Monday, May 31, 2010

Reading for the start of summer

Here it is Memorial Day already, which is officially the start of summer, yes?  Which means it's summer reading season!  I thought I'd share a few books I've really enjoyed recently:

The Book of Air and Shadows
by Michael Gruber

      This isn't a new release, but it's one I bought some time ago and finally got around to reading.  What a delight!  It's about the discovery of a manuscript that hints at the existence of an undiscovered Shakespeare play, with a lot of wonderful stuff about old books and Shakespeare himself.  This was quite well-written and with a fair amount of humor -- the narrator never took himself too seriously, which I liked.  So think literary mystery/thriller, vaguely in the DaVinci Code style but without the sap, the improbable religious stuff, or bizarre demonic villains.

A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents
by Liza Palmer

  Admittedly, the title may be a bit off-putting (especially, if like me you're dealing a death in the family).  But truly, don't let that stop you.  It's worth getting past that.  This is the story of a smart-alecky woman, long estranged from her family and avoiding the pain of a childhood in which her father left them.  Required to reconnect with her siblings when her father suddenly becomes ill, she has to face all of the family drama she's been avoiding.  This story is beautifully written, and I loved the humor in this.  (And don't we all have family dysfunction that allows us to appreciate other families' dysfunction?)  It was a different sort of book, but just lovely.  Very worth reading.

No! I Don't Want to Join a Book Club: Diary of a Sixtieth Year
by Virginia Ironside

I stumbled on this at the library last week and I loved this book.  It's the diary of Marie, just turning sixty, and her delight in finally being "old" so she has the excuse to just do what she wants.  No, she won't start learning a foreign language or take a cooking course or join a book club.  She's honest and very funny and struggling with aspects of getting old that (I'm afraid) I'm starting to relate to -- feeling stylish and then catching a glimpse of oneself in a mirror and seeing reality, discovering a disconnect with what the "young people" like these days, etc.  It's quite charming.

What's on your summer reading list?  What have you read lately that is worth finding?


  1. Anonymous4:39 PM

    I just finished listening to Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos, read by Julia Gibson.

    I like to drift off to sleep with someone reading to me.

  2. Oh! I loved "Belong to Me!"

  3. I started A Summer Affair by Elin Hilderbrand yesterday and love it. I 'found' this author at Borders near Fisherman's Wharf so it also has happy memories associated with it even though I bought the book here wehen I returned. And the best thing... she has written others!

  4. I love Elin Hilderbrand's stuff -- but I have a big thing for books set on Nantucket. Glad you discovered her!

  5. I just listened to "I Feel Bad About My Neck" by Nora Ephron. Listened while driving too and from work, sometimes laughing out loud. Fun, and thoughtful, too. Enjoy!

  6. I loved The Help. A story set in the 60's about black maids and the white college girl who befriended them.

    Also read A reliable wife. Not sure about this one. Interesting, but told in 3rd person. So distant from characters.

    I'll check out your recommendations. Thanks

  7. I'm in the middle of "The Dark Tower" series, I'm reading "The Wastelands" right now. I've never really been a Stephen King fan but I am loving this story!

  8. I am reading The Help, The Telling, Women Food God. I just finished reading Aloha Quilts and Infidel. I love my Kindle...

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