Summer is in full swing over here. Lots of hot days and pool visits and late night talks on the back porch. I love how late the light lasts and the lightening bugs that come out right before climbing into bed. With the hot weather comes busy and full days. We are checking off boxes around the house flip and planning our next steps, while Carter is working long days in the office (he did manage to hang a tree swing, though :) I read some really great books this spring (this post is way over due), and my list for the summer keeps growing. Let’s pick up where we left off, continuing the count toward 52 books.
10. Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
This has been on my list for a long time, since it came so highly recommended. Obama named it his favorite book of the year, as did Amazon. It was everywhere, so I picked up a copy for myself. Groff’s writing style is poetic and imaginative with an original prose. It follows a Gone Girl-esque structure–first from the perspective of the husband, then of the wife. The story narrates a marriage over the decades and the unspoken truths and secrets that defined their relationship. It took me a while to see the direction of the novel, but then I couldn’t put it down.
11. Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
When I heard there was a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice, I jumped at the shelf. I was left disappointed, since it was much more a mockery than a retelling. Bingley was on a version of the Bachelor, the Bennett’s matriarch is a hoarder, and Jane is a yoga instructor living in New York City. It felt forced, lacking in the wit and sophistication that turned the original into a classic. If satire is your cup of tea, though, give it a try.
12. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
A quick (it’s only 50 pages) and important read. Based on her TED talk, she asks (and answers) the question: what does feminism mean today? While short in length, it has depth most books can’t achieve in 300 pages. She is frank, to-the-point, and incredibly smart. Ngozi Adichie is the author of Americanah, which is on my list for summer. Have you read it
13. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
#Breneforpresident continues. Sometimes, I need be reminded of my inner strength. Brene’s work always does that for me. Remember that you have value? That it’s okay to say you are sorry and will do better next time? That you matter? Sometimes we forget those things, and when I do, I pick up Brene. To dare greatly is to have courage to be seen, to “get in the arena,” and work hard for your life purpose. Her books are not “self help” sagas–they feel like you just walked away from a heart-to-heart with your mentor/mom/therapist (in the best way possible).
14. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
A feel good tale, it centers around (you guessed it) Ove, a cranky retiree who is deeply grieving the loss of his wife. A family moves in across the street and they form an unlikely friendship. I loved this book–it is light, quick, and incredibly charming. Sometimes you just need a book that makes you happy, and this novel is like a giant hug.
15. The Wisdom of the Enneagram by Don Richard Riso
I am really into the enneagram right now. Have you taken the test before? Do you identify with your number? I find it so fascinating. I have learned so much about myself and how I interact with those around me. Do you have any other books on the enneagram that you would recommend? I’m all ears! This one is great, too.
16. Epilogue by Anne Roiphe
An incredibly poignant memoir, this one will stay with me for a long time. Roiphe became a widow after 40 years of marriage, and Epilogue is her journey. I have anxiety when I think too hard about the death of my loved ones, but somehow, in all her grief and vulnerability, Roiphe provided me great comfort. This one has a permanent spot on my shelf and one I’ll probably reach for over and over again.
17. Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton
Glennon, the voice behind Momastery, writes about real stuff in a real way for real women and it’s freakin refreshing. Her story is intense but she tells it with humor and candor. True community is found in vulnerability and brokenness, and she shares how she knows this to be true. Read this sucker.
18. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
I majored in English Lit in college, and when I graduated, I basically swore off anything written before 1990. But with all the tragedy going on, I couldn’t get this Ralph Ellison quote out of my head: “Everywhere I’ve turned somebody has wanted to sacrifice me for my own good—only they were the ones who benefited. And now we start on the old sacrificial merry-go-round. At what point do we stop?” It is eery how little the narrative has changed.
19. Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
I love Sheryl and I closely follow her career. I don’t know why it took me so long to read this book from cover to cover–I’ve read a few chapters here and there but finally picked it up. I’m disappointed I didn’t read this sooner. She is so full of wisdom and insight. She dissects why exactly women are held back and then gets into the nitty-gritty. Pull up a chair and sit at the table of your own life. Take risks. Instill a confidence in yourself that cannot be broken.
(Not included in the count but if you are looking for a new cookbook, go right now and buy It’s All Easy! I am cooking my way through it and everything so far has been delicious.)
I am looking forward to sharing my summer list with you! I’ll post it sometime this month. I’ve been reading some really good ones…
till next time, bookworms!