IMG_2590I am a reader. It’s just always something that I’ve done to stay busy ever since my mom handed me Babar to get me out of her hair when I was a kid.

Over the years, the amount I’ve read has ebbed and flowed – I don’t think I finished one book between like 1992-1998 when my older kids were small – but it’s always something I’ve come back to. By the time I had my fourth child in 2002, I spent late nights nursing him while reading Mrs. Dalloway and The Hours. Cheery.

And while I cut my teeth on Sidney Sheldon, Danielle Steele and The Thornbirds (oh, Father Ralph), I have gotten a little choosier as I’ve aged about what I spend my time reading.

Not that I’m all Don DeLillo and Proust now, but I recently tried to get into the new Dan Brown and found myself annoyed that the hero, Robert Langdon, was immediately – and obviously – paired with some gorgeous, yet brilliant, young doctor. Haven’t we already gone down that road? It just seemed formulaic.

Any time you open a book, you’re gambling with your time. Even though Entertainment Weekly, Oprah or someone in your book club raved about it, you might have thought Possession was unbearable. I know I did, and I’d like those hours I spent trying to slog through all those poems back.

I choose a lot of what I read based on reviews in maybe People or The New York Times. I see four stars and think, “That’s for me.” That’s how I found The Lovely Bones and Gone Girl and more recently, The Good House (my mom had sent me an article about the author and I felt an affinity for the picture of her lying on her bed with her laptop).

So imagine my disappointment when I realized the current book I’m reading, The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls, which garnered a wonderful review in the Times by Michiko Kakutani, is cleverly cloaked soft porn involving teenagers. Like, keep your hands to yourself, kids.

And don’t get me wrong, I’m all about porn — and frisky teenagers, for that matter. I devoured the Twilight series and Fifty Shades of Gray in days. Those trilogies were the equivalent of, say, plowing through a fresh box of Cheez-Its and quickly finding yourself scraping the salty bits off the bottom of the bag. Delicious.

Call me a prude, but there is way too much back arching, throbbing and moaning between teenagers than I could handle. And, really, if I want to read something about first love, I’d prefer to snuggle up with The Fault in Our Stars or Eleanor & Park. Even Judy Blume’s Forever, from what I recall, seemed more tame (but how many times did I reference page 86 back-in-the-day?)

So, I’m on the hunt for better. I want to find my next Gone Girl or This Is How You Lose Her to kick off beach season.

So tell me, what are you reading this summer? My Kindle is charged and ready for downloading.

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25 thoughts on “what are you reading this summer?

  1. …sniff…trying not to take the Possession comment personally. On a happy note, I recommend “Where’d You Go Bernadette?” Loving it and I promise it is nothing like Possession (which I still maintain is a great book).

  2. I love to read! I am currently reading Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews (and also recently read Hissy Fit by her as well). Great light summer reads.

    Some other books I’ve read and enjoyed recently are:
    Close My Eyes (a little far-fetched but a good read) by Sophie McKenzie

    Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe

    Bird in Hand by Christina Baker Kline
    Evidence of Life by Barbara Taylor Sissel
    Wallflower in Bloom by Claire Cooke
    Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight
    Chasing Rainbows by Kathleed Long
    Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
    The Comfort of Lies by Randy Susan Meyers
    All of Maria Murnane’s books
    The Next Thing on My List by Jill Smolinski
    A Simple Thing: A Novel by Kathleen McCleary
    The Fault in our Stars by John Green
    All of Catherine McKenzie’s books
    Gillian Flynn’s books
    Slammed by Colleen Hoover
    On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves
    Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
    Defending Jacob by William Landay
    Maggie Barbieri has fun reads!
    Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss and Love by Matthew Logelin
    A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard
    Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson
    Now You See Her by James Patterson
    Not My Daughter by Barbara Delinsky
    One Summer by David Baldacci
    All of Wendy Wax’s books

    Wow – I didn’t mean to list all those! 🙂

    • Lost of great recommendations! Tara, thanks for sharing! I think it’s enough to keep me lying in my bed until Christmas …

  3. In no particular order….some favorites of late:
    Me Before You: A Novel by Jojo Mayes (surprisingly great!)
    The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman
    The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
    Honeymoon With Harry by Bart Barker (light summer book for sure!)

    Happy reading!

  4. I mentioned this one at the beach on Sunday – “Life after Life” by Kate Atkinson. I just finished “And the Mountains Echoed” by Khalid Housseini – very good. Naturally I just purchased “The Spy Who Loved: The Secrets and Lives of Christine Granville. Finally “The Woman Upstairs” by Claire Messud – in my Kindle. Happy Reading

  5. I found a new author that I like: Erika Shepherd Roebuck. Her 2 latest – Hemingway’s Girl and Call Me Zelda – had female central characters that stayed with me for some time. I highly recommend them. Both have Kindle editions.

  6. I just finished Tiny Birds, Far Away by Christie Watson….great characters…takes place in Nigeria, so learned a bit as well. Also read the Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan Phillip Sendker and really enjoyed that as well– took a bit to get into, though.

  7. Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. It’s inspiring and absorbing however reading about Paul Farmer makes me feel just a tad bid inadequate.

  8. I think you would love Jen Lancaster – her non fiction will make you lol….
    Bitter is the New Black (going broke)
    Such a Pretty Fat (about her dieting attempts)
    My Fair Lazy (TV addiction)

    • Vanessa … I need to read these, you’ve mentioned them before and I think we enjoy the same sense of humor. Miss having you yell at me 😉

  9. “And the Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini. I can’t put it down! I also have heard from several people that “The Interestings” by Meg Wolitzer is a must read.

    • Liz I totally need to read “Mountains.” Hear great things about it too. I tried reading Wolitzer’s “Ten Year Nap” and couldn’t get into it. But maybe it was just where I was at the time. Thanks for the tips!

  10. 3 Great books, well worth the read:

    Mr Peanut, Adam Ross
    This is where I leave you, Jonathan Tropper
    Waiting for Snow in Havanna, Carlos Eire
    Ok, one more:
    Wild, Cheryl Strayed (really tough woman)

    • Tim Carey! I read on of Tropper’s books — and loved it — but now can’t remember which. And “Wild” is totally waiting for me on my Kindle for when I go off on my own adventure later this summer. Good picks.

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