Wednesday, October 7, 2015

book report: Summer Reading List

several months ago, I shared a list of books I was hoping to read over the summer. While I didn't manage to get to them all, I did get to some, as well as a few that weren't on the list. Today I wanted to give a little book report about the books I did read during the past several months as there were some real gems amongst them. 

Let's start with the ones from that list:

Wild // Cheryl Strayed
It took me awhile to get into this, but in the end I'm glad I stuck it out. Cheryl tells her story with an honesty that is refreshing, and details her solitary journey on the Pacific Crest Trail in a way that makes it seem relatable, even though I've never experienced anything of the sort. I'm always intrigued by the different paths we as individuals take to find our passions in life- be it hiking, cooking or even knitting. There are threads of common experience through them all.

The Girl on The Train // Paula Hawkins
I have to admit, I was disappointed by this one. Though it was an entertaining enough read, I found I wasn't really all that interested in any of the characters and was even slightly disappointed with how things wrapped up in the end.

An Everlasting Meal // Tamar Adler
This is a delightful little book, and one I would recommend to anyone who isn't a fan of typical cookbooks. While there are recipes included, the author is mostly sharing a mindset, or approach to food and life in the kitchen. It's poetic, practical and deliciously written.

Agnes Grey // Anne Brontë
I'm glad I finally got around to crossing this last major Brontë sister novel off my list, as it's one of my favorites. Typically Anne, the youngest Brontë novelist, gets swept aside in the wake of her sister's beloved books but I happen to think her books are brilliant- well crafted stories that don't shy away from hot topics of the day. (plus her overuse of commas mirrors my own...) I would recommend this and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall to any English Lit fan out there. 

Home and Away // Hannah Fettig
(Insert all the heart-eyed emojis here) I'm so glad I picked up a copy of this book. Not only are all the patterns beautiful and well written, but the extra articles on different knitting techniques are so helpful. This is the perfect companion to that first sweater project (or that first seamed sweater project or really any number of sweater project) and I learned so much just by reading it through. I've only knit one sweater so far, but there will be more. 

And here are a few I wasn't planning on reading but picked up anyways:

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn // Betty Smith
Oh, gosh. This was one of those books that made me want to write. While the story is interesting, it was the writing that I fell in love with. I swear at times I could taste the burnt coffee and see the sun filtering through the tree onto the fire escape. This book is a real gem and an absolute must read.

We Should all Be Feminists // Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This is a very quick and worthwhile read. I've read a novel or two by Adichie and watched her first Ted Talk on a Single Story so it's safe to say I am a fan. This is a written version of a second Ted talk she gave, and it really is worth picking up. She shares some beautiful insights and interesting stories.

Savor // Shauna Niequest
I've read Shauna's Bread and Wine before and really enjoyed her writing style and what she had to say. So when I saw this while in Canada, I just had to pick it up. It's a book of small thoughts for each day of the year, and I'm really enjoying reading through it with my morning coffee, or in the evenings before I go to bed. As usual with these sorts of things, some days I don't connect with the writing at all, but others have been like reading a small part of my own soul spilled out on the page. Delightful. 

The All Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion // Fannie Flagg
You guys, this book. What a pleasure to read! It's a beautiful story about women pilots during WW2 and searching for your roots, about strong family ties and brave women and I could not put it down. I picked it up on a total whim at the library (though I'm pretty sure I did see it somewhere or other on Instagram, which must have been why I was drawn to it) and I'm so glad I did. A very charming and entertaining read.

So what's next? Well, I'm still hoping to get my hands on a copy of Wicked by Gregory Maguire. I've got A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolfe and The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt waiting for me on my night stand and I'm really dying to order a copy of As Always, Julia which is a collection of Julia Child's letters. 

What have you been reading lately? If you've got any book recommendations for me I'd love to hear them!


  1. Fried Green Tomatoes by Fannie Flagg is one of my favorite books! I haven't read the one you mentioned, but I am excited to check it out, now. I have been reading Salvage the Bones. A story of a young girl and her family during a hurricane in southern Mississippi. It's a quick, heart wrenching, sweet novel.

  2. Have been reading thru most of Elizabeth Zimmerman's books lately and really enjoyed all of them. such a pleasure to read about here exciting life; and also read lots of magazines like Flow and Simple life ; liked your book review; greetings from Bavaria; Barbara

  3. I'm a long time reader but this is my first comment :)

    Right now I'm reading Joy of Man's Desiring / Que ma Joie Demeure. I really like it! I checked out The Luminaries from the library and was really excited to read it, but I had to return it very quickly so I didn't get a chance to even get half way. Hopefully in the future I can read it! I like historical books like that.
    I'm also working my way through the fantastic series of 'The Knitters book of _____" by Clara Parkes. I could read everything she's written!


  4. I quite liked Wicked, although I find myself gravitating to nonfiction. The Disappearing Spoon is a favorite.

    Also, I've read two of the three Bronte Sister's novels. In typical fashion, I've missed Anne's novels. I don't know if you've seen this comic, but it's funny how it illustrates the three sisters.

  5. I'm glad you enjoyed Wild! Not reading anything here at the moment (somehow working, sleeping, eating is about all I manage these days) but I've bookmarked a few of your recommendations and hope to get at least a month or two of quiet time after Christmas to pick them up.