July Reads

I'll just say it, even if everyone else is: HOW IS IT AUGUST? This year, man. 

I read a lot in July, but I'm slightly terrified to see what will happen in August, since I start back at work in four days. I guess that's all par for the course, but considering the circumstances it all seems a bit more overwhelming this year. I made a list of non-negotiables the other day of things that I need to spend at least a few minutes a day doing to not lose my mind, and reading was definitely on it. Anyway, this month:

I had two re-reads this month, one with Sawyer and one with Julie. Sawyer and I read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, which we both obviously enjoyed. Julie and I read A Prayer for Owen Meany, one of my favorite Irving books, for a post we did the other day.

Two of my books were for the two book clubs I am a part of, which has definitely been a positive to come out of all of this. With my little trio of good friends we read Stephen King's Misery, my first fiction read of his since high school. It disturbed me in all sorts of ways- the idea of being held captive in a house (slightly triggering these days), the gratuitous violence, and Annie's instability. I read Bernardine Evaristo's Girl, Woman, Other, as well, which I thought was outstanding. Her narrative structure, discussion of gender, and syntactical style will make for great discussion when we "meet." I have to say, now that I have read both of the Booker Prize winners from last year, Atwood's was far, far inferior to this and I respect the Prize far less now. 

Kevin Kwan's Sex and Vanity was like a literary dessert- totally over-the-top and delightful. He still possesses the wit, charm, and attention to detail as he did in his trilogy, and I was amused from beginning to end. It was the perfect pool read. 

I enjoyed Jami Attenberg's last novel, so I was excited to pick up All This Could be Yours when it came out earlier this summer. A father-on-his-deathbed-bringing-everyone-back-together kind of tale, we learn about the secrets the family possessed in the past and in the present. 

Finally, Michele Harper's memoir The Beauty in Breaking was perfection. I have read several doctor memoirs before, but never one by a black woman- there aren't many of these books out there. She approaches her profession and personal life in the text, looking at the moments one breaks, and how you can choose to learn and grow from these experiences. I was brought to tears a few times, reading about an old man who chose to die without treatment for cancer and child severely beat. I think these days when many of us aren't at our best this book can help us realize the lessons we are hopefully learning. 

1 comment:

  1. I know, I CANNOT believe that it's August!

    I read A Prayer for Owen Meany years ago. I struggled all the way through, but then the ending was phenomenal and just blew me away.