Monday, August 15, 2011

Summer Reading Update

So...whatcha readin' these days? I posted an abbreviated Summer Reading List back in May, and I am pleased to say that I added several more over the summer. You won't see anything too scholarly on my book list these days. At the end of the day, I'm looking for something to help me wind down and mentally escape the craziness.

Here are a few things I've enjoyed:

Kathryn Stockett's The Help
Everyone is hopping on board the bandwagon since the film premiered last week. I'm going on a moms' night out this Saturday to see the movie, so I made sure that The Help was one of my first reads during Beach Week. Alternately heart breaking and hilarious, I finished The Help in less than a day-- a true page-turner. If you're unfamiliar with the story, it's set in 1960s Mississippi and follows a college graduate as she sheds light on the social barrier between black and white women.

Mary Kay Andrews' Summer Rental
If I had to choose one word to describe Andrews' work, it would be "delightful." Nobody writes a heroine the way Mary Kay Andrews does. I love the way she gives her female characters some spunk along with little quirks. Summer Rental is the story of three girl friends who decide to share a Nagshead cottage together for the summer. They make a few unlikely friends during their stay, and Andrews' effortlessly weaves her fabulous sense of style into the story.

Elin Hilderbrand's The Island
Thanks to Paula, I got to enjoy another beach read this week! Hilderbrand is a new-to-me author, and apparently, much of her work is set on Nantucket. The Island is a bit darker than some of the other books on my list, but I love the fact that the author focuses on women and relationships, particularly mothers and daughters. She writes the sisterly tension between Tate and Chess so well...I wondered if she was a fly on the wall during the high school years my sister and I endured together.

Bodie and Brock Thoene's In My Father's House
If you like historical fiction, you will love In My Father's House, the first of The Shiloh Legacy series by the husband and wife writing team. It's been quite a few years since I first read anything by the Thoenes, so I decided to start the whole series over again from the beginning. This novel follows three friends as they finish their service in the First World War and head home. Drama, suspense, and romance...the Thoenes write books that will swallow you until you turn that last page!

I finally started Karen Ehman's A Life That Says Welcome, and I'll let you know how it goes!

Lately, Natalie is loving the Junie B. Jones books. We read a chapter (or three) while Michaela Byrd takes her nap. Both girls are enjoying The Magic Tree House series on tape from the library. It's amazing how quiet the car is when they are listening! And, we have read Dog Goes to Nursery School (except, I say "preschool" when I read it) about a thousand times to get Michaela Byrd excited about starting preschool next month.

Anything good on your reading list this summer?


  1. i've read the help and the island and liked both-i've read a couple others by erin hildebrand too-my youngest is starting preschool too-2 days a week-i think he's going to like it-not so sure about mom!!

  2. I loved "The Help" and I've also read "The Island". I haven't heard of "In My Father's House" and I'm looking for a couple good books to wrap up my summer reading. I'm going to put this on my wish list. Thanks for sharing :)

  3. I read "The Help" last year and loved it. I can't wait to see the movie! Unfortunately I haven't really read too much this summer. I'm reading "We Need To Talk About Kevin" right now. It's about the aftermath a family goes through when there son goes on a killing spree at his high school and then kills himself. The book is fiction, but I'm sure the feelings the parents feel would ring true for some parents who have really lived through that. Soo terrible! Anyway, I'm only about 150 pages in. We'll see how it turns out. The friend who passed it on to me loved it.

  4. After your summer reading list back in May, I went to the library and got a Mary Kay Andrews book....and I loved it! I have read four this summer so far:) I need to add Summer Rental to my list! And I really want to read The Help too!

  5. Sounds like a good list! LOVED The Help... turns out it's not coming to our small town theater... BOO! So to Phoenix my hubs said he'd take me to see it! ;)

  6. I loved The Help and can't wait to see the movie. Glad you liked The Island. I read Blue Bistro by the same author and was also really, really good. I finally got MKA's Summer Rental from the library and was immediately sucked in. I just can't stay awake long enough each night to get too far. I guess that will make it last longer!

  7. Thanks so much for sharing your summer reads - I've been really wanting to read The Help - I think your post may have just put me over the edge on my decision to buy it before seeing the movie!!! Summer rental looks awesome too:)

  8. Great list. I read The Help last year after I had my daughter and loved it. I can't wait to see the movie.

    I love getting new recommendations so I love that I haven't read anything else on your list. I've been attempting to read non fiction and I need a mindless break.

    Thanks for sharing!

  9. I read the help when it first came out.. before I knew about the movie. Just hoping it's done justice.

  10. Hi! I am loving your blog!

    Right now I am reviewing "The excellent wife" by Martha Pace
    Re reading "Shopping for time" by Caroline Mahaney
    re reading "The trial" by Kafka, for school, and re reading his biography by Hayman. Plus other critics.

    Also, I just finished "Stress less, weight less" by Holly Mosier, my mother in law bought it for me while I was recovering from the surgery and I thought it was funny but it is actually pretty good!

    I bought on Amazon two etiquette books: I am originally from Argentina, where a lot of us are from Italian families, and politically incorrect for the US perspective, so I def want to learn to fit in. LOL

    I really want to read The Help.

  11. I loved the help! We are going to see it tonight! Perfect girls night out!!

  12. The Help is now my favorite book!! You've given me some good ideas for more reads! I didn't get much reading done this summer...too busy! I tried Water for Elephants but I just couldn't get into that one. I need to try again.


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