I’ve been cranking out the reading lately. In theory, life in summer slows down. And yes, the days can go by slowly, but overall we’re moving from one thing to the next at a pretty steady pace. My theory is if we keep moving, there’s less time to bicker.
But even with an uptick in our schedules, I refuse to be too busy to read which is my all time favorite past time. I read standing up eating breakfast. I cook dinner with a book in my hand. I sneak a few minutes while the kids are outside playing. I read at night until my eyes close or until I’m reading the same sentence over and over again or until 11:00 or until whichever comes first.
Here’s what I read this past month…
The Good Luck of Right Now, Matthew Quick: A middle-aged guy in Philly has been living with his mother his entire life and has to figure out the world on his own when his mother passes away. It’s set in Philly and includes a visit to Cat Parliament. Don’t know what that is? I didn’t either. It is a different kind of book for me and as quirky as the characters are by the end I was totally invested in them.
The Sun and Other Stars, Brigid Pasulka: This was the perfect book to be reading in the last few weeks of the World Cup. It’s the story of a star soccer player who holes up in an Italian seaside village waiting for a controversy to blow over. The local butcher’s son and the soccer star form an unlikely friendship and calcio (that’s Italian for soccer) heals old wounds of the town. Love Italy? Soccer? Characters that can’t get out of their own way? This is a book for you.
Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for Life, Crystal Paine: I’m a fan of these of pull-yourself-up-from-your-bootstraps/get-your-life-together books. This one was just okay for me. Maybe because my brain is already completely saturated with this kind of information. But if survival mode sounds like your life, it is definitely worth checking out.
The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett: The transformation of two sickly children happens simply by letting them go outside and have their own world – classic. As good as I remembered.
Away, Amy Bloom: I picked this up because Anna Quindlen mentioned it on her Facebook page and well, if Anna’s into it I figured I should check it out. A mother flees Russia to America after her family is murdered. After trying to make a new life, she finds out she doesn’t have the whole story and so she starts the long journey back to Russia. Really compelling read with beautiful writing and a lot of interesting historical context about being a single woman in the beginning of the 20th century.
Pioneer Girl: A Novel, Bich Minh Nguyen: Yes, another book with a Little House on the Prairie connection. I’m totally obsessed. A floundering grad student tries to prove a connection between her Vietnamese family and the Wilder’s while she struggles with her family’s expectations. A really good, easy summer read.
The Kids Will Be Fine: Guilt-Free Motherhood for the Thoroughly Modern Woman, Daisy Waugh: This collection of essays shines a light on how ridiculous modern parenting has become. And while most of the essays are good for a laugh, the undertone is a serious critique of how insane we’ve become regarding our children. Absolutely loved it.
Summer Bonus: Podcasts!
Thought I’d throw in a couple of my favorite podcasts too. I listen to these while doing chores around the house, but also good for those August road trips.
The Portfolio Life with Jeff Goins: Great guests like Seth Godin and Tim Ferris talking about how to build a life with meaningful work.
The Lively Show: Designed to add “a little extra intention to your everyday life”, Jess interviews individuals from all different backgrounds about their career and personal experiences.
Parenting Adventures: This podcast has been serious inspiration for me this summer when it comes to engaging with my kids.
Free Library of Philadelphia Author Events: I just learned that the library records its author events and posts them as podcasts. This is where I saw Sue Monk Kidd and Anna Quindlen speak, and I’m looking forward to checking out some others authors that I wasn’t able to see in person like Donna Tartt and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Hope you found something worth checking out.
Have a very real weekend.