Summer Reading List

I usually read genre books. I love fantasy, science fiction, romance, horror . . . you name it. I like genre fiction. I usually do not like modern fiction. I remember several years ago talking to a colleague of mine about books. We'd come back from summer break and she was telling me about how much she loved Nicholas Sparks. I don't recall at the moment which book it was, but I do remember her telling me that she sobbed through the whole book. I think I looked like a dog listening to a high pitched sound at that second. How could you possibly love a book that made you cry? Maybe I'm just deficient.

I don't like, for the most part, those tear jerker endings. Titanic, the movie? Never saw it. Never wanted to. Never thought there was a point to subjecting myself to three hours of misery ending in a freezing death. I teach Romeo and Juliet to my students, but we talk about how the tragedy isn't romantic. It's just sad. The tragedy isn't that Romeo and Juliet die it's that the whole was avoidable.

So, I usually don't read straight up modern fiction. However, my father in law loves these Vince Flynn books. Tore through all of them in record time. Passed them on to my husband who also ripped through them. Alright. Needless to say, I was intrigued. My husband is also usually a genre guy. I've heard about these books. They've been trying to get me to read them for weeks, but I've been avoiding them preferring to re-read my Amelia Peabody mysteries and Mercedes Lackey's 500 Kingdoms books.

Finally, peer pressure, boredom and the desire to avoid any real work made me pick up the first book. It's called Term Limits and follows the calculated assassination of several severely corrupt politicians in the heart of Washington DC. The plot thickens as you find out that the murders are not being carried out by a foreign power, but by home grown vigilantes. A group of disaffected Navy SEALS who have determined that the corruption at the heart of the country was the true threat eating away at democracy.

It's one of those books that makes you think. You find yourself cheering for the assassins. It reminds me a little of Piers Anthony's For Love of Evil or James Hatch's The Substitute. You find yourself rooting for the "bad guys." Apparently, there's an entire series of books following an elite and super secret team of US fighters who specialize in going for the worst of the worst. The book also made me think of Feed, that dark future book about how rampant consumerism has ripped apart the US.

Cautionary tales. The further I got into the book the more surprised I am that something like this hasn't happened yet. The rising tide of disgust, the lowering of Congress's approval rating, the ease of violence, the desperation of the people . . . it's a recipe for disaster and I felt, while reading the book, that the level of disconnect between Capitol Hill and everywhere else is at its widest.

If I could put together a reading list for those in power I'd definitely put Term Limits near the top. I'd also include Feed and The Hunger Games.

What would you put on that reading list?

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