Ok, so it looks like I’m not getting that much better about making time for this little corner of my world, but you guys, I do the best I can.
Luckily, I get a new shot at it every day, and so today, I win.
I’m blogging over at GMS today (about pork chops, so please, check it out- they’re delicious).
Other things I need to talk to you about:
I’m on a big fat reading streak right now, and I love it. Did you guys ever join the library summer reading clubs (says the girl who last week admitted to her coworkers that she once attended math camp. Let’s talk about that another time, though.)?
I did, obviously, until I was too old and they likely kicked me out, but I loved nothing more than the paper cut outs with my book count that were taped to the walls of the library.
So this summer, since Theo’s over one, and so I’m feeling like a normal human again (I am warning you chickens, you are crazy the first year of your child’s life, and I mean that in the best possible way), I’m picking up SO MANY BOOKS and I’m loving every second. It feels nostalgic, and so I’m sharing with all of you. Here’s what I’ve got, in scatterbrained categories that likely don’t make sense.
France and WWII (Otherwise known as great stories that depress me)
All the Light We Cannot See- This was excellent, and despite being rather long, I got through it in about a week. It’s about a blind girl and her family, and how she tries to navigate a dark time in history despite all the despair surrounding her. This one was very, very hard on me, but the writing was beautiful and there is something very interesting about trying to picture the world through the eyes of a blind girl.
The Paris Architect- This one made me feel slightly better about humanity, but was still a little rough. I mean, it’s occupied France in WWII, and so you just have to roll with what happened. Spoiler Alert: It wasn’t good. This one’s about an architect who finds himself entangled in a dangerous plot to save Jews. He’s no hero- far from it. Instead, he’s thinking only of the business he’ll bring in from the Germans and the money he stands to make as a result of his risk. Unsurprisingly, things get complicated and he gets involved emotionally. This one’s a thriller, and it was also a page turner.
The Nightingale- I’m only a hundred pages into this one, but it’s about two sisters and their attempt to survive in their French village during WWII. Their relationship is tenuous at best, and they struggle to see eye to eye about the best way to keep themselves and their family safe during the war. I like this one because the writing’s easy (it’s summer, remember?) and I like when seemingly simple situations present themselves as grayer upon inspection. I’ll be finished with this by Friday, I know it.
The Neapolitan Novels
There are three of these (with one on the way), and I’m only through two, but I love them. Set in the 50s and 60s in Naples, they’re basically well written soap operas about a girl named Elena, her friend Lina, and their various adventures in and out of “the neighborhood.” These books cover love, fighting (nothing like a fist fight to solve some problems), scandals, pride, and coming of age, all in the best possible way. They’re glimpses into what it was like to live in poor Southern Italy during the post WWII era, which was very different from most of the depictions of the time I’ve read about (probably because mine have been mostly shiny and Eisenhower-y). My dear friend CM recommended them, seconded by my pal MC, and now I’m on a campaign to get everyone to read them. They’ll hold you, I promise.
My Brilliant Friend
The Story of a New Name
Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
Other Things I’m Sniffing Out
Not into them yet, but here are some other highly recommended things I have on my nightstand: The Boys in the Boat, Dead Wake, Great, and The House of the Spirits.
Find a corner and curl up, chickens, there’s a lot of reading to do. Anyone else have something I should get on my list?