Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Book Break

Anyone ready for a break?  I know I am!  I have a couple of weeks off coming up very soon, so I'm now contemplating my annual hope-to-read summer reading list. 

I just started The Help by Kathryn Stockett - gripping so far, about the travails of African-American maids in Mississippi in the 1960's.  

Here are some other books I'm thinking of looking into this summer - with the hope of finishing at least a couple of them. (In light of our vacation plans, I have a theme this year: "I see London, I see France, I see medicine, music, and dance."  Corny, huh?) 

If anyone has read anything wonderful lately, please let me know!

I See London...

London Calling by Edward Bloor
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff
The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
The last two Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling (I'm so behind)

I See France...

Almost French by Sarah Turnbull
Belonging by Isabel Huggan
Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
On Rue Tatin by Susan Loomis

I See Medicine...

My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor

Music and Dance...

The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway
Appassionata by Eva Hoffman
Dancing on Thorns by Rebecca Horsfall

and, because I just rediscovered the beautiful film version of The Color Purple with my daughter (and am aghast it didn't win any of the Oscars for which it was nominated - if you haven't seen it in a while, do see it again!), I'm trying to dig up my old, beat-up, high school copy of this Pulitzer Prize-winning African American classic.  I think at least one book on everyone's summer reading list should be a re-read. :)

Click here to read Elaine Fine's review of Eva Hoffman's Appassionata and here for a review of David Lebovitz's The Sweet Life in Paris.


Crayons said...

Hi T.
I'm visiting via Elaine P's blog. I remember reading you last year and being so impressed with the breadth of your knowledge and taste in things. I even loved reading your list of books, movies and music in your profile.

I really thank you for this list of books. I'm stuck in non-fiction right now, which is fine, but I am yearning to go back into fiction.

T. said...

Hi! Nice to "see" you again! (And belated Happy Birthday, by the way!)

Thanks for your kind words. I'd love to have some non-fiction recommendations if you've got them, so do drop me a line if you have a chance. Happy reading! :)

Margaret Polaneczky, MD (aka TBTAM) said...

Great list - will save for my next book club meeting when we are looking for new books to read.

In you France section, a nice book if you haven;t read it yet is Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnick.

Happy summer!

T. said...

Oh, that's right! Paris to the Moon! I'm so glad you reminded me. I've been meaning to read that for a while. I just may have enough time to filch a copy before our trip...

K. said...

Hey girl,

I just randomly started a book club tonight (yes, I'm nuts!) because I just read Stephen King's On Writing. It was a great and very easy read...perfect for a vacation...

Brian said...

Hi T.,

I also immediately thought of "From Paris to the Moon" and could even lend you my copy! It's a funny and perceptive take by an American weriter learning to negotiate and appreciate a very different culture.

~M~ said...

Hi T,

You have a good list there! I loved The Help and Stroke of Insight, and of course you can't go wrong with Harry Potter. I've begun Sarah's Key, but it hasn't grabbed me yet. (Incidentally, I am also in the middle of Proust and the Squid, which you mentioned in a prior entry. That made me laugh because I so rarely meet people who are reading the same cerebral stuff that I am!)

Let's see, have I read anything good lately that I could recommend to you? I very much enjoyed Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese and thereafter read his two memoirs. Highly recommend, although The Tennis Partner was not as good as the other two, I don't think. Still worthwhile, though. I also recently finished What Is the What and Olive Kitteridge, both of which I would recommend, as well.

Happy reading!!

~M~ said...

Incidentally, I realize I still "owe" you a response to the questions you so kindly answered about religion. I just never could quite frame a response, which told me that the issue wasn't clear in my own head. I recently was able to put something down on paper, though. If you don't mind, I might email you...

T. said...

Thanks for those great recommendations, K & M!

K - if your group is interested in more books on writing, Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird is an absolute must.

Brian - I was JUST thinking of borrowing your copy of PtotheM!

M - email any time! And, we must have thought of Cutting for Stone at the same time - I was just about to put it on the "medicine" section! There's a great NPR feature about it here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=101416445

And for those who like ghost stories / Gothic, I just heard Sarah Waters' A Little Stranger was good...might be a little too scary for me, though...

Dragonfly said...

I've read Neil Gaiman's book and My Stroke of Insight. They were both great.