Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Review of Summer Reading List, 2012

Want to see what I thought of the books on my 2012 Summer Reading List? Since Summer is officially over in my head, I wanted to give you guys the dirt. I tend to read quite a bit more over the summer than I do during the rest of the year. Sunny afternoons on the beach and at the pool allow for page turning, and we seem to be in less of a hurry to go and do.

And, if I'm being completely honest, there is absolutely nothing to watch on TV. No Downton Abbey, no Modern Family, no Grey's Anatomy. I've been reduced to watching a bunch of skanky adults with 3 collective brain cells battle it out for money on Bachelor Pad. And you wonder why I've read 347 books this summer?

These are some of the books I read over the summer months:

1. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? Mindy Kaling

Though it didn't strike my funny bone the way Tina Fey's Bossypants did, Kaling is witty and engaging. She drew me right in and made me feel like she was just telling me her story over a mocha at the local coffee shop.

2. Spring Fever Mary Kay Andrews

Bravo! Mary Kay Andrews is one of my very favorite authors. I liked this one more than Summer Rental, though I spent most of the book with mixed feelings about Mason (as I suspect the writer wanted me to). As always, she writes fun, likeable characters...and at least one villain you love to hate!

3. Game of Thrones George R.R. Martin
This came as a complete surprise to me, but I loved this novel so much I read all four of the other books in the series (to date) in a few weeks. And that's saying a lot, because although I am a fast reader, the novels seemed to average between 700 to 900 pages each. But Martin's storytelling drew me in so quickly, I found myself staying up until 1 in the morning to read more.

I mentioned before that I tend to stick pretty much with chick lit. I like books with pink covers about girls who buy cute shoes and marry hot guys with lots of money. This series was the complete opposite of that. Think of it as HBO's The Sopranos, but in a setting like The Hobbit. I'm not into wizards and dirty people and magic and all that jazz. I heard a lot of hype about the HBO series based on these books, so I wanted to check them out. It was an excellent reminder of what good storytelling should be.

4. Hot Six Janet Evanovich

Thanks to our library, I managed to read books six through twelve, but I couldn't tell you any of the plots at this point. I like Evanovich's sense of humor, and they're fun fluffy reads for an afternoon at the pool, but the stories all run together. Very predictable. I keep reading to see if Stephanie ever decides to marry Joe Morelli. (please no spoilers)

5. Blue Bistro Elin Hildebrand

Pretty vanilla for me. At most, it made me hungry because Hildebrand mentions a lot of the dishes served at the Blue Bistro. The main character really just made me cranky because of her poor choices.

6. Mennonite in a Little Black Dress Rhoda Janzen
Not life-changing, but a decent read. I'm not normally a fan of memoir, but Janzen gives us a humorous peek at Mennonite life (and food). Bummed that I'll have to miss discussion for this in the next book club.

7. God, Girlfriends, and Getaways Mary R. Snyder
Some ladies from my MOPS group read this as a summer book/Bible study. We learned and shared some interesting things about friendships with this one.

8. Firefly Lane Kristin Hannah
This was the first pick for my book club, and I really enjoyed it until the last 100 pages, which were a real Debbie Downer.

As in, your husband comes home from work and finds you clutching the book in tears.

"What's wrong?" he asks.

You babble something incoherently about someone dying.

He takes the book and skims the back cover. "Was it the hot chick or the ugly chick who dies?" he demands.

"Theeeee..uuuuugly....oooone!" you wail.

He rolls his eyes and heads to the kitchen to eat a sandwich and plug his ears so he can't hear you sobbing.

The end.

9. Books the girls and I listened to on tape:

Henry and Beezus Beverly Clearly
Little House in the Big Woods, Little House on the Prairie, On the Banks of Plum Creek, By the Shores of Silver Lake, The Long Winter Laura Ingalls Wilder
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory Roald Dahl
Matilda Roald Dahl

I try to stick with classics for books on tape with the kids. They loved each and every one. Even Michaela Byrd, the 4 year old, paid attention for 98% of the time and could answer questions about the story if I asked.

So, a nice Summer for us as far as "literature" was concerned. With the exception of Mary Kay Andrews' book, everything else was from the library. With money tight, I don't spend much on books for myself anymore, unless it is something I am dying to read right away. And the girls love hopping through the kids' section of the library, choosing storybooks to bring home.

I'm working on a Fall Reading List right now!

What did you enjoy reading this Summer? What's on your Fall reading list?

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  1. I have so many books to read! I miss carpool lines for this very reason. It was the main time I got in a few chapters!! LOL

  2. Between work, family, college, my blog, and crafting in general, I don't get much reading time, but last weekend, I read "Silver Girl" by Elin Hilderbrand - it was the first book of hers that I have read, and I would like to read some more.

  3. Sounds like some great reading. I love that you listen to books on tape with your kids. Great idea. I hope you will stop by and join in my link party going on right now. Hope to see you there.

  4. I enjoyed Mennonite in a Little Black Dress too. If you haven't read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, it was my favorite book I read this summer :-)

  5. You got a lot of reading done! I recently discovered our library has a great selection of cookbooks. It is so much fun knowing I have access to so many books without having to pay for them.

  6. I loved Mindy Kaling's book. You're right not at laugh out loud funny as Bossypants, but still engaging. I am looking forward to her new show. Also, I am a HUGE Janet Evanovich fan. I'm anxiously awaiting #19. Some of these other ones I will have to check out. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I read a lot this summer but the sad thing is I can't think of a single title. I frequent the library and thrift shops for books. Every once in a while I will treat myself to a book at Sam's but that is rare.

    I really want to read that MKA book. I should put my name on the list for it at the library.

  8. Oh, you are good! I actually got a lot of books this summer, but I can't say that I actually read them. I started reading them is more like it! Good heavens, I've started reading so many books lately that's absolutely crazy!

    The one book that I did read cover-to-cover quickly was The Hunger Games. I wanted to see what all the hype was about. I won't say that it was amazing writing, but it was a good (i.e. captivating, not necessarily enjoyable) story.

    Funny thing about chick lit. I just never can bring myself to read it. I don't know what's wrong with me! Now Tom Clancy? I've read every novel he's ever written, most of them several times.

    Way to go on your choices for the girls! I like to re-read the Little House books every now and then myself--just to keep my head on straight!

  9. I am a huge reader. Some of my favorites this summer were: Gone Girl, The Language of Flowers and Still Alice. Every one of them were great in different ways. Loved them!

  10. I totally like girly books too! I went to the library with a friend a few weeks ago and she kept recommending books, but I didn't want them because the covers were ugly:) I just got the first two of the Shopaholic books from the library to keep me busy while Eli is at preschool.

  11. Oh man! I can't imagine reading 347 books! It sounds glorious though! I've been addicted to Grey's on Netflix this summer though! :)

  12. Love blog posts about books! I hate randomly choosing without recommendations because I won't finish a book I don't like from start.
    Here are a few that I enjoyed recently. No idea what my tastes are. I'm all over the place! :)
    Sister by Rosamund Lupton
    Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
    The Fault In Our Stars by John Greene (One of my all time favorites, but definitely a sobfest)

  13. Wow. You read like crazy. I on the other hand, didn't pick up a single enjoyable book. I'm not counting the book about sleep training. I am really going to try to read our book club book this month. And bossy pants is one of the books on the list so I'm looking forward to that. Sigh. This little boy is really taking away for reading time.


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