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Monday, May 23, 2011

Summer reads. Looking for suggestions.

I'm stock piling my summer reads.  I really don't have time to enjoy ready during the school year so I savor the extra time summer affords to read a few books.  Truth be told, I've never been a very good reader.  I wasn't as a child or student and not as an adult either.  When I was in my teaching years, I poured all my reading time into young adult literature, learning what my students read.  I went through all of the Little House books and became a life long fan of Lucy Montgomery and the Anne of Green Gables Series.  I read a ton of Edgar Allen Poe, because squirrely 5th and 6th grade boys can't easily be convinced to read poetry unless it's a bit gross and scary and looks like a "short book."  Wrinkle in Time is still one of my favorites to read to my own kiddos, and I still have big sobby snotty crying when I read Where the Red Fern Grows.  

Back from the bunny trail...
So here are my summer reads thus far.  
Half Baked isn't even published yet, I don't think.  My go to gal, Melissa, gave it to me an advanced copy of it and said to read it.  Anyone else have that faithful person who you'll read anything they say and then love it too?  (I have a person like that for music, Krissy, and movies, My Uncle Paddy, too.  Having those folks for recommendations is AWESOME!)  
A few are just for review, like Parenting you Internationally Adopted Child.  (A MUST for adoptive parents IMO.) and the Asian Grocery Book is fun to go through again too.
I already finished Sh*t My Dad Says.  Not recommending it.  I guess I thought is would be funnier than it was.  You can only drop the S bomb so many times before you stop thinking it's amusing.  I don't know what I was thinking.  
I know I'll get through the new Mitch Albom book quickly.  Not sure how good it will be, but I couldn't pass up a new Albom for $1 at a yard sale.  
That really only leaves 4 books, one of which I've already started.  

So I'm please looking for some suggestions to add a couple more to my pile. 
FYI-books are like movies to me.  I have VERY little time for either, so I really only like to read ones that are good.  Nothing too heavy, please.   But it has to be well written.  I adore historical fiction, but I'm not bound to it. Funny is always good, and I love authors that can weave humor into a good story.  Good non-fiction is good too.     
Some of my favorites from the past include-

  • The whole Phillipa Gregory series of The Other Boleyn Girl
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain
  • The Time Traveler's Wife
  • Daughter of Fortune
  • The whole Voice in the Wind series by Francine Rivers
  • The Help
  • Freakonomics
  • Water For Elephants  (Haven't seen it, but quite mad they made a movie out of it.  That usually ruins it for me)
  • Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
  • The Poisonwood Bible



  1. I don't know what your style is but I will recommend what I have read lately that I liked and you can go read the reviews and see what the book is about to see if you want to check it out.

    Along the River: A Chinese Cinderella Novel by Adeline Yen Mah. Such a cute story and pretty well written. Kept me intrigued and wanting more.

    The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood. So interesting and kept me guessing and craving more but definitely a strange book.

    Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin Have not read this one but saw the movie and it was pretty good. This has other books to go along with the series and friends tell me it is really good.

    One Thousand and One Arabian Nights by Geraldine McCaughrean. My son and I each read this and then talked about it. It was pretty fun (except my son reads way faster than me!) and the book kept us both interested.

    I have read that Mitch Albom book and it is really good.

    I have been reading a ton lately and loving it. I have a pretty big purse just so my book can fit and I can carry it anywhere. I carry my book around outside while playing with the kids and when they run off and forget about me I whip it out to read a few chapters! LOL However, I forgot some of the titles I have read. I need to start writing them down as I read them and rating them. I hope you have fun reading. I hope to bring some books to the pool with us this summer and reading as the kids play and have fun too.

  2. Oh yeah, the other one I have heard a lot about and finally just got off the wait list at the library is Battle of the Hymn Tiger Mother by Amy Chua. I have heard a lot of reviews on it, especially by friends, about the differences in raising kids over cultures ideas. I hope it is good. I can keep you posted after I read it. I am off to pick it up today! (If I make it out of the house! LOL)

  3. I'm not sure if this would be your type of book, but it's called The unwanted by Kien Nguyen. It's about the Vietnam War, and the person that wrote this, it's his experience during the Vietnam war. I read it, and i thought it was an amazing book, kept me wanting to keep reading and reading through all hours of the night.

  4. I am one of those readers that once I start a book I will not do anything till I am done. A few chapters here and there...I just cant do it! Up till 3 am till I can finish it. crazy I know.

  5. Two excellent books I read recently: The Help by Kathryn Stockett (it's coming out in the theater, but of course(!) read it first...I couldn't put it down.) Hope by Mary Ryan...fiction based on true history. I've read several of Lisa Samson's novels...Embrace Me is a good one.

  6. Oh there are so many! :)

    The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay

    Any of Anchee Min's books

    Steinbeck is one of my favorites

    Peony in Love by Lisa See

    Oh goodness I could go on! :) I hope you enjoy your summer reads!

  7. These book ideas are awesome! I love your choices!!!

  8. I have a bit of advice. Don't read Little Bee. It has a very disturbing "scene" that I wish I had never read. I stopped reading right away after that.

    I just started Secret Daughter. It's about India, adoption,abandonment and mothers. Very good so far.

  9. I heard an interview of the author of this book and I put it immediately in my cart on amazon. Can't wait to read his tale of reuniting trafficked children with their families in Nepal.

    Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal

  10. Have to agree w/the comment about Little Bee.......was disturbing, but moreover, I didn't think the book was really all that good either. Just my 2 cents!

  11. I think The Power of One, even though it is in my bookshelf, is going to be a bit too heavy.
    No LITTLE BEE???? Ok. My time is too valuable. But maybe I'll try it if I have some extra time to spare. Yea right.
    The books about baby trafficking, that may be a bit too close to home for me. I fought that was once already and am not wanting to relive it. But the one about India sounded good!
    LOVED The Help already! They turned it into a movie? Oh no. That's usually not good.
    And Along the River looks interesting too. Learning about Chinese culture these days. Hmmmm.

  12. Hi! I am a long time reader of your blog, though I have never commented. I see someone already beat me to it, but I wouldn't read Little Bee. It was very heavy and very disturbing. Some of the images that stay in your mind are devastating. If you aren't looking for heavy and graphic, I would skip it. :)

  13. First, I've never met anyone else who knew of or loved The Power of One so I'm super excited that another reader recommended it-though it is a bit much for a summer read it is still one of my all-time favorites, as are many on your list! Maybe Peace Like a River or the Secret Life of Bees?

  14. I agree, Little Bee is a heavy read for a small book, very interesting but heartbreaking. I did just finish Secret Daughter (someone else listed it), and enjoyed that it looked at adoption from the many various sides of the people involved. Highly recommend Secret Daughter!

  15. Well, they're not "easy" reads, nor are they light, but the Ken Follet books about the building of cathedrals were fascinating and really good, there are two: Pillars of the Earth and World Without End.

    I'd highly recommend both of them.

  16. Books I've read this year; The Help, Sarah's Key, Stormy Weather, The Art of Racing in the Rain, Salting Roses and coincidentally I have a few I have saved up myself for this summer(one or two on your list); The Forgotten Garden, The latest Bush book(boring read, but occasionally I feel I should "learn" some while reading), Secret Daughter(excited someone liked that one), and The Mitch Album one also. Do we all shop the Target sale books rack??? I'll check back for more ideas too, as I am always looking for them.

  17. I've been reading a lot of Francine Rivers lately and LOVING it! Her stories are fresh, very compelling, TruthFULL and some are even historically based. The Mark of the Lion Series is where I started and I was shocked and thrilled to read through all three. The first one is gritty and kind of a tough read, but historically accurate and there is redemption in the 2nd book.
    I'm not usually a big fiction reader at all, but have just poured through nearly 7 of her books in the past few months.
    Check out PaperBack Swap to get your books!

  18. um, I LOVED little bee. I read it while in Ethiopia and was so happy to have it as my friend while I was there.

  19. I am so glad you did this post. It was nice to come back and read over the comments to get some ideas for myself. My son also did a test at school called the Lexile reading score which he scored at college reading level and he is in the 5th grade! Anyway, they gave him a list of book ideas to read and we agreed to read some together and chat about them. Needless to say, my book wishlist is HUGE. And the library website is down this weekend. :( I have two books staring at me now! I love learning more about Chinese culture. Trying to learn some more and wish I could teach the kids about their heritage but their dad is pulling away from his heritage so much and not wanting to pass it on from being teased too much growing up. So sad.


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