I got so wrapped up in Henry's, the main character's, trials and tribulations I began stealing away moments during the school day to read this novel. The reader empathizes with Henry right away and wants to help see him through to the very end.
- Triathlons for Women by Sally Edwards
While there's no substitute for learning by doing, when you're approaching a new hobby or skill, reading about it certainly can't hurt. Making rookie mistakes is part of the process, but this book helped me avoid some potentially dangerous faults and explained some basics that made learning easier - especially when it came to that bike leg!
- Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris
David Sedaris is so easy to read. His writing inspires the reader to pay attention the the mundane, the subtleties of everyday life, and see the real story in that.
- The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
I'm normally not a fan of mystery novels, so without sounding too cliche, I have to say that so far, The Last Policeman is an exception. It's suspenseful, but without withholding so much information you just get frustrated (ahem, Gone Girl, anyone?). The hero, Detective Palace, lays low early on (I'm only about halfway through) but its clear that he is intense and calculated. He will do whatever it takes to solve his case and ensure justice prevails - even in the circumstances of doom.
- Best American Short Stories 2012 edited by Tom Perrotta
I always turn to the Best American collections when I want to read stories but don't want to spend any time looking for "good" ones (yes, life is so hard). They're all good, and all nearly perfect. In the introduction, Perrotta writes something like - there is no such thing as a perfect novel, but a perfect short story? That exists.
I'm trying to read more literary journals. It's hard to find them at bookstores, but I picked this one up at Barnes & Noble and thought the cover art was beautiful. I also like the concept of "Summer Reading". I'd like to subscribe to a few journals to read consistently, does anyone have a recommendation?
On my list...
- East of Eden by John Steinbeck
I've been told to read this book by several different people, several different times. Admittedly, I am poorly read in "those books you're supposed to read", so I thought this might be a good one to check off the list. It's great to read contemporary stuff, which is most often what I select, but there is something to be said about learning from the greats.
- How We Are Hungry by Dave Eggars
I've never read Dave Eggers, and I'm trying to read as many short stories as I can get my hands on--two birds with one stone, yes?
- Tenth of Decemberby George Saunders
Sort of the same situation here. I've heard a lot about George Saunders. In fact if I'm not mistaken, he made it to Butler a few years ago for the university's prestigious writers' series. I missed it, of course. But he's been on my to-do list for awhile and this collection has received lots of buzz that I want to get in on, too.
- Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
This has been sitting on my shelf for a long time. It's Karen Russell's first novel, though apparently it doesn't read like it. She's a rock star. There's something very fascinating about her setting, in my opinion - the Ten Thousand Islands off the southwest coast of Florida. Humidity that strong just sets an interesting haze over everything. It slows everything down.
Happy reading, everyone. Enjoy these late summer days and nights, soak them up before their gone.