Friday, August 26, 2016

summer book report

So back in early Spring when I put together this list, I mentioned that I was not expecting to have much reading time. Well, several things conspired to really change that fact: first off- nursing. In the early days I read a ton while nursing C. I also read a lot when he was fussy and would only fall asleep on my chest- can't complain about being stuck on the couch, with cuddles and a good book, that's for sure. I also found I didn't have much energy for my other hobbies in the first weeks (like writing, knitting, or going for walks...) so I would pick up books in any free moment I had. The final thing that really changed my reading life is that my mom gave me an e reader while she was visiting me. All of a sudden, I had access to all the books I had struggled to find here- and all in my own language! It was (is) almost too good to be true. 

So all that to say, I managed to plow my way through most of my list and then pick up a whole bunch more books. Today I'm sharing a little bit about what I've been reading and what I thought of each book.

lets start with the books from that list:

Americanah (Chimamanda Adiche) 
This book was thought provoking, with Adiche sharing many of her honest observations on some important topics. While I quite like her as a writer, I must say I didn't like this one quite as much as some of her other writing. But on the whole, it made me think and gave me a new perspective on several levels and for that I'm glad to have read it.

Delancy (Molly Wizenberg)

Though I didn't love this as much as Molly's first book (A Homemade Life) I found it fascinating to read about her experiences in opening a restaurant with her husband and plowed through it at incredible speed. Can't wait to try a few of the recipes, and who knows? Maybe we'll make it down to Seattle on one of our trips home to stop in and have a pizza...

Bringing Up Bebe (Pamela Druckerman)
As I mentioned, Waldi and I were reading this aloud together before Caleb was born. We found it interesting and it sparked many a conversation between us, though we aren't planning to follow everything in it to the letter.

All the Light We Cannot See (Anthony Doer)
So glad I finally got my hands on this! It's a sweeping story, set during WW2 in both France and Germany and told through multiple perspectives. Doer is an excellent storyteller and I enjoyed the multiple storylines and how they crossed over together. 

Daring Greatly (BrenĂ© Brown)
Loved this book- and now I'm only asking myself why it took me so long to read it? I've shared a few thoughts on this book in a previous post so today I'll just say I learned a ton and gained some insight into my own life. At several points I put the book down, amazed to realize that others experience some of the same thought processes I do, and that there is a name for them and a conversation happening about them. So glad I picked this up.

and here are a few more I managed to make my way through:

The Paris Wife (Paula McLain)
Interesting perspective on the story of Ernest Hemmingway and his first wife Hadley. I enjoyed getting lost in the setting and time period- overall a quick and fun read.

The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared (Jonas Jonasson)
Picked this one up just a few days before Caleb was born and read it while breastfeeding those first few intense weeks. It's been on our shelf since Waldi read it several years ago and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it, as I had thought it wasn't for me. Reading this also has me thinking I should try and pick up more books in translation...

Vanessa and her Sister (Priya Parmar)
My aunt gave this to me, and though I'd never heard of it before, it was a quick and interesting read. It's a fictional account of Virginia Woolf and her sister Vanessa Bell, and the Bloomsbury group- a gathering of writers and artists that met regularily in London in the early 20th century. I wasn't blown away but I did enjoy it.

When Breath Becomes Air (Paul Kalanithi)
This is a heartbreaking memoir by a young neurosurgeon who is diagnosed with cancer. (seriously heartbreaking- his wife writes the epilogue after his death...) Well-written and brave, it's one people will be talking about for awhile, I'm sure.

The Getaway Car (Ann Patchett)
Quick little glimpse into the writing life of one of my favorite authors. Enjoyed reading her perspective on her work as a writer and learning a little more about her journey. 

and of course: 
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (JK Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne) 
Because how could I pass up the chance to revisit my favorite magical world? Okay, so like many HP fans, I'm sure, I've got lots of opinions on this one. I think the fact that it's a play and not a novel is helpful because I was already prepared for a different reading experience than I had with the other seven books. I don't want to give too much away for those who haven't read it but I will say that I appreciated that we got a little bit of a different perspective (both positive and negative) on several characters who I felt were pretty one dimensional in the series. It was fun seeing Harry and the rest of the gang as parents as well- what they did well and where they were struggling. So all in all, I enjoyed it.

so, what's next? I'm currently reading All the Bring Places by Jennifer Niven (as recommended on this podcast, of course) and I'm putting together a new reading list for Fall that I'm very excited about. I'll be sure to share soon, but in the meantime, what have you been reading? I'd love to add any suggestions to my ever-growing TBR list! 

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