Tuesday, July 8, 2014

June Book Report

June was a good month for books; I think I was so enamored with the idea of summer reading - out on the porch, by the pool, at the park - that I went a little nuts and came out of the library with stacks almost too heavy to carry. But I never regret a long afternoon spent with a good, crinkly library book and a cup of iced coffee.

If you haven't heard of this one, it is a collection of essays and stories written by a Yale graduate who was tragically killed in a car accident just days after graduation. She was a talented writer with a very promising future ahead, which (let's just be honest) is what makes her words that much more powerful. Personally, I loved it. The collection was a little random (which is to be expected); many of the essays were school assignments, which made me all nostalgic about my own days as an English major. Though I don't think this book is for everyone, I think if you really, really appreciate young talent and good writing for the sake of good writing, it'll be well worth your time.

Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M. - Sam Wasson

This was such a fun, random read. It's all about the making of Breakfast at Tiffany's, from casting Audrey to costuming to drama behind the scenes. It's a quick, entertaining book that is pretty much a must if you are a fan of Audrey Hepburn or old Hollywood in general. I can't believe I didn't read it sooner.

Delancey - Molly Weizenberg

Like many people, I was a huge fan of Weizenberg's first memoir, A Homemade Life, and had high expectations for her newest tale about the beginnings of her and her husband's restaurant. I was pretty disappointed. There was more emphasis on the technical details (of how they perfected their pizza crust, of their oven, etc.) than the heart of the story, the honesty and humor that made her first book so good. I only made it halfway through, so I guess this isn't a totally fair review (although I heard it never really picks up) but if you're a die-hard fan, or are extremely interested in the restaurant business, you may enjoy it.

Glitter and Glue - Kelly Corrigan

Such a fast, funny read. This is one of those highly entertaining memoirs that reads more like a novel. It's about the author's post-grad adventures traveling the world, ending up as a nanny in Australia, and how that made her come to appreciate her less than chummy relationship with her no-nonsense mother. I didn't expect to love it as much as I did, but it was such a...I don't know, fresh read. Not that I want to make it sound like produce or anything. Perfect for reading by the pool.

The Artisan Soul - Erwin Raphael McManus

I was so, so excited when my friend gave this to me and it did not disappoint. I didn't know anything about McManus before I started reading, but apparently he's all over the place. He not only founded Mosaic Church in L.A., but is an incredibly gifted writer, speaker, creative-person-in-general. The book is about what it means to view our lives as a work of art, to craft it into something more beautiful and meaningful. It's a beautiful book, whether you consider yourself "creative" or not. The Mosaic Church podcast has an Artisan Soul series to go along with it, which I would also highly recommend.

In Praise of Slowness - Carl Honore

If you're all about facts and research and reading to better yourself/learn something at the same time, this one's great. Honore has really done his research in the physical, cultural, historical necessity of slowing down. I love that he breaks the book down into sections - on slow parenting, slow work, slowness for the mind/body, slow food, etc. Fascinating and thought provoking. 

A Happy Marriage - Rafael Yglesias

I picked this off the shelf because the cover was so pretty. I have a habit of doing that. This is an autobiographical novel about the first days of a courtship and the very last days of the marriage, as the narrator's wife is dying of cancer. The drawn out scenes detailing her illness made it especially raw and emotional, and I appreciated the author's honesty. I also liked the book's format, alternating from the past to the present every chapter. It's not a lighthearted, easy read, but if you're a fan of One Day by David Nicholls, I think you'd appreciate this book.

Mansfield Park - Jane Austen

When I was a teenager I decided to read one Jane Austen novel every summer until I had read through all of them. And I read them all except for Mansfield Park (I think I dropped the ball the summer I got engaged.) I'm still working my way through it, but, even though it's not my all time Austen favorite, I love the cast of characters. The main character, Fanny, is lacking some of the spunk characteristic to Austen's other heroines, but overall it's a fun, witty, classic Austen read.

What's your favorite book you've read so far this summer?


  1. Have you seen the movie The Jane Austin Book Club? I love what they have to say about Fanny. :)

  2. I have been reading like crazy lately too! And none of the same books you read which excites me because now I have more for July! haha I read a lot of meh-okay fiction this month that everyone else has raved about (The Fault in Our Stars, Where'd You Go, Bernadette? and This is Where I Leave You) I think I need to move to non-fiction now. The books were pretty good, simple reads that will make good movies but they all read exactly how I think the movie will be.

    And Mansfield Park is the only Jane Austen book I haven't read yet so I might have to give that a try! Thanks for sharing! :)

  3. I've always loved seeing what people read. Although I'm quite frankly very embarrassed about my book choices. I've been eyeing 'the opposite of loneliness' for a while now. It sounds great!
    Currently I'm reading through Harry Potter series, for the first. (I know 14 years too late). I'm on book 4 and thoroughly enjoying the whole thing. :) Are you by any chance on Goodreads?

  4. LOVE love love anything by Erwin McManus! He is an amazing preacher/teacher/speaker! SO good! I have yet to read Artisan Soul but check out The Barbarian Way by him! One of my favorite books of all time!

    xoxo, kerri

  5. Love reading book recommendations from others! The Opposite of Loneliness and Fifth Avenue have been in my 'to-read' pile for a while now. I am currently reading Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walters and short stories by Wally Lamb, both good reads so far!

  6. I love everything 1950s-meets-New York, so that book "Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M" is right up my alley! The Best of Everything by Rona Jaffe, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, Manhattan When I Was Young by Mary Cantwell and Summer Crossing by Truman Capote are other favorites in same genre/theme. I also highly recommend the Swedish/New Zealand author Linda Olsson, her books are soooo good! Beautifully written, you'll want to read every other sentence out loud, slowly.


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