I love summer because no matter how crazy busy it gets (and this summer definitely qualifies as one of the crazy busiest) the seasonal imperative remains that I must read more than usual because that is simply what you do when the mercury starts to climb (103 anyone? but I digress. . .) This is leftover from blissful childhood summers in which reading was literally all I did. I’m sure many of you can relate. Check out this earlier post to bring back the memories.
Anyway, the two weeks abroad definitely helped, but here is what I’ve managed to put away wordwise, so far (since about mid-May):
On Rue Tatin: Living and Cooking in a French Town Susan Loomis Hermann
The author’s life can seem unbelievably “idyllic” at times–but other than that, it was foodie/francophile heaven all the way–and there’s no doubt, this bold food writer has earned her bliss.
An entertaining Gen Y graphic memoir of the author’s five weeks in Paris with her mother, as the two celebrated milestone birthdays. Definitely a writer on the rise.
A Whole New Mind: Why Right Brainers Will Rule the Future
by Daniel Pink
Anyone under 30 and anyone who teaches or touches the next generation (parents, mentors) simply must read this book. Aka: pretty much everyone.
My Mentor: A Young Man’s Friendship with William Maxwell
by Alec Wilkinson
Maxwell is incandescent in this book and that is what makes it such a treasure–because he was.
A mystery of sorts for book club. Well done–even though I am not a mystery fan.
The Phantom Tollbooth
by Norton Juster
I read this aloud to my 8.75 year old and neither of us liked it , but since it’s a “classic,” we felt compelled to see it through. Grr. It was just a series of didactic puns. FYI: there are two kinds of people in this world, those who enjoy puns and those who do not. I fall into the latter category. ‘Nuf said.
Knucklehead by Jon Scieszka
Jon Sciezka’s autobiography about the perils and pleasures of growing up in a family of 5 (I think) boys. Fun for kids of all ages, reassuring for this sometimes mystified mother of two XY’s.
I also read two manuscripts, my friend, Monda’s novel and my friend, Mike’s memoir. Strong, strong stuff.
More bliss on Rue Tatin and mouthwatering recipes.
The Program Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing by Mark McGurl
Louis Menand’s recent, widely debated article on creative writing programs in the New Yorker was a review of this book.
And still, the nightstand groans with stacks. Wish me luck!