Skip to main content


July 20, 2009

The Pulpwood Queen's Best Summer Reads

Posted by webmaster
Looking for a few good books to read this summer? Kathy L. Patrick, author of The Pulpwood Queens' Tiara Wearing, Book Sharing Guide to Life and founder of the Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys Book Clubs, has some suggestions.


Caution: These books may cause you to stop doing anything else for hours but read!

This 4th of July I could hardly wait for my three days off in a row. Three! That usually never happens, and I planned to purchase more bookshelves for my library and to really organize the books I would keep and those I would put in a yard sale and donate to local charities.

I put together the bookshelves and now had a room that was a real library. I took out the spare bed. Placed a desk, chair and another chair for reclining and reading in the room. I went around the house and literally, began moving stacks and stacks of books from all the rooms in the house.

I had books piled everywhere, by my chair in the entertainment room, in my bedroom by the bed and stuffed under the bed, by my favorite wingback chair in the living room. If there was a counter or tabletop with space, I had stacked books.

As I began to look at all the new empty shelves and began alphabetizing the books as I put them on the shelves, I would stop to remember a story. Oh, my gosh, that book scared me half to death. That book I couldn't put down, I have to read it again. Old favorites that made me laugh and new ones that me cry buckets, I had bought or been given that I had not had time to read.

As I finished I knew what I had to do with the books that I could not part with for a second. I had to share all of them with you. Some of these are brand new books, but most are books that I had forgotten about but could hardly wait to read again. I would make up a list, a summer time reading list.

This summer there have been no plans for a summer vacation. With one daughter in college and one in high school that will be soon needing her own car, and a roof on our house that was leaking, a vacation was just not in the summer picture. That got me thinking if I really had some time off this summer, what would I do. It was simple really: I would read and go to the places I dreamed of going. It wouldn't cost me anything as I had already purchased or been given the books. So I took my vacation this summer. I missed the big fireworks in town, but my books put on a fantastic visual show in my head!

Now I have also been reading all the suggested books for summer and quite frankly, reading Hemingway, who I adore, seemed more like homework during the summer. These books I have selected are NOT and I repeat NOT homework. They are pure escapism for the summer time, empty pocket blues.

Do yourself a favor and go to your local library or independent bookstore and order some of these incredible reads. And just remember you are checking out or purchasing a gift that keeps on giving. Share your books with others, if not by giving them a good read, by giving them a reading list! The best books I have ever read were recommended to me by someone else.

So find you a comfy seat, a refreshing drink, and slip away for a while on an adventure for a lifetime.

Tiara wearing and Book sharing,
Kathy L. Patrick

The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder by Rebecca Wells
The very first book my book club read was Rebecca Wells' Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. We are getting ready to celebrate our 10th anniversary this January with her latest book, The Crowning Glory of Calla Lilly Ponder. Calla dreams of being a hairdresser like her mother, a mother she loses too soon and then a first love who disappears. Love is lost, then found, in the most unlikely places. I won't give the story away, but it will capture the most jaded heart. It did mine. Her book is more than just words. It's a book that captures all the senses: sight, scent, taste, song and touch all wrapped up in one the best stories I've read in a long, long, time.

Secrets of the Tsil Cafe by Thomas Fox Averill
In Kansas City, Wes Hingler lives with his passionate but eccentric parents who run two separate kitchens of their cafe. His father cooks Southwestern/Native American cuisine, and his mother runs an eclectic catering called Buen AppeTito. This book is a culinary delight to read and will make you want to slow down and really cook something that is historic. The food is the story, one that you will have your mouth watering --- and one that you will want to share with others.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
When I was on book tour, I asked booksellers at every store for one book that he or she recommend. This is one of the books I bought. I turned to the first page and read the first line" "I still remember the day my father took me to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books for the first time." I was hooked, and you will not be able to turn the pages fast enough. This book truly has something for every reader, and it's one that I will read again and again.

Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore
This was another book that was handed to me on book tour as a must-read, and I can honestly say it has changed my life for the better. If not for this book --- which is about a Fort Worth international art dealer, his wife and their unlikely friendship with a modern day African-American slave who was homeless --- I would not be teaching a life writing class at at homeless shelter or starting a book club there as well. I think everybody should read this book as it gave me a far greater purpose than just promoting literacy. It gave me a purpose to no longer want more in life but to be truly happy and blessed with what God has given me. You'll need at least one box of Kleenex for this one, but everybody always needs a good cry.

Kick Me: Adventures in Adolescence by Paul Feig
Everybody also needs a really good laugh. When my friend Carol and I spied the book Kick Me by Paul Feig thrown down on the floor of the Pack and Ship room at BookExpo, we both grabbed for it. It had this really cheesy photo of the author with his family from the '70s on the cover. We read that book together on the plane home from New York and almost got kicked off because we laughed so hard. I even peed my pants a little as the flight attendant keep telling us to "Hush!" like school children. Do I need to say anything more?

The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman
I ordered and bought this book because the author, who I admire, spoke out about a critic who reviewed her book. The critic gave away the ending. I just had to read this book and found it to read like a modern fairy tale --- dark, grim, highly anticipating the next page, I was lost in the story. I forgot time and place. Never have I found a book as engrossing as the story of these modern-day princesses, where evil and unlikely white knights are just a page away. I could tell that critic a thing or two myself!

The Church of Dead Girls by Stephen Dobyns
Every once in a while a book comes along that hooks me from the start to finish. I have recommended this book for years to mystery lovers, and to this day nothing comes as close to scaring the living bejesus out of me. Young girls who look remarkably similar start disappearing, one by one, from a small town in upstate New York. Wilkipedia could have this book listed under the definition of psychological thriller supreme. Don't read this book alone at night! I kind of see this book as the adult version of the campfire horror story. Good grief, it's broad daylight and I've got the shivers!