Thursday, June 13, 2013

Summer Reading

Even though it hasn't been particularly hot where I live (just rainy and sticky), it's time to admit that summer is truly upon us.  That means that a whole slew of easy breezy books are coming out and I'm super pumped!  Summer is a good time to just sit still in front of a fan--don't move around too much.  Here's what I'm going to be reading this summer.

1. Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris
I love David Sedaris, but sometimes he lets me down (I'm looking at you, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk).  This book is a collection of essays with a couple fiction stories thrown in.  As usual, the essays are great, the fiction not so much.  Still worth picking up.

2. The Silver Star by Jeanette Walls
I don't even know what this book is about, but I don't care.  I loved The Glass Castle and I loved Half-Broke Horses, so I am officially a Jeanette Walls devotee.  Here's a bit from the book description: "It is 1970 in a small town in California. “Bean” Holladay is twelve and her sister, Liz, is fifteen when their artistic mother, Charlotte, a woman who “found something wrong with every place she ever lived,” takes off to find herself, leaving her girls enough money to last a month or two. When Bean returns from school one day and sees a police car outside the house, she and Liz decide to take the bus to Virginia, where their Uncle Tinsley lives in the decaying mansion that’s been in Charlotte’s family for generations."
I'm still waiting for this to come in at the library, but I'm excited!

3. Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life by Reducing Your Waste by Bea Johnson
I know that I will never be as zero waste as Bea Johnson, but I really am trying to do my best, and it's nice to get some new ideas.  There's always something to improve on and always something new to think about.

4. Family Pictures by Jane Green
Jane Green is another author who I just immediately put myself on hold for at the library and rarely ever know what the books is about.  I've been reading her books since I was in college, and even though they've gotten a bit more boring and same-y in recent years, they're still entertaining and highly readable.

5. Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand
It's a bit ridiculous
At the library, without fail, we get a while slew of women in the summer looking for something "light, but smart." They want a beach read with a bit of a brain, so I always hand them Elin Hilderbrand.  Her books all take place on Nantucket, in her author photo she always looks like she just got back from the beach and her writing is quick, smart and entertaining.

6. Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Michael Moss
This is one of those books that's fascinating and totally depressing.  Strangely (perhaps), I've been reading this in the staff room at work while eating my lunch.  When the author starts telling you how much sugar is added to some foods, I swear that what you're eating tastes sweeter.  This is one of those books that is not only very well-researched, but also highly readable--if only in small doses.

7. Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham
I'm a little scared to pick this one up, honestly.  In my mind, I love Lauren Graham, but in reality, I probably just love Lorelai Gilmore.  Even though this book is fiction, it's still about an actress trying to find her professional footing, so is likely to be semi-autobiographical (but most first novels are).  Part of me is really curious, and I also read some very positive reviews, but the other part of me wants to leave my ideas of Lauren Graham back in the happy place in my memory.  If I dislike the book, will it ruin my re-watching of Gilmore Girls!?  Is that a chance I want to take?  This book has been sitting on my table for about two weeks now, and a friend emailed me months ago when there were free e-copies available, which I did not take advantage of.  I will read it though, just maybe not soon.

8. The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell
A gripping mystery!  I read a review of this book when I was placing an order for the library, and it sounds super intriguing:
"Rose Baker seals men’s fates. With a few strokes of the keys that sit before her, she can send a person away for life in prison. A typist in a New York City Police Department precinct, Rose is like a high priestess. Confessions are her job. It is 1923, and while she may hear every detail about shootings, knifings, and murders, as soon as she leaves the interrogation room she is once again the weaker sex, best suited for filing and making coffee.
This is a new era for women, and New York is a confusing place for Rose. Gone are the Victorian standards of what is acceptable. All around her women bob their hair, they smoke, they go to speakeasies. Yet prudish Rose is stuck in the fading light of yesteryear, searching for the nurturing companionship that eluded her childhood. When glamorous Odalie, a new girl, joins the typing pool, despite her best intentions Rose falls under Odalie’s spell. As the two women navigate between the sparkling underworld of speakeasies by night and their work at the station by day, Rose is drawn fully into Odalie’s high-stakes world. And soon her fascination with Odalie turns into an obsession from which she may never recover."

9. Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Theresa Ann Fowler
Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald are pretty hot right now.  There's a waitlist at the library for The Great Gatsby, obviously the new movie is out and there are two novels about Zelda.  I'm merely mildly intrigued by this book, and the only reason I picked it instead of the other novel about her: Beautiful Fools: The Last Affair of Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald, is because this one came out first and got more buzz.  I have very little patience for manic pixie dreamgirls, which Zelda seems to be the patron saint of, but it may be entertaining.

10. The Last Train to Zona Verde: My Ultimate African Safari by Paul Theroux
Paul Theroux is a dangerous man because his books are so amazing that I want to underline every word (I'm not an underliner by nature, but he just brings it out of me), and they make me want to go on exotic vacations I cannot afford.on the hot summer days when I feel like I'm going to melt into my chair, I'll read about African and maybe it will make me feel cooler.

What are you reading this summer?  Are you as shocked as I am that I didn't list any YA books?


  1. Hi! I just posted a few days ago about my summer reading list. :) I'm going to add Bea johnson and Elin Hilderbrand to my list!
    Meg-- fellow blogger from the Blogathon

  2. Put Cinnamon and Gunpowder on your list -it's a hoot!
    Chef kidnapped by pirate (a lady pirate).

    And my summer reads list is massive, as so many fall release advance reader copies are arriving...