As usual, this summer I was most thrilled about being able to read for fun. I have always been a big reader, and even as I age that has not changed. This summer I didn’t read a lot of easy, “fun” books, if you will. I read a lot of books that covered tough topics and that weren’t books I could easily finish in one day (which I do a lot).
I thought I would share my favorites from the summer! I still have a couple of weeks left and I am planning on letting my mind decompress a little bit so I am starting to read a couple of lighter reads before I go back to work.
1) Pat Conroy Beach Music:
This is by far my favorite book of the summer and maybe one of my favorite books of my life. I picked it up while we were at the beach and I could not put it down. It is a big read, 628 pages, but they are all worth it. I will say that I am a major cryer and this book brought the tears like no one’s business. As I was trying to pull myself together after finishing this book, I told my friends “He writes things that I feel in my soul and I just don’t know how to say.” I know that sounds really melodramatic, but it is completely true. Pat Conroy is a genius and an author. This book has changed the way I look at reading and writing. Mmm magical.
2.Gillian Flynn Gone Girl:
I read this book for the first time last summer, but I saw the trailer for the movie version and couldn’t remember all of the things from the book so I had to read it again. This is a book I finished in a day. I had told myself I was going to lay on the beach for literally the entire day and this was the perfect accompaniment. This is a fast, fun, edge of your seat read so if you are looking for something to keep your interest- this is definitely it. I saw that Ben Affleck is in the movie, so I am really excited for October to come around.
3. Markus Zusak The Book Thief
My husband taught this book last year to his freshman students and couldn’t stop talking about it so it was on the top of my list. I actually saw the movie before I read the book, which looking back, I can’t decide if that was a mistake or not. I sobbed for literally 20 minutes after we finished watching the movie, but I actually didn’t cry while I read the book. The author did an amazing job of setting up the reader for what was coming next. It is a beautiful story and one of the most creative pieces of literature. The narrator is death for crying out loud! Anyway, this is definitely recommended for all readers.
4. Khaled Hossieni The Kite Runner
I found this is in our school’s book room and I knew at one point my mom had read this, so I was excited to dive into it. Again, this book really made me think and ponder. It was a really emotionally difficult book for me to read. It was not something I could rush through. The pain and the reality of the characters was something I had to chew on and fight through. I think the thing I enjoyed most about the book was the different perspective I saw of the Afghani people. This may show my ignorance, but I am definitely learning about how much more is out there than just my America, but it was interesting to see and realize that there is life in Afghanistan far from the people we are in war against. There are people, just like you and me, who aren’t fighting and who are just trying to survive and live their lives in the midst of chaos.
5. Pat Conroy The Prince of Tides
Pat Conroy again, I know. I really struggled with this book. I had been on such a high when it came to Pat Conroy after reading Beach Music that I thought everything he wrote was going to be just as poetic and beautiful. Don’t get me wrong, this book was poetic and Pat Conroy’s writing style is nothing short of beautiful, but this book left me with a bad taste in my mouth. The family in this book had so much pain and it was hard to read about. I didn’t like the narrator or most of the characters- not because of Pat Conroy’s writing, but because of how well he wrote them. They were real people with flaws and pasts and yikes. I will recommend this for sure but don’t read it right after Beach Music. Give yourself a little time, maybe a book of a different author in between.
6.Harper Lee To Kill a Mockingbird
I think this summer was a summer of my husband’s recommendations. This is one of his favorite books. I read this a long long time ago, and I figured it was time to pick it up again. It is a classic for a reason. It isn’t a difficult read and I finished it rather quickly. The characters in the book help make the reader get attached to the story quickly. I have decided that my husband is Atticus and I am 100% ok with that.
These are just some of the books I have read this summer. It was a great summer for reading and hopefully this school year I can dive into a few books that I am not teaching the next day. My goal is to read 1 “fun” book a month while I am teaching. I need to keep myself somewhat sane!
**BTW thank you so much to Anneliese at Superfresh Babypants for this awesome tutorial on how to make collages! I am going to be using that bad boy all of the time.