Saturday, August 11, 2018
Summer Reads (Novels: Part 1) #SummerReads
I have read more novels this summer than I have in a long time... how have I done it?
Basically, just disconnecting, looking at a book instead of my phone. I always keep a book with me, while for a long time is was a book of poems, now it's novels (though I do tend to always have a book of poems with me, this time I'm reaching for novels.) It's amazing how quickly you can read if you (wait for it...) remember to actually read (and not scroll Facebook or Twitter or Instagram..)
1) You will note that some of these books are older books and not new releases-- why?
Well, sometimes I get my books from other places--used bookstores, our neighborhood Little Free Library box on my street, I have even gotten one at the Dollar Store.
2) I also like to add what I look for in a summer book and what I like. The answer--something to get lost in, an "easy" read without the seriousness of things I need to worry about in real life (like our government, climate change, healthcare, etc.) In the summer, I just want to sit and get involved in the lives of imaginary people. I am not looking to have my mindblown or have to seriously ponder and consider syntax, sentence structure--I just want to enjoy myself. I save more serious books for fall and winter. Summer is about grabbing a book, sitting outside, and reading for the pleasure of getting lost in imaginary worlds. That is what I'm looking for. If I can get lost (and I am picky, I have sent a few of my books this summer to the Little Free Library hoping they find a reader who loves them), I stop reading and give it away.
So below are all books I have finished and read in their entirety.
Anyway, here's what I'm reading and what I plan to read (yes, I buy preemptively buy books so I have one ready to read when I finish, otherwise, I will not finish a book if I don't have another waiting in the wings.)
What I've Read:
YOU THINK IT, I'LL SAY IT by Curtis Sittenfeld:
Geez, did I love this book by Curtis Sittenfeld. The stories are edgy, smart, intriguing, and they are all short stories, so I loved being able to sit outside read a full story and feel fulfilled. Her voice is engaging and her style/narrator is easy to follow but not simple. She's a complex storyteller who ket my mind actively engaged, which isn't easy to do because I'm an editor, so I'm super picky about what I read. Anyway, this is tops of my summer reads. Love it completely.
CUTTING TEETH by Julia Fierro:
This was one of those "older" books (2015) I picked up because I recognized the author's name as someone I follow on Twitter and I remember liking her a lot. What originally pulled me in was one of the characters was anxious with OCD and freaking out about a possible terrorist attack that she read on a parenting board so she took her playgroup to her parents guesthouse instead of admitting to them she was worried and getting them out of the city. So what you end up with is her playgroup (which is mostly moms and one dad) on a weekend together. As a parent (now with a grown child), it brought me to that time in my life when everything seemed more important than it is. Julia weaves a good story and if you're a parent, you will definitely see yourself in at least one character, if not more. It also maybe make you feel good about your own parenting. ;-) Extra special bonus--my family was freaked out by the Raggedy Ann dolls on the cover, so no one touched my book and I always knew where it was.
THE VACATIONERS by Emma Straub:
The biggest complaint I read about this book is that it's another story about a family going on vacation (in this case, to the Mediterranean) and have to deal with each other. Now, I don't know about you, but these are favorite beach reads for me--flawed characters having to deal with each others' flaws. For me, I found the book something I wanted to pick up and get lost in. I like books where there are human issues, where we have to explore the complexity of humans and relationships. I think Emma did this well and she has enough characters and different plots happening that I was always engaged and interested in how each plot line would end.
Next up on my reading list:
LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE by Celeste Ng:
(Have heard good things about this one...)
CRAZY RICH ASIANS by Kevin Kwan (I cannot wait to read this one I have been hearing excellent reviews on it and it will be a movie too, I think?!!)
LESS by Andrew Sean Greer
(And this one just one the Pulitzer, I hear!)
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
(Started this. I know it will be good, but struggling through the opening and have had to go back to reread some parts I seemed to have skimmed over--that said, it has some very engaging scenes... I believe I will finish this, but am putting it down more than I thought I would. But when it's engaging, it's quite engaging. And I always give a book I've been recommended some time to stick because I know how persnickety I can be as a reader and for the most part, am enjoying this... Will give a full review once I've finished it!)
Written by Kelli Russell Agodon