to add?

Have a good one. :)

PS: I know, I know. I could have shown their book covers, but hey, writers have family, too, you know lol. It's nice to be recognized for who you are.


  1. What a lovely list. I will find one of them to read, I am drawn to Victoria Trumbull. I'll let you know how that goes.

  2. Thank you! And this list is my short one hahaha. I think you will find Victoria to give you a good profile of the island while spinning a web of mystery. And when you are finished with her, let me know!