Most of my teachers friends still have a month of summer vacation to go… how lovely! Hope there are lots of days filled with sunshine and pages of great books!
My own reading this last couple weeks has been all over the place,.. and random… so hang on!
- The Jane Austen Book Club – Karen Joy Fowler. Not a new book, but always a good summer read. Light and yet also with a good story about very different women (and a man) coming together over Jane Austen. Also a nice reminder of why to place Jane Austen books on your to-read list over and over again!
- Flat-Out Love – Jessica Park. I’ll be honest and say that I downloaded this Young Adult ebook partly as research on ebook self-publishing in preparation to publish my own book. But it was fun read! It tells the story of a college freshman’s first foray out into the world beyond home, first loves and hurts, and learning about the fact that everyone’s family has tough times that shape that family’s dynamics and structure. Although the characters seem to me older than ‘young adult,’ reading about their adventures reminded me about my own first year in university and moments where you can only sit on top of your suitcases and hope that your call goes through to your mom. Park also incorporates our world’s current fascination with communication via Facebook as a funny and interesting device in the story. I just wish most of the young adults I know have such smart and witty things to say on their Facebook status updates!
- Mission to Paris – Alan Furst. Ignore the HORRID title. This came as a recommendation to me via Goodreads and I was expecting something COMPLETELY different. BUT… I actually enjoyed the book probably more because it was so not what I thought I had downloaded! A great story about the outbreak of World War II, told from the persepctive of an Austrian émigre who had become a successful movie star in Hollywood. After years of living in the US, he returns to the Paris of his youth to make a film. The novel is set in the last months of 1938, and the main character gets swept up not only into the Paris social scene of the wealthy and glamorous, but also becomes entangled into the difficult, corrupt and often dark politics and espionage of the time. With the backdrop of Paris, Hungary, Berlin and other exotic spots in Europe, Furst brings to live a vivid image of Europe right before the outbreak of war.
- Lunch in Paris – Elizabeth Bard. YUM. Half cook book, half story of what it’s like to live in a new country and learn a new language, this is a great read! It makes you want to move to Paris and see it the way Bard did when she first fell in love with her Frenchman and the city. And it makes you want to head to the market and spend the day cooking and trying all the recipes! (She includes FULL recipes!) The book is also a very open and realistic account of what it’s like to come from America to Europe and build a life – lots resonated and I found myself often nodding or laughing in agreement as Bard discovers the differences between American ways and European ways.
- The Lost Wife – Alyson Richman. A beautifully told story of love and how two people can be pulled apart by circumstances but never stop loving each other. A story of how life changed for Jews in Prague under the Nazis, of life in the camps, and of the huge blessing and burden of life after barbed wire and devastating loss. As much a story of the Holocaust as it is about building a life when moments of your past haunt you. You know from the first page that the Josef and Lenka both survived the war and will rediscover each other when they are in their eighties. You are then glued to every page to know more about how they were separated, how they moved through life while grieving for each other, and to know how their individual stories brought them to that moment of finding each other again.
- A travel guide book… To ANYWHERE! :)