I recently finished four best sellers. Stephen King's CELL, Robert B. Parker's SEA CHANGE and two by Sarh Dunant, THE BIRTH OF VENUS and IN THE COMPANY OF THE COURTESAN.
I don't own a cell phone and neither does Stephen King or so he says. After reading CELL, I'm not certain I really need one. This is King at his usual scary best although I was disappointed w/the ending. Too much left undone.
SEA CHANGE is another good example of Parker's writing. Taut dialog with a sarcastic edge. Tough characters with all too human frailties and a rather shocking denoument. All Parker's books are quick reads that leave you wanting more. He has three detective series going so it seems there promises to be more.
Sarah Dunant's historical novels are extremely well researched w/bibliographies at the end. I guess that means she's a SERIOUS writer. These two books are set in 15th and 16th century Italy, Florence and Venice. You learn that life was very different and very difficult than today's existence. The plots center around events of the times and actual people you learned about in school have roles in the books. For those of you with an interest in Art History, THE BIRTH OF VENUS has an intriguing appearance by Michaelangelo. In THE COMPANY OF THE COURTESAN gives you insight into the huge amount of time and effort it took to practice the oldest profession. You learn that appearances ARE everything but in the end family values endure.