Thursday, August 4, 2022

Knee Deep In Summer Reading (Day 216, Year 2)

Well friends, we are knee deep in summer (I have no idea what this means exactly but it makes me feel Southern and thinking about the South always reminds me of summer.). Being in this enmeshed and very hot (at least in Jersey!) situation had led to a lot of summer reading! I partially abandoned my summer reading list which is typical. So many friends recommended other books and then once you read that recommendation, the book genie/robot/wizard in your Kindle recommends more books and pretty soon you are knee deep in something and have strayed from your list completely. 

Wow. I am glad I got that confession out. 

Anyway, before I get too knee deep in confusing banter with myself, here's what I've read since I last overshared in June:

1. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

At my last report, I had just started this book. It is a dystopian fiction that has notes of the Walking Dead (but without the zombies and so much stabbing in the head). The end of the world is placed against the backdrop of the theater and a post-apocalyptic traveling group of Shakespearean actors. You even get a taste of the pre-apocalyptic world and then some intel on what happened to everyone from the pre--and in the present of the apocalypse. 

I know--I just around the apocalypse like my children toss around candy wrappers in the living room; but trust me, this book is an excellent read that keeps you turning pages. 

2. The Lifeguards by Amanda Eyre Ward

I LOVED Eyre Ward's other book The Jetsetters--it was funny and complicated and ridiculous, yet real. Her latest book, The Lifeguards, was a really entertaining read (I recommend it!), but it is a departure from the realness of the Jetsetters. The book mixes a little bit of mystery and thriller with some of the overpriveleged drama from May Cobb (author of The Hunting Wives and My Summer Darlings). I loved reading this; but when it was over, I had dozens of questions about everything. 

3. Iona Iverson's Rules for Commuting by Clare Pooley

GUYS! READ THIS BOOK! It is marvelous. I want there be a trillion sequels. The book takes places mostly on the train in England. I read it when we were in England (sometimes on a train). It is so funny and charming and unexpected (the unexpected might be the best part). There are even a couple "Girl on the Train" references that gave me a chuckle. The book centers around Iona and the cast of misfits she forms a friendship with on the train when she commutes everyday. They have real life problems, there are lots of light and heavy moments and I laughed so much when I read it at bedtime that I woke up in the morning still smiling! 

Clare Pooley is a new favorite (she also wrote The Authenticity Project, another book everyone should read immediately!) 

4.The Summer Place by Jennifer Weiner

I loved reading this book and devoured on the flight home from Paris, wrapping up the last third the day after we got home. In the beginning, I loved it especially compared to other recent Weiner books that have had notes of bitterness and anger; The Summer Place was much more approachable, but still serious enough to turn up the drama factor. Then suddenly everything became very, very complicated and confusing and I think everyone ended up having sex with everyone, at some point. I started taking notes on post-it notes so I wouldn't forget the entanglements. It was all a bit unrealistic BUT then again, I could totally picture this book adapted as a movie or limited series, because really everyone was a hot mess with some sexual boundary issues. 

5. Less by Andrew Sean Greer

Okay, when you pick up Iona Iverson's Rules for Commuting, you also MUST pick up a copy of Less. This book is my absolute favorite. I savored every word like a very, very fancy meal. Mike kept asking me why it as taking me so long to read and that is because I was not reading it, I was committing every bit to memory and letting Greer's writing into my cells. I laughed until I cried. I read passages out loud and everyone pretended to listen. I begin to believe Less was someone I knew and couldn't wait to see again.

And the good news, there is a SEQUEL coming out this Fall, so it won't be too long. 

READ THIS BOOK!!

6. The Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hilderbrand

When I began reading this book and discovered it was partially narrated by a ghost, I had my doubts. Hilderbrand had a book last year that was narrated by a newly dead woman and I found her annoying and really wanted her to step into the light and stop with it all. However, The Hotel Nantucket is addicting, binge worthy and has everything you love about a beach read. The hero is a woman, who is alone and has been wronged but is super talented and about to rock it at her career. Everyone has problems; but they are still highly likable and seem like they are attractive. It takes place on Nantucket, where everyone wants to live after reading a Hilderbrand book. And the ghost is not annoying at all, she's lovely and you never want her to leave. 

Buy this book and sit in your beach chair. 

Currently Reading: 

Adult Assembly Required by Abbi Waxman

This book brings you back into the life of Nina Hill, the lead character in Waxman's previous book "The Bookish Life of Nina Hill." The book begins on a ridiculous premise, but Waxman makes the ridiculous believable and wonderful, so I cannot wait to read more of this! 



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