After my son was born, I was so zapped from sleep deprivation and the demands of an infant that reading could no longer be a priority. But I missed falling into a book, celebrating beautiful words, and reveling in the imagination of the writer of the latest tale before me. Then came along baby 2, and reading (except for kids books) was even further from my grasp. However, when the kids got a bit older (and I found time to sleep again), reading for pleasure became part of my daily routine again, even if only for 20 minutes before bed each night. Having this back in my life has me happier and has given my days a bit more balance and peace.
Here we are in the middle of July, and I wanted to think about what I’ll be reading in the weeks ahead. Summer just always slips away, doesn’t it? It turns out that I have a mix of fiction (see #1 and #8 below), memoirs (#2 and #3), and non-fiction (even a self-helpy sort of book) before me. Drumroll, please.….. Here’s my summer 2012 reading list:
1. State of Wonder by Ann Patchett – I loved Bel Canto and The Magician’s Assistant, also by Patchett, and have been meaning to read her new book since it came out last year, so when I got the opportunity to read it and write a review/summary for my employer’s blog, I jumped on it. More on this to follow later this summer.
2. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls – Pretty much everyone I know has read this one, but I was late to the game, only recently picking it up at a garage sale. It’s a compelling, heartfelt, and, at times, very sad story about Walls’ childhood. However, her resiliency and the way she and her siblings supported one another through challenging circumstances is moving.
3. Blood, Bones, and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton – My husband picked this book on a hunch it would be good. He was right; it’s terrific. Hamilton, the chef/owner of Prune in New York City, wrote this memoir that examines her journey to become a chef and explores family, the one we’re born into and the ones we make along the way. I highly recommend it.
4. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth – I first read this one in 2007 after my son was born, but I am pulling it back out again for a refresher. My daughter has recently decided to go from the most cooperative child at bedtime to the kid who drags out the goodnight ritual for two excruciating hours. My husband and I are frustrated, and by the time 8:45 PM comes by, I’m wishing I had Dr. Weissbluth’s cell phone number.
5. Delights and Shadows by Ted Kooser – I don’t know where I got this book, but it’s on my bedside table. Kooser, the US Poet Laureate for 2004 to 2006, won the Pulitizer Prize in 2005 for this book. The slim volume beckons me, and I look forward to being “delighted” by it.
6. Mother Daughter Revolution: From Good Girls to Great Women by Elizabeth Debold – A colleague recommended this book when I expressed bewilderment about my very strong-willed daughter. How do I ensure that her strength becomes an asset, not a liability? How do I lay the groundwork now for a positive relationship with her in the future? How do I handle it when she, at times, so clearly prefers my husband (and that makes me sad)? My colleague (someone whose opinion I value) said this book was instrumental in helping her figure out her relationship with her daughter, so I am planning to give it a try.
7. Dare, Dream, Do: Remarkable Things Happen When You Dare to Dream by Whitney Johnson – I heard the author speak at Pivot Boston in May and am looking forward to jumping into her book, which explores how we can make our dreams a reality. The few chapters I have read so far have been very engaging and support of my goal of checking off items on my must do list for 40.
8. The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian – I am reading this book, which comes out on July 17, now. It’s set against the Armenian Genocide, an event I know little about. So far, it’s engrossing; it’s that book that I’ve been walking around the house holding onto, trying to grab a few minutes here and there to read another page, another chapter. I will be reviewing The Sandcastle Girls on Red Shutters thanks to Jessica from Don’t Mind the Mess; keep an eye out for my post about The Sandcastle Girls in the coming weeks.
In between these books, I’ll be reading my dear New Yorker, a host of shelter magazines, Real Simple (or, as I call it, organization porn), and kids books (of course). What will you be reading? And, anything you’d suggest for my summer reading list?