Do Your Part, People. Summer is Coming…
I have read the first 50 pages of three books in the last few weeks and like an annoying fly, I can’t seem to land for long (Ahem, Tinkers). My reading selections, for the moment, have seemed to come unhinged. As I dabbled in my new titles, I realized I was deciding whether to read them, rather than actually reading them. It seemed silly.
I imagined that this may be because the new titles were dumbed down for summer and nothing was inspiring. (I have conversations with myself: Is Ann Patchett, Anna Quindlen and Annie Lamott really just the same person? Why do they have so many books out?) Or maybe it is the-every-day-is-a-party-or-major-event-in-the-4-weeks-before-school-ends. (good lord.)
But stay calm, people. I have a grip on the whole thing now. Kind of.
See, at the start of the year, I put together a plan. I poured over the January ‘best of’ lists, did my research, teed them up and let ‘er rip. I guess I was nervous about having a book blog and not choosing wisely, reading bad stuff and then falling behind in my posts and…Well, damn. Here I am.
The pre-selected list is not my usual M.O. I love a well organized to do list, but in my reading? That seems tedious. I’m prone to impulsiveness and the list could be shackles.
Well, I’m turning in my freedom. Because I am not afraid to say I’m adrift. And though I may loathe to plan, the list worked. I read some terrific stuff.
I have my first title.
But I need five more.
Can you share with me your must-read for summer? A review that caught your eye, a book you have always meant to read, a title you just devoured?
You may not hit with me a laundry list of titles.That’s toooooo easy. I am looking for near-perfection, unbelievable, single biggest, not to be missed book for this summer.
I’m making big plans.
For those of you who were curious about the first list…I have put them below in a handy best to not best list.
1. Let the Great World Spin, Colum McCann.
Fantastic. A must read this year.
2. Too Much Happiness, Alice Munro.
Also a must read.
3. Raising Happiness, Christine Carter.
I blew off Bad Mother and saw Po Bronson speak on NurtureShock and swapped it instead for Carter’s parenting guide. I even led a book group on it at Motherese. I don’t do a lot of parenting books, but this one was actually a gem.
4. Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone, J.K. Rowling.
I didn’t even post on this one, but the delight of my kids asking every morning: “How far did you get?” every morning was worth every page.
5. The Vagrants, by Yiyun Li.
Tough subject matter, but artfully written.
6. Brooklyn, Colm Toibin.
Despite the critics’ praise, it was pleasant but ordinary.
7. The Lacuna, Barbara Kingsolver.
Just not worth it.