Monday, July 6, 2009

Summer Book Reading - Reviews, Sort of

"Tell me what you read and I'll tell you who you are" is true enough, but I'd know you better if you told me what you reread.
François Mauriac

Okay, so I know the two books listed in my current read file were not on the Summer Reading List I sent out. What can I say? I'm a book whore. I needed something to read while floating. Hence, the Janet Evanovich. $4.49 at Costco, and I don't have to worry about getting a borrowed or library book wet. And to the other, well it was just sitting on the book table and flashing in my eyes like a neon light. I had to buy it.

I have a question for the readers out there. How often do you re-read a favorite book? My mom had a neighbor who read Gone With the Wind every summer. I always seem to be on this track to conquer all the books out there, but I'm contemplating doing something different. Your feelings?

Meanwhile, here's my thoughts on three I've read that were on my list.

Ella Minnow Pea
a progressively lipogrammatic epistolary fable-Mark Dunn (Recommend)
Quick read. Smart, different. If you love words, just imagine if certain letters were removed from our grasp. Imagine the havoc that might reign if say, the letter "J" no longer existed. My name would be "ulie". There would be no more junk or jelly or jello or jute or jolly jerks joking.

Dunn's book is a refreshing change and a much higher level can be read into the plot--how people in power can change and manipulate a society right into the ground. At the same time, this epistological manuscript has a light-hearted approach and a saving day. Fun read.

Escape - Carolyn Jessop with Laura Palmer (Interesting diversion)

With the recent news last year of the raid on the FLDS church compound in Texas, this timely read of a woman, her eight children, and their escape from a life in polygamy truly grips your heart. Makes us realize how many women in this world have not only not been liberated, but still live in a dark hole (and don't have a clue.) Interesting insight into the workings of this male dominated society conducted by fear. Quick read. Starts out slow, but hooks you by the middle.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (Recommend)

Floors me how writers can take a place foreign to them and make themselves feel so comfortable in it that the reader follows suit. Such is the case with this book that takes us to the Channel Islands. Again, written in epistolary form, this book offers communique between the fragile leftover beings after World War 2. Everyone has a tale of the horrors of the war, but this book begins while putting the pieces of lives together after the devastation and loss. One can almost smell the air on Guernsey as our authors take us through the old fashioned art of letter writing to connect heart and lost souls. Predictable, but acceptable as the characters are likable.

Read on, read on!


  1. I picked up The Guernsey from the library and can't wait to read it

  2. I just re-read The Guernsy Literary...and found it even more delightful the second time around. Thanks for the other reviews as well.

  3. I will have to check these out. I love a good epistolary. Wait. I'm not sure that wasn't dirty.

    I have been reading Evanovich's _Fearless Fourteen_, the latest one in paperback. I love Stephanie Plums because they're quick and easy and entertaining reads. I can see how it would work well on a raft. :)

  4. What fun names of books. Very clever people out there.

    Thanks for sharing this info. The potato peel pie story - I may have to read when my stack goes down a bit. :)

  5. Ouuu, I LOVE this reading list! Tragically, I've not been reading much lately and I hate that! This just might give me a jump start. Speaking of re-reading, I have a hankering to grab one of my favorite Wallace Stegner books and take it to Calif. next week.

  6. All 3 of these sound great. I need to write these down so that when I get a chance to read, that I remember what books I should look for. Thanks for sharing your reads!

  7. I really like the quote you have on top of your post. That is how I have always said a book really affected me: if I want to own it and read it again. I am a library borrower type reader. I am not usually reading the latest published books so I am usually a year behind. But I love the suggestions and keep an ongoing list of books to investigate!

  8. Great pics!! I will keep them in mind for the pool!!

  9. Hmm....yours is the third blog in two days where I've seen the Guernsey Literary book recommended. It must be a good one.

    Thanks for the link to Margaret & Helen. Bitingly funny stuff.

  10. I went to a friends book launch yesterday at our local book store and picked up two more besides her new one, one was the Guernsey Literary! I am a book "madame " and I should shut down the house but won't! HA!

  11. At the rate I'm going (read a paragraph, fall asleep) it will take me all summer to read the book I'm currently reading.

  12. I reread my favorite books about every two years. They bring me such comfort; they're my oldest, bestest friends.

  13. I've been thinking of re-reading some of my favorites. Especially Gone With The Wind or Rebecca, or maybe even The Other Side of Midnight. But I always think I'll be missing out on something I haven't read. So little time and too many books. Thanks for the reviews. They all look interesting!

  14. I hardly ever reread, except Harry Potter. (What is wrong with me?) I love, love a good story and I do tend to forget as soon as I've read the last page, but rereading doesn't strike me as worthwhile, although I do want to find my Tom Robbin's Jitterbug Perfume and read that once again.

    Your prolific reads are shaming me.

  15. The Guernsey book is one of the best ever. I rarely reread because there are too many books I haven't read yet. I do revisit Anne Morrow Lindbergh's Gift from the Sea every few years or so.


Let me know what you think. Every word you write, I appreciate.


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