Reading

Summer reading list

Since both of my kids turned one, I have enrolled them in some book program at our library. The Artist finished 1000 Books before Kindergarten last summer, and The Engineer most likely will finish her 1000 Books before next summer. I don’t do this simply for the accolades and awards – though they are nice; our library will give out vouchers for free ice cream cones or kids’ meals to local fast food restaurants. I do it because it helps hold me accountable. I go to our library more, check out more books, and read more books to the girls. It’s a way to document how much we’ve read during the week. Sure, we read books from our house, too, but our library has some amazing resources that I don’t want to miss.

One that I apparently have been missing is our adult reading program, of which I just found out. I have always loved to read, but due to work, writing, and the girls (and let’s be honest, there’s a whole lot of Netflix thrown in, too), I don’t read for myself as much as I once did. Therefore, I enrolled myself in the adult reading program. This summer, already, I’ve read two books, which is quite an accomplishment for me.

I have utilized the Goodreads app for a couple of years now, but I now am eying my summer reading list and happily knocking off a couple on the huge list of books that I “Want To Read.”

Currently read this summer include “A Constellation of Vital Phenomena” by Anthony Marra, which was a highly touted book in 2013 and 2014. It won several awards and came with high recommendations from other Goodreads’ users.

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I hated that book. I hated that it was so real and that I could sense the pain and torture the characters endured – and knew that the people of Chechnya had suffered similar fates as the characters. As soon as I finished the book, I returned it to the library and picked up a copy of “The Historian” by Elizabeth Kostova.

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Now, here’s where you can obviously tell that I am not a good book critic, so please keep this in mind as you read my minuscule reviews of these two books. I hated Marra’s book because it was too realistic. Kostova’s book, which was about Dracula’s hunt for the central characters, was so lightening because it wasn’t real. In fact, some of the reviews of the book have been scorn-filled because “oh, that coincidence just couldn’t have happened.” The ending was a little anti-climatic, to be honest, but I thoroughly enjoyed the ride.

The library also just reserved Philippa Gregory’s “Three Sisters, Three Queens” for me. I have only disliked one of Gregory’s books; her writing style is easy and fast-paced, and I love her knowledge of Tudor England. I have learned more about that time period from her books than from my high school and college history classes, I must admit. Her books would make great beach reads if I didn’t have to chase The Engineer from the waves on a regular basis.

I’m also hoping to pick up Dave Eggers’ “The Circle,” “Swan Song” by Robert R. McCammon, “Women in the Word” by Jen Wilken, and “Love Does” by Bob Goff. We’ll have to see how many the library has and how many I can find on Amazon for good prices.

And now – time to read “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” to the girls. It’s on their reading list.

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