In honor of National Book week, I thought I'd share with you what I've been reading lately. I do tend to read more of the summer, I think it's ingrained from summer reading assignments growing up!
The first few books I read this summer were a part of a trilogy I reread. I found the first one on my high school's reading list and it's been my favorite book since I was fourteen. It's called "Here Be Dragons' and it's part of the 'Welsh Prince Series' by Sharon Kay Penman. They're not light reads, they average about 800 pages each. The series portrays the struggles that the Welsh faced in the shadow of it's stronger neighbor, England. The characters are so vivid they practically walk off the page. You'll definitely need a box of tissues handy when you read them! The next two books in the series are 'Falls the Shadow' and the 'Reckoning". I highly recommend them.
Another great book I read this summer is 'Water for Elephants' by Sara Gruen. It's so exciting, with a great romance story. The setting of the story on a circus train is just incredible, full of so many things I'd never even imagined, very exotic. It's a great beach read, it's hard to put down!
My book club selected 'Bossypants' by Tina Fey for our first summer book. It was hysterical. I read it at night on my nook while Jeff slept, and several times I woke him up snorting because the book was so funny. Tina tells readers about her childhood and coming of age. She also talks about being a woman in a mostly guy's club, and the obstacles she had to over come on the way. It's a quick light read, perfect for a road trip, the beach or a lazy afternoon.
The book I've most recently finished is 'The Help'. It's a very powerful book, dealing with racial tensions in the South during the Civil Rights movement. The main characters are African-American maids and the white women they work for. It's a bit of a more serious read, but it's also uplifting. I can't wait to see the movie when it comes out!
The book I'm currently reading is 'Dreams of Joy', Lisa See's sequel to 'Shanghai Girls'. Lisa See's characters are very well formed, you forget that they're not actual people. The story deals with the complications of a mother/daughter relationship as well as the relationship between sisters. Another element dealt with in the book is the change that China under went as it became communist and the struggles and corruption communism brought to the country. The book really makes me want to go back and reread 'The Good Earth' by Pearl Buck, which I think Lisa See is a fan of. I also have an urge to rereal 'Animal Farm' by George Orwell. There are so many interesting elements in this book to discuss, I'm kicking myself that 'Dreams of Joy' and 'Shanghai Girls' weren't book club books!
I still have books that I want to read this summer, one of which is 'Then Came You', by one of my favorite authors, Jennifer Weiner. Several of her previous books left me disappointed, but her last book, 'Fly Away Home' was closer to where she started as a writer and I really enjoyed it. I'm hopeful for 'Then Came You'. Another book on my reading list is 'Room', which is a dark story about a mother raising her son in while in captivity. I'm not sure I'll be able to get through that one. The next book for my book club is 'Winter Garden' which I don't know much about yet, but looks exciting. I'll keep you posted.