I love a good challenge and when it comes to reading books – I’m in full force! 

Booksparks has a fabulous reading challenge going on and I hope you’ll take part in it!

Now’s your chance to start your summer getaway (even if it’s just by being submerged in a hot summer read) — and win great prizes.  Join their 2012 Summer Reading Challenge!

Are you up for the challenge?  Make this your summer reading list, read each book, share your reviews, get to know the authors and enter to win weekly prizes.  The challenge kicks off next week on the 25th and will go through September 25th.  Join the event on Facebook for more information.

Here is a list of the 10 books that are included in the challenge.  Keep an eye out during the challenge for bonus picks to earn more points towards the prizes.  The more you read and the more you share, the more you win.  Happy reading!

Here are the list of books to read!

1.  The Song Remains the Same

From a New York Times-bestselling author comes a novel that asks, “Who are we without our memories?  And how much of our future is defined by our past?

One of only two survivors of a plane crash, Nell Slattery wakes in the hospital with no memory of the crash – or who she is, or was. Now she must piece together both body and mind with the help of family and friends, who have their own agendas.  She filters through photos, art, music and stories, hoping something will jog her memory, and soon – in tiny bits and pieces –Nell starts remembering.  It isn’t long before she learns to question the stories presented by her mother, her sister and business partner, and her husband.  In the end she will learn that forgiving betrayals small and large will be the only true path to healing herself — and to finding happiness.

2.  Clean Break

Klein masterfully tells the story of Celeste Vanek, a mother and wife making the most difficult decision of her life: whether or not to believe the promises of her husband Adam, a compulsive gambler, who insists he has overcome his addiction.  After years of secrecy and tension in their marriage, Adam tearfully admits that he has gambled away everything the couple has built together.  Adam’s addiction has poisoned his relationship with Celeste and damaged his young son, Spencer, who is slowly retreating into his imagination.  Celeste makes the fateful decision to make a clean break from her husband and his destructive lifestyle.  Starting over, she quickly finds, is not as easy as it sounds – the physical and emotional resistance from Adam pushes the family to the brink of self-destruction.  How does one make a clean break from the past for a fresh start on life?

3.  Hell or High Water

Nola Céspedes, an ambitious young reporter at the Times-Picayune, catches a break: an assignment to write her first full-length crime feature.  While researching her story, she becomes fixated on the search for a missing tourist in New Orleans.  As Nola’s work leads her back into dangerous corners of the city, she finds herself faced with an even more compelling question: Who is Nola Céspedes?  Vividly rendered in razor=sharp prose, this psychological thriller is a riveting journey of trust betrayed- and the courageous struggle toward recovery.

“Hell or High Water is more than just a mystery; it’s a heartfelt examination of a second America- poor but undaunted- that was swept under the rug but refuses to stay there.”  -Dennis Lehane, New York Times bestselling author of Mystic River.

4.  So Far Away

Thirteen-year-old Natalie Gallagher is trying to escape: from her parents’ ugly divorce, and from the vicious cyber-bullying of her former best friend. She discovers a dusty old diary in her family’s basement and is inspired to unlock its secrets. Kathleen Lynch, an archivist at the Massachusetts State Archives, has her own painful secrets: She’s a widow estranged from her only daughter. Natalie’s research brings her to Kathleen, who in Natalie sees traces of the daughter she has lost. What could the life of an Irish immigrant domestic servant from the 1920s teach them both? In the pages of the diary, they will learn that their fears and frustrations are timeless.

 

5.  Game of Secrets

A literary thriller played out over a game of Scrabble, with a twist you won’t see coming!  Winner of the Massachusetts Book Award, Dawn Tripp’s fiction has earned praise from her critics for her “thrilling” storytelling (People) and her “haunting, ethereal” prose (Booklist).  These aspects of her writing come together in her third novel, Game of Secrets, coming to paperback this summer.  In 1957, eleven-year-old Jane Weld’s father disappeared.  No one in her small New England town knew for sure what happened until, four years later, his skull rolled out of a gravel bank by the river, an unmistakable bullet hole in its temple.  Rumor had it he was murdered by the husband of his mistress, Ada Varick.

Now, half a century later, Jane is still searching for the truth, a mystery made more urgent by the unlikely romance her daughter has struck up with one of Ada’s sons.  Jane and Ada come together for casual Friday Scrabble games that soon transform into a cat-and-mouse game of words long left unspoken.  As the two women spell out the stories that bind their lives together, it becomes clear the future of both families at stake.

6.  After the Fog

The sins of the mother…

In the steel mill town of Donora, Pennsylvania, site of the infamous 1948 “killing smog,” headstrong nurse Rose Pavlesic tends to her family and neighbors. Controlling and demanding, she’s created a life that reflects everything she missed growing up as an orphan. She’s even managed to keep her painful secrets hidden from her loving husband, dutiful children, andlarge extended family.

When a stagnant weather pattern traps poisonous mill gasses in the valley, neighbors grow sicker and Rose’s nursing obligations thrust her into conflict she never could have fathomed. Consequences from her past collide with her present life,making her once clear decisions as gray as the suffocating smog. As pressure mounts, Rose finds she’s not the only one harboring lies. When the deadly fog finally clears, the loss of trust and faith leaves the Pavlesic family—and the whole town—splintered and shocked. With her new perspective, can Rose finally forgive herself and let her family’s healing begin?

7.  Finding Emma

A child torn from the arms of loving parents, a relationship torn apart from loss…

Megan sees her daughter Emma everywhere. She’s the little girl standing in the supermarket, the child waiting for the swings at the playground, the girl with ice cream dripping down her face. But it’s never Emma.

Because Emma’s been missing for two years.

Unable to handle the constant heartache of all the false sightings, Megan’s husband threatens to walk away unless Megan can agree to accept Emma is gone. Megan’s life and marriage is crumbling all around her and she realizes she may have to do the thing she dreads most: move on.

When Megan takes a photo of a little girl with an elderly couple at the town fair, she believes it to be her missing daughter. Unable to let go, she sets in motion a sequence of events that could destroy both families lives.

8.  India’s Summer

Single and about to turn forty, India Butler, a grade school teacher in London is having a meltdown. Desperate to reinvent her life she flies out to LA to spend the summer with her sister Annabelle a famous Hollywood actress and her brother in law a legendary rock musician.

They welcome India into their opulent, fast-paced lifestyle, whisking her from fabulous fundraisers to parties each more opulent than the last. This does nothing for India’s confidence and she maintains a wry detachment until she begins dating Adam, a gorgeous A- list actor. In an attempt to appear more successful shetells him she creates and teaches motivational workshops.

When Adam’s friend is in a drunk-driving accident, Annabelle finds a lump on her throat and a mutual friend’s stepdaughter overdoses, India is drawn behind the veneer of Hollywood glitz and glamour and into their private lives. As her illusions about the perfection of their LA lifestyle fade away, India has an epiphany about her own real talents. She begins designing the kinds of classes and workshops she has fantasized about to Adam and successfully launches a series of workshops to help parents relate to their teenage children. She also drafts a book proposal.

In love with a movie star and with a burgeoning new career as a self- help guru, India is in her element until a defamatoryvideo, filmed of her venting to Annabelle soon after her arrival goes viral. Her new life unravels. Humiliated and depressed, she returns to London where she repairs the damage with those closest to her. When her agent calls with news that he has sold her book proposal she takes control of her life. Shakily re-united with Adam and still balancing life on both sides of the pond, shereturns to America to promote her book.

9.  A Girl Like You

Emma Frazier is smart, hardworking, and loves her job as a journalist for a Florida lifestyle magazine. Emma knows she’s no great beauty, but she’s pretty certain she has a shot with her handsome new boss, Ben Gallagher—until Emma overhears a mutual acquaintance refer to her as the “ugly friend.” In an effort to reclaim her battered self-esteem, Emma decides to impress Ben at work by promising an exclusive interview with NASCAR legend, Trip Monroe.

Emma and Trip went to high school together and although it’s been fourteen years since they’ve spoken, Emma is certain she can score an interview with the elusive super star. But connecting with Trip turns out to be harder than Emma imagined. Her quest for the interview leads her back to her tiny hometown of Catfish Cove, where old secrets and a new romantic interest shake up Emma’s views on life and teach her that maybe the key to finding true love is as simple as accepting yourself for the person you were always meant to be.

10.  How Lucky You Are

In the tradition of Emily Giffin and Marisa de los Santos comes an engaging and moving novel about three women struggling with signs of strain in their longtime friendship.

Waverly, who’s always been the group’s anchor, runs a cozy bakery but worries each month about her mounting debt.  Kate is married to a man who’s on track to be the next governor of Virginia, but the larger questions brewing in their future are unsettling her. Stay-at-home mom Amy has a perfect life on paper, but as the horrific secret she’s keeping from her friends threatens to reveal itself, she panics.

As life’s pressures build all around them, Waverly knows she has some big decisions to make. In doing so, she will discover that the lines between loyalty and betrayal can become blurred, happy endings aren’t always clear-cut, and sometimes you have to risk everything to gain the life you deserve.

With its sensitive depiction of important issues, including spousal abuse, HOW LUCKY YOU ARE will  spark interesting discussions among women’s reading groups and book clubs.

%d bloggers like this: