Book on the beach
Spanish writer Arturo Perez-Reverte stands on the beach next to a copy of his book "El asedio" during its presentation in Cadiz March 4, 2010. Reuters/Marcelo del Pozo

We begin our spin through the books blogosphere today at So Many Books, So Little Time, where Denise is excited about summer reading.

When I lived in California I would take my book out on the patio or to the beach and spend the day reading outside. Here in the Midwest, it is a little too hot for me to spend the day outside reading so it's something to do inside in the air conditioning, she writes.

She is doing the summer reading program at her library, where the goal is to read five books set in five different continents, which I think sounds fun! Denise adds, optimistically, I also hope to catch up on books I have purchased and haven't had time for yet.

She mentions What's In Your Beach Bag?, a summer reading link-up for bloggers. Check it out here.

Her beach bag includes In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson, Portrait in Sepia by Isabel Allende, and a number of books in Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, which she is hoping to make a dent in.

At the blog of Kingdom Books, a specialty mystery bookstore in northeastern Vermont, Beth Kanell recommends Clea Simon's pet psychic mystery, Dogs Don't Lie, which she says has a lively plot and some characters worth following.

It's a bit edgier than a classic cozy, and I like that aspect -- like adding a slice of lemon to a summer iced tea, the zing is worthwhile, Kanell writes.

The dogs and cats and even a ferret in the book are endowed with strong and eerily realistic personalities, she says. And speaking of our feline friends, Kanell writes, Collectors of mysteries that include cats will appreciate the loss of author Lilian Jackson Braun, who died last weekend at the age of 97. She is known as the founder of this subgenre, and in a recent blog essay, Sarah Weinman gives a fine summary of Braun's writing and influence.

Elsewhere today, J.R. Briggs has compiled many lists of 10 books every seminarian should read, and Cameron Jones has posted a list of the books he has read while a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic.

Not as numerous a list as I would have predicted while preparing to depart almost two years ago, but I'm going to go with the quality over quantity defense, he writes at Cameron in the Corps.

And finally, Frank Wilson at Books, Inq. provides a thought for the day, which he attributes to Marguerite Yourcenar, who was born on June 8, 1903: A young musician plays scales in his room and only bores his family. A beginning writer, on the other hand, sometimes has the misfortune of getting into print.

Edward B. Colby is the Books section editor of the International Business Times. He can be reached at