Tag Archives: summer reads

Summer 2015

13 Jun

My summer vacation time doesn’t start for another ten days, but I’m SO ready for it now. Every summer I get a big stack of books ready so there won’t be a lack of choices. Today I just finished reading Revival by Stephen King. I’m not a big King fan, but I loved this one. So now, I want something a little less intense and I’m looking to my stack to make my next choice.


Besides the stack of 17 books you see here, I have the following eReads waiting for me
Things I Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby
In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight
Every Fifteen Minutes by Lisa Scottoline
MWF Seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
Longbourne by Jo Baker

Honestly, if I read 8-10 of the 25 before school starts again in the fall, I’ll be happy. So, which one should I start with?


Day Two – Summer is meant for reading!

26 Jun

Every June I always post a photo of my summer book pile. I never read every book in my stack and every year the stack gets bigger. So, I went back through my lists from the last three years and made a master list of the books that I didn’t get to. None of these books made my 2014 list. I’m hoping if you’ve read some of these you might convince me to, or not to, read these:

  1. Ophelia by Lisa Klein
  2. When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris
  3. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
  4. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
  5. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  6. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
  7. One Summer by David Baldacci
  8. The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
  9. Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
  10. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
  11. Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
  12. The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larson by Susin Nielsen
  13. Every Last One by Anna Quindlan
  14. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
  15. Gifted by Marilyn Kay

This year, I’ve got BIG plans. But before I get to those, why don’t I give you a few recommendations. Let me tell you about my favourite summer read from each of the last three years.

Last summer I read A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. This was a gift from Savanna last year for my birthday. I have the whole box set, but I only read the first book. I have a tendency to do that, only read the first in a series. I also did that with Outlander, The Hunger Games and Divergent. Although I enjoyed these novels, I just never seemed too interested in what happened once the book finished. I love A Game of Thrones and now Glenn and I are watching the first season of the HBO show. I am very much enjoying the TV adaptation of this novel, so much so that I may even tackle the second book. I wonder if each season covers one book.

My favourite 2012 summer read was Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson. It was a psychological thriller with a fantastic twist that you’d never guess. I love a book that can surprise me, but I guess I love the predictable and sappy too!

In 2011 my favourtie summer read was The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill. This is one of those epic historical fiction novels that I would recommend to any adult reader 16 and over. I’m not a big history buff, but I love, love, love most historical fiction and this one is one of my top five favourite historicbooksl fiction novels.

Here’s the 2014 list:

  1. The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
  2. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
  3. The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness (on pre-order, not in the photo)
  4. For One More Day by Mitch Albom
  5. This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith
  6. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
  7. Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
  8. Full Frontal Feminism by Jessica Valenti
  9. The Comfort of Lies by Randy Susan Meyers
  10. Left Neglected by Lisa Genova
  11. A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby

I’ve started reading The Interestings already and I’m really liking it, and I already know that The Rosie Project will be next because it’s this month’s book club pick. After that it won’t matter what I’m reading, I’ll definitely put it aside for The Book of Life as soon as it arrives. It’s the third in a trilogy, and although I haven’t had much luck with sticking with series lately, there’s no way I’m not reading this one! If you haven’t read the first, A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, I highly recommend it!

I do have other goals for this summer, but reading and writing are at the top of my priorities, so expect to hear more about books.

Day 29 – Sister Wife

26 Jul

No, I’m not thinking of moving to Utah, but sometimes I think it would be wonderful to have another woman around to help with the cooking and cleaning and stuff… okay, I lie, my husband is better than two wives! Really, he is, and he’s all mine. I just finished reading Sister Wife by Shelley Hrdlitschka, and I just started reading it on Sunday. I haven’t read a book that quickly in almost ten years.

I must admit that I had a little help today from Aliant, and that’s a story in itself. The short version is this, I was told they’d arrive today to connect fiber-op and that it was an all-day job. Silly me; I assumed that meant the morning. They arrived at 5:00PM. They’ll be back in the morning. I’m thrilled. [Insert dry sarcastic tone here.] All I can say about that is, it better be worth it. Although I was upset at having to be home all day, I did enjoy the fact that my forced confinement allowed me the time to read.

I love the way Hrdlitschka chose to narrate the story using three distinct points of view. With each chapter the author shifts to a different character’s point of view. Either we read through the eyes of Celeste, or her younger sister Nanette, who are both teenagers in the polygamist community where the novel is set, or the outsider Taviana who lives with them after being rescued from a rough life outside their close-knit closed-minded community.

I enjoyed getting to know all three characters, and I must say I saw a little bit of myself in each of them. Nanette reminds me a lot of the way I used to be as a teenager. She sees things in black and white, right or wrong and doesn’t understand people who do not. She’s a rule follower. Celeste questions authority and doesn’t accept things the way others present them to her. She struggles to think for herself though this coming-of-age story. Taviana longs for safety and acceptance, and she easily adapts to her environment and learns to do what is best for herself, and those around her that she cares about.

My favourite part of the novel is in chapter eleven, when Celeste cannot sleep and gets up before dawn and goes to the porch to watch the sunrise:

“The night is still, but as I stand there admiring the shimmering sky, I hear the first bird chirp. It is followed by a second bird and then a third. One by one they welcome the day as the golden, orange and pink hues streak the eastern sky. I sink onto the top step and enjoy the sheer beauty of the sunrise. This is when I feel closest to God, when I truly feel His presence. The stunning display of colors before me is His finest work… God is not in the religious ranting. He is not in the rules, or even in the sacred book. He is here, in the beauty of this divine morning. He is in the music of the birds, in the colors of the sky and even in the goosebumps on my arms.” (pg. 129)

I have to agree with her, Celeste and Hrdlitschka. Certainly we learn something about how the author views God. I, too, feel closest to God when I take the time to appreciate the natural beauty of his creation.

I didn’t realize that the book falls into the teen fiction genre until I went to find the author’s website to link it to my blog post. Also, she is a Canadian author. These are two great reasons to love this novel even more. I’ll definitely be encouraging my students to read this one in the fall.

%d bloggers like this: