Summer Reading

Since about middle school, when I realized that books could be enjoyable not just dreaded book report assignments, I have been an avid reader. I have been known to read a series of four very thick books about blood-suckers in about a week (my whole family suffered from that obsession). So you could say I like books, a lot.

For my birthday this year, my husband took me shopping at a large bookstore. He wasn't prepared for how many books I could possibly find and want. He was shocked by what I had (limited myself to) picked out.

As it turns out, from the wide range of books I picked I have enjoyed every single one so far. And I wanted to tell everyone about them. So instead of looking at the usually published 'Summer Reading List' based on what books are new or being promoted this summer, you might peruse my list. It is a combination of previously owned (PO) books, library (L) books and my birthday (BD)gifts that I have read this summer....

Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen(PO)
You can't beat this book if you are romantic at heart. I'll admit, it takes a minute to get into the rhythm of the language of late 1700's. But the dialogue and character description are so well written. Hence, why it is still a highly acclaimed novel 200 years later.
World War Z Max Brooks (L)
A big jump from English romance to the zombie world domination but that's just how I roll! This is my second time reading this. Love how the book is set up, like watching a documentary, interviews with all manner of people who experiences WWZ first hand. This book makes it seems so real, as if Zombies might be walking right through your backyard in broad daylight(made you look!).
The Story Sisters Alice Hoffman (BD)
This is not my favorite Hoffman book, but I loved the sisters in the book and how they all seemed so alike in the beginning but changed drastically through the story. The imagery and descriptions were lovely and scary.
The Secret of Lost Things (BD) Sheridan Hay
My favorites part of how this story was set up was there was no time reference. It could be the 1930's or 1970's or today. And I want to camp-out in The Arcade, a massive bookstore full of unusual people. The mystery of the lost Herman Melville manuscript in the book has sparked my interest in reading Melville's work.
The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen (BD) Syrie James
I admit to being naive, because I thought from the author's preface to half way through the book that this story was true. However, it is a novel that spins a story based on the pertinent facts and speculation about Jane Austen's life and what inspired her six novels. Beautifully written. I tried to savor it and make it last, but it was over too quickly.
Brida (BD) Paulo Colelho
I am just starting this one. I loved The Alchemist (by this author) and wanted to read more of his work...No review yet.
Ahab's Wife (BD) Sena Jeter Naslund
This is the next on my list, I have picked it up before and am glad to now own it. I find it interesting that The Secret of Lost Things had a Herman Melville undercurrent and this is inspired by a brief passage from Moby Dick. Is the universe trying to tell me something?

UPDATE 8-2-09: Almost finished with Home Safe by Elizabeth Berg (LB)
I adore E. Berg and have since I first read 'Pull of the Moon', she is an amazing, poetic writer. This story does not disappoint, either. Beautiful. I may have to commit a whole post just to her books...Look her up if you don't know her already!

Not that my opinion matters but I hope you might happen upon one of these books and pick it up.

A good book should leave you... slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading it.
~William Styron, interview, Writers at Work, 1958


  1. I'm a huge fan of Jane Austen so glad you enjoyed Pride & Prejudice. I haven't heard of the Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen though - shall have to seek that one out!

  2. I put a few of those on my Amazon wish list! Thanks! Also, did you know Syrie James also wrote a book about the memoirs of Charlotte Bronte? I am DEFINITELY getting that one!!

  3. OH! The Road by Cormac McCarthy. INCREDIBLE. Just incredible.

    And as I just wrote on your FB... they've combined two of your favorite summer books into one unforgettable novel! How's THIS for a beach read??? PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES.


    Aloha from not-anonymous Caroline

  4. I know I love The Road and I reread it in the spring but it was not in my "Summer Reading Program"...


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