Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Summer reading list

Yesterday, Mr. John Swinburn made reference to our un-officially "long-forgotten" "What Are You Reading" list over there on the right side of the screen. Although Ellie updates it religiously, and Jacquie is on top of it too, I, well, I just don't, and am not. I'm not exactly sure why. Apathy mostly.

There was a day that I updated it semi-religiously (which is perhaps all I can expect from my dear self who is decidedly un-religious), but that somehow fell away after I gave birth to my third child and was once again consumed with tending to all the things baby. Which is to say many, many time consuming, sleep robbing tasks. I didn't read much during this period, which I know will shock all of you mothers out there.

I was slower than normal getting back into the reading routine, but back I finally am, and I'm looking to pick your reading brain.

I just finished a book last night, so I'm in that sweet spot where the possibilities are almost endless. Which book will beguile me to crack its cover this time?

That's where you come in....

But I'll share too.

The book I finished last night was "The Sugar Queen" by Sarah Addison Allen. I found it delightful, but would not recommend this read to everyone. It's short and sweet, and full of happy magic. A decided turn-off for many, I'm sure. But if you want a delightful diversion, I recommend it. It's delicious.

Prior to that I finally got around to reading "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins. Loved it! Jacquie told me about this book years ago, I vividly remember looking at her as if she was a woman gone mad as she explained the premise -- one girl and boy are chosen from each of 12 provinces to fight to the death, on live television; a sort of "Survivor" gone terribly wrong.  You crazy lady! I mean seriously, young-adult science fiction? And violent at that? That is just not my thing. I stand corrected!

Who can lend me "Catching Fire" and "Mockingjay"? Anyone?

This spring I happened to pick up "Breakfast with Buddha" by Roland Merullo before a red-eye flight, and am happy to report that it sustained me through the freezing night. The novel is funny, and light, and who doesn't love a road trip read? Or well-played spiritual humor?

I also picked up "Radio Shangri-La" for the same flight. Unfortunately, I wasn't as taken with this book, although I did learn about Bhutan, which is something, and I did identify with the author's desire to reshape her life. I think my disappointment was mostly a case of overly elevated expectations. I wanted more. But maybe you won't? (Now that's a glowing review!)

The next few are books I read long ago, but are in my current consciousness because I just picked them up for a friend. I've admitted that I have a second-hand book buying addition before, and these recent purchases are just proof of my never ending jones. But, worth mentioning here I think.

"Five Quarters of the Orange" by Joanne Harris -- ever read it? No? Well do. I loved this book. Harris does a bang-up job of writing from a child's viewpoint. True, it may be a little dark, but you know, so is life sometimes...

Okay, back to light and humorous. (It is summer for pete's sake.) I thoroughly enjoyed Helen Fielding's first novel, "Cause Celeb." It's fun, flighty, irreverent. Well, as fun as you can make an African famine, anyway. This book is a smash up of movie stars and refugees that works. Who can do that?  In my opinion Feilding can.

That's all I've got for now. What do you have for me?

Who knows, maybe I'll even update the "What Are You Reading" list.


needs to get back to reading in PA said...

I'm a little late on reading the comments from yesterday's post but am glad I read them.
I just got back from my family reunion in Maine and learned that my great Georgene worked as a nurse with the doctor in "Cutting For Stone". How timely that you would mention that book...and now I must read it.

Don't have much to add to your reading list as I am doing a poor job of finishing books this summer, but I did give my daughter the "Hunger Games" series for x-mas, so let me know if no one closer can loan them to you and I will drop them in the mail :)

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Okay, central PA, here is an idea, YOU should read them :) I bet you would have no problem finishing the whole series.

Better start them before I take you up on your offer...


Me, You, or Ellie said...

Beth, I keep forgetting to look and see if I have Catching Fire... I'm pretty sure that I have Mocking Jay. I can't wait for that movie.

It cracks me up that you wrote this post and still didn't update your sidebar.

Everyone loved Cutting for Stone, but I was reading it when I brough my boy to the ER last year, and by the time we were halfway through that first MRI I wanted to throw it across the room. That day I borrowed "The Art of Racing in the Rain" from the hospital lending library, and it has remained one of my favorite books ever.

The two I'm reading right now are both riveting and really good. I've got Bossypants on my kindle to read next, and I bought "Imperfect Birds" by Anne Lamott only to discover that it's the third in a trilogy, so I guess I'll get the first two first. I've read a lot of good stuff lately, it's a shame that my brain is a sieve. Ellie will remind us, lol.


Me, You, or Ellie said...

I am almost ready for a kindle, although part of the allure of a new book for me can defintely be it's cover.

I did not update the sidebar, my dear, because I am currently reading nothing. Well, not completely true, I'm reading "Fierce Medicine" and "Marriage Confidential" but the first required that I commit to doing something before moving forwrad and the latter is, for the time being, too academic. So, they are on hold, and I've yet to start another I've got a big stack to choose from but nothing is calling my name.

New Anne Lamott sounds excellent. I know I've read about Rosie's earlier exploits. I'd love to read this third when you finish.

And I will not keep my eye out for ""The Art of Racing in the Rain."


Me, You, or Ellie said...

I WILL keep my eye out for said book. I will.

brain freeze moment in PA said...

so glad I am not the only one with a sieve for a brain (almost sounds like my dad's favorite term of endearment, "shit for brains")...
I DID FINISH A BOOK and LOVED IT! It was "Bossypants", but I knew I'd love it b/c it's Tina Fey, and what's not to love about Tina Fey?!?

Me, You, or Ellie said...

Oh, reading. Oh, books. Love, love, love.

During our recent Corey visit, Julie -- who had brought with her a big fat hardcover memoir about a bicyclist or runner or something, and had read about 17 words -- said, "You all claim to be readers, but you won't let me read for one second!" Oh course we won't, Jules. Reading's a private endeavor......

Okay, to your post, Beth.

The Hunger Games trilogy? Loved. Loved. Read 'em. And I've read that Joanne Harris (and all her other stuff) and that Helen Fielding (and all *her* other stuff) and agree......

I'm dying to read "Cutting for Stone". My Mom and my friend Dawnie loved it.

I also loved "The Art of Racing in the Rain". Loved. And Dad was reading it when he died -- well not that *second* but you know what I mean. Bastid.

I've not read your others, Beth, or *your* others Jacquie -- how exciting that I get to!

I've been on a roll. The awesomeness I've read lately:

State of Wonder, Ann Patchett. Read *anything* by her and you will be glad.

The Borrower, Rebecca Makkai. Loved it.

Kamchatka, Marcelo Fegueras. Brill.

Sister, Rosamund Lupton. Not *awesome*, but a good compelling read, especially when one can't sleep at 4 a.m.

The Shadow of the Wind, Carlos Ruis Zafon.

Tabloid City, Pete Hamill.

I refuse to go earlier than July with my have-read-list. Because it's summer! And I've got a stack of library books on my bedside table waiting for me.........


Mom C said...

I'm always looking for new books, you all just added so many to my list... love it. mom