My Summer Reading List

I do a lot of reading, but I don’t read nearly as much as I would like to – recreational reading, that is.  I spend a lot of time doing non-recreational reading.  Reading cookbooks, for instance.  Or researching and reading up on things that I want to write or learn more about.

My recreational reading tends to take a back seat to life.  Life – cleaning house, doing laundry, going grocery shopping, cooking, paying bills, taking care of the kids and the hubby, figuring out how to downsize.  I often wonder how I managed to fit working into my life.

Several of us have been having a dialogue on Facebook regarding the book, The Help.  I read The Help awhile ago when my friend, Kim, recommended it to me.  While I enjoyed the book, I didn’t think it was a great book.  That is because I believe it ended a little too quickly and too tidily.  I think the ending in real life would have been messier.  But I also grew up during the era of the Jim Crow laws and the battles for desegregation and Civil Rights occurred during my early formative years.  My husband’s father’s family is from Mississippi, and the stories of the lives of black Americans who lived there are harsh.

One comment to my post on this book said that it was fiction and fiction always ends nicely.  Well, that is just not true.  Some of the best fiction ends messy.  So long as it’s real and authentic, it’s okay if it doesn’t end up all neat and pretty with a bow on top.

That being said, I would recommend reading The Help because the important message, to me, in this book is that anyone can make a difference, and doing the right thing, while sometimes hard and even dangerous, is worth the risk.  The movie is coming out on August 10th, too, and so far seems to be getting pretty good reviews.

This Summer, so far, I have read Water for Elephants (movie released April 22, 2011), Atonement (movie released in 2007), Two Kisses for Maddie, and Bossypants.  The first two are fiction, and the second two are not.

I found Water for Elephants to be a quick, fun read, but the story is rushed.  I seriously doubt that the entire range of events could have occurred with this degree of character and relationship development in the time span depicted in the book.  But if you like books with happy endings where the bad guys get it, then this one’s for you.

I loved Atonement.  This is an example of good fiction where the story does not end neat and tidy and all happy.  While there is some closure, the reality of life during WWII, manages to prevent the resolution and reuniting of the couple who loved one another.  Atonement only really occurs in the fiction of the fictional author.  It’s a story within a story.

My brother-in-law convinced me to read Tina Fey’s book, Bossypants.  This was a quick read that was hilariously funny but also included some real nuggets of wisdom.  Shedding some light on the behind the scenes lives of women writers and producers in show business is kinda fun, too.

Two Kisses for Maddy, A Memoir of Loss & Love is a book written by Matthew Logelin whose wife died during the birth of their only child, Maddie.  One minute she was alive, and they were looking forward to raising their daughter, and the next minute she was dead.  Makes you want to run and hug and kiss your spouse and children.  It takes you through the real love, loss, and pain of this family.

I am currently reading The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards and Heaven Lake by John Dalton (the younger brother of a friend from high school who is a college professor and just released another book, The Inverted Forest).  Yes, I am reading two books at the same time.

I feel like I get my reading done in fits and starts.  My sister swears by her Kindle on which you can download a lot of the classics for free.  We spent some time this past weekend talking about some of our favorite classics.  Among mine are A Tale of Two Cities and Grapes of Wrath.  I don’t know what that may say about my personality, but some of the darkest tales are among my favorites to read.

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7 Responses to My Summer Reading List

  1. Pingback: My Summer Reading List, Part Two | Mama's Empty Nest

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