Well, this isn’t really the end-of-summer edition. There’s nothing seasonal about it. But it is the end of summer, the last full week of vacation (we are going camping with 2 Iraqi families! Their first time ever! If I survive, I’ll tell you all about it). And I’ve done a fair amount of reading this month, although I’m trying to cut down. Can you tell?
WHAT I’VE READ:
Some Kind of Fairy Tale: Please read this one quickly and let me know because I’m dying to discuss it with someone and instead I have to write a review in which I don’t give away spoilers. AUGH! Let me know if you want spoilers, cuz I want to give them! Tara disappeared in the woods 20 years ago, and her then-boyfriend spent time in jail. She shows up on her parents’ doorstep on Christmas Day, claiming to have been away only 6 months in what we would call Fairyland. How are they supposed to respond to that? This is actually a really interesting book, dealing with family dynamics and adult emotions. Some sex scenes–this is not a fairy tale for younger readers–but they are short and easily skipped.
The Other Woman’s House: The latest by Sophie Hannah. It’s really good. Connie is worrying that she’s going mad. She was skimming through a “tour-the-house” slide show on a realtor’s site when she sees a picture of a murdered women. By the time she calls her husband in to look, the picture is gone. Is she insane or is her husband evil? I really wasn’t sure for a lot of the book.
Size 12 and Ready to Rock: Light, fluffy, chick-lit. It was okay but not super enjoyable. Read my review.
What You Wish For: I didn’t want to finish this book as I liked the characters so much. What happens when life doesn’t go as planned? When you always thought you’d have a family but you didn’t meet the right person, or illness or death or infertility intervene? An actress whose resume says she still under 40 is looking at sperm donors; a high-school principal is looking into private adoption; a woman whom breast cancer left infertile wants to use one of her own frozen embryos but her ex-husband won’t sign an authorization. Go read my review and enter to win your own free copy!
The End of Mr. Y So, with all the spare time I have to read, I’ve joined an online book club. Don’t judge me because I obviously have a problem. This was a book from there. It combines a lot of philosophy, quantum physics, and a story of a woman who can travel into other people’s minds, which she needs to do because people here in the “real” world are trying to kill her. I prob am not doing it justice, but it’s a hard book to sum up. Interesting. My SIL would love it.
Skios: a farce set on a Greek island. I liked it but found the ending a bit disappointing. Others didn’t, according to the reviews on amazon, so you might like it.
Immigration and Adaptation: Helpful counsel for recent immigrants.
The Jane Austen Guide to Life: It is a truth universally acknowledged—that a young woman looking for wisdom on how to live life can gain a surprising amount of wisdom from looking at the characters in Jane Austen’s six novels and at the novelist’s life.
WHAT I’M READING:
The Harbormaster’s Daughter: I almost didn’t request this one because I didn’t like the title, but I’m glad I did. Vita lives in a small village on Cape Cod, the result of an affair between the Portuguese fisherman/harbourmaster and a “washashore,” one of the recently-arrived outsiders. When she’s 3, her mother is murdered, and she’s been raised by a family friend on the “washahore” side of things. Now she’s 16. Just a really good story, so far.
Sisters in War: A Story of Love, Family, and Survival in the New Iraq: Everyone is so excited and optimistic! It’s 2003 and the Americans have just invaded and everyone’s hoping good things for Iraq. I’m not very far into this book, but it’s heart-breaking because I know what’s going to happen.
Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide: So, do you read Nicholas Kristoff? He’s really good. I’ve known of this book for a while but haven’t read it before. It’s about how women are treated world-wide, the injustice of it, and what you can do about it. So far, it’s excellent.
The Round House: I love Louise Erdrich, and have since I read Love Medicine in a college English class. I even once found a book by her in a bookstore in Morocco with one shelf of books in English. And yes, I bought it. The Round House is her latest.
The God of Small Things: A Novel: This is a total modern-day classic and I’ve never read it! It always shows up on those “100 Books You Should Have Read by Now You Loser” lists (which I always score well on, she said modestly) and I always lose a point cuz I haven’t. Elliot just read it for his English class next year and I thought, “Here’s my chance! And then we can discuss it!” So far I really like it. I guess it should be in the “reading” section since I’ve started it, but I doubt I’ll finish it anytime soon. We’ll see.
Leave it to Psmith: So we had guests (our friends from Mauritania, even though they would say they are from Minnesota) and we took them to Powells, of course. Everyone wants to see Powells. And I’d sold some books so I had this gift card burning a hole in my pocket, which was not only uncomfortable but was ruining a perfectly good pair of capris. This is tied for my all-time fav PG Wodehouse book (with the one in which Gussie Finknottle gets drunk and gives a speech…it’s a Jeeves’ book but I can’t remember the title). I LOVE PSMITH! I would marry him if I could, but I can’t since a. I’m already married and b. he’s fictional and c. too old for me anyway. But I love how his mind works. And I didn’t have a copy of this book. Now I do.
The Red Door: Like I needed another book. But, remember, that trip to Powells? You may remember me nattering on about Bess Crawford and how we were BFFs now and how I was having withdrawals due to the inconsideration of Charles Todd to produce another one quickly enough. This is by the same author, a mother-son writing team that has me imagining a lovely future for me and Elliot. I’ve read one other in this series (The Confession) and enjoyed it.
Zeitoun: this one is also for my online book club, but it’s been on my “Want to Read” list for a long time. This is a list I carry in my head and inexplicably forget whenever I’m in an actual library or bookstore.
What about you? Do you forget the books on your list when confronted with actual books? Do you have a problem with reading too much? What are you reading now? Should I read it, or at least add it to my mental list? Discuss in comments.