Thursday, June 6, 2013


I have actually found time (or MADE time) for some recreational reading lately and it makes me so happy.  I miss always having a book to read at night or on my commute home from work.  Some of my favorite childhood memories revolve around the library and the summer reading program (nerd alert) so consider this my plug for reading a good book this upcoming summer.....

I had heard about this book via a few mommy blogs.  Melanie Shankle is a blogger herself and a Christian.  The reviews I read raved about this book so I, of course, tried to keep my expectations in check.  Luckily, I was able to download it to my Kindle for free on Mother's Day, which was appropriate since the book is mainly about Melanie's adventures with motherhood. I gotta say -- this book was a delight.  Melanie is incredibly funny and some of her comments in the book made me wish we were best friends.  I appreciated her weaving Scripture into the text in places that were less about laughs and more thought provoking.  It's a short book and an easy read but very entertaining.  Melanie's got a bright future ahead of her!

 This book was purchased on a whim because Amazon was offering the Kindle version for under 4 bucks (this is going to be a theme with my reviews -- I am cheap!).  I wasn't necessarily interested in Hawaii but the book was "recommended" by my good friends at Amazon since I apparently like historical fiction (or so they tell me).  The Amazon reviews were mostly favorable so I gave it a go.  Sooo I enjoyed this book too.  The story introduces us to a young girl in Korea in the early 20th century as she leaves her homeland to marry a stranger in Hawaii.  The remainder of the book is about her life in Hawaii and how Honolulu changes dramatically over 50+ years.  Alan Brennert includes a lot of history in this novel to the point where it becomes a little too much -- that's my only complaint and other Amazon reviews said the same thing.  But if you like getting a history lesson while you read, then you'd enjoy this book.  I think Lee got a little tired of hearing me say "Did you know in Hawaii....." every night during our reading time.  I think he tuned out after the first dozen times I tried to pass along my new knowledge of Hawaii to him. 

Ahh, Adriana Trigiani.  I love you.  I love this book.  What's not to like -- Italy, New York, a love story.  I actually cried a little during one part of this book while I was reading it on the subway.   That's commitment, people.  I could keep gushing but I think I've already overused the word "love" here.  Read. This. Book.

I checked this book out from the library and because it is new (at least, to the public library) I had to read it in 7 days.  Yes, a 7-day loan.  Talk about pressure.  300+ pages in 7 days was a challenge when you've got a job, kids, and other obligations.  But I did it.  Wouldn't want to do it again, but I did it.  So as for this book -- The Aviator's Wife is about Anne Morrow Lindbergh.  Historical fiction again only this time, the main character is obviously a real person.  So that makes things a little trickier when you read a novel and wonder "did she really say that??"  I liked this book but didn't love it.  Whether it was because the real person/fiction thing was too weird for me or because Charles Lindbergh wasn't a likeable man, I'm not sure. Again, I enjoy learning about people, places, events, etc. while I read so that part of it was fascinating and I intend to read Anne's book Gift from the Sea soon.  I also think the Lindberghs had sad lives and maybe the disturbing nature of their son's abduction and the way the family was hounded by the press made me sad for them.  I suppose we don't have to always feel happy about a storyline in order to like a book (White Oleander!) but I think I prefer it.  I get so little time for recreational reading, I prefer to read happy books.

Hi again, Adriana Trigiani.  Another winner here, my friend.  Plot = a young, stylish clothing designer leads an interesting life in 1950s Manhattan.  A fun read.  Not a grand love story like The Shoemaker's Wife but there are only so many home runs in the literary world.  Enjoyed it.

So that's it.  I am trying to figure out what to read next.  Alan Brennert (Honolulu) has a new book out called Palisades Park that I saw at the library but it's a 7-day loan and you know how I feel about those.  What books would you recommend?  I'm thinking about adding some of these titles to my summer reading list:

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

I love reading lists! I enjoyed Molokai by Alan Brennert, if you enjoyed Honolulu, I think you would like it. I also enjoyed The Paris Wife, but you may find that it is like The Aviator's Wife, in that, Hemingway is not a likable character. After I read it, I reread A Moveable Feast--fun comparison. My summer reading list includes: Glaciers by Alexis Smith, Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple, A Lady Cyclists Guide to Kashgar by Suzanne Joinson and now I am adding Beautiful Ruins--love that cover! Doesn't it look like an old movie poster?