2016 Summer Reads Week 8 Update
Holy cats, we are already on 2016 Summer Reads Week 8. Past the Fourth of July and into the dog days of summer. I was off work for a week (use it or lose it vacation time), and got a lot of reading done in addition to making pickles from the garden and other assorted projects.
As I mentioned in the last post, I went off-list and read 10% Happier by Dan Harris. It was a fantastic read. His story is interesting, and he makes the thought of regular meditation more reachable. He cites recent studies that show how regular meditation can change the brain and yield not only happiness but also health. Often, introductions to meditation make it seem too new-age or that it’s just as easy as sitting down and doing it. Dan Harris makes it seem possible in a real way. Loved this book, and am interested in reading his new book, too. Sending this one on to my sister, along with a previous read. Because 10 percent greater health and happiness? Of course I want to share it with her.
Next up on the reading list was the latest Dominic Smith book, The Last Painting of Sara De Vos. It is split between three timeframes – the 1600s when Sara De Vos was alive, the 1950s when Ellie Shipley was in her 20s and forged a painting, and in the year 2000, when everything comes home to roost. Now, you know I love when an author can really suck you in with words. Sometimes, you read and something conveys a point or an idea. Sometimes, you read and you are fully immersed in the author’s mind. Dominic Smith’s writing is like that: “Q is roughly Ellie’s age but of another time — a man of pressed handkerchiefs and pomade who smells of wood glue. He wears a navy dustcoat with his monogrammed initials above a pocket crammed with mechanical pencils.” And “It’s only a little after four but already nearing dusk. A heavy bank of clouds has formed in the west. Through the trees, Ellie watches as a sunburst streaks through and turns the harbor from slate to sapphire and back again.” Love it. Love. The story is interesting and the book is good. Well worth the read, and I think my Mom will like it, too.
Next up is the second in the Miss Peregrine books, Hollow City.
Summer Reads 2016 list:
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah
As Close to Us as Breathing: A Novel by Elizabeth Poliner
Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
The Last Painting of Sara de Vos: A Novel by Dominic Smith
Honeydew: Stories by Edith Pearlman
A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories by Lucia Berlin
The Light of the World: A Memoir by Elizabeth Alexander
Bettyville: A Memoir by George Hodgman
Added in Progress:
10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works — A True Story by Dan Harris.
Like Summer Reads? More here:
2016 Week Five Update
2016 Week Four Update
2016 Week One Update
2015 Summer Reads Introduction
2014 Summer Reads Introduction