Hi, friends. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve talked books with all of you. I’ve got a post full of gratitude, a few finished books, and a LOT on my radar. Let’s chat!
Since Uvalde, my attention span for reading has almost disappeared. This has been especially frustrating since reading is such a comfort for me, but my ability to focus on words on the page has been next to nothing. On top of that, it almost because an existential dilemma for me. I couldn’t help but think, what’s the point of all of this reading when things like that happen in the world? The cloud of guilt has been quite thick around here lately.
But I have managed to make my way through a few books in the last few weeks and am starting to feel the reading rush again. My interest has been piqued by a few things and I’m looking forward to a couple of months of leisurely reading. I have lists of “want to read,” but am trying not to put any pressure on myself. I think that will help me shake my funk!
Yesterday I went to Panera by myself for about an hour and a half. I sipped an iced chai, wrote my morning journal entry, finished a book, and started another. It was amazing to have a quiet morning all to myself with no one expecting anything from me. It was only possible because the stars clicked into place in a strange and stressful way. I’m thankful for it.
RECENTLY FINISHED BOOKS
I’m playing a little catch up today, so I’m writing just a few sentences about each one.
I can’t believe it took me so long to get to Pym’s most famous volume: Excellent Women. This was a delightful read and very funny. It was a great escape and one that I think I’ll return to in a few years. I considered leaving my copy in the Little Free Library near my house, but decided against it. I’d regret that decision in the future!
Laila at Big Reading Life recommended The Carrying to me a few weeks ago and I was excited to see that it was available on Libby with a very short wait. This is a collection of contemporary poetry that resonated with me in so many ways. Limón writes about nature and her experiences with infertility in such a beautiful way. This book opened my eyes about the possibilities of poetry. It was incredible. I’ll definitely be looking for more by this poet!
Tracks is another bonus book that some of us participating in the Erdrich-Along decided to pick up. This one is set in the early 1900s and is told in the voices of Nanapush and Pauline/Sister Leopolda. We learn so much more about Fleur and Lulu in this novel — and how so many families lost their land and way of life as white settlers continued to push through the country. I loved both voices for different reasons and am really enjoying making my way through this series. As has been the case with all of Erdrich’s books, this one took me several weeks to get through. It’s gorgeous and complex. A complete delight.
Bronwyn and I finished another Felicity book. I have to admit that this one might be my favorite American Girl book yet. Not only is Felicity reunited with her beloved horse Penny, but she gets the opportunity to help Ben with his own moral dilemma about wanting to join the Patriots and fighting for America’s Independence. It was so good. Matthew laughed at me because I’d give him an update of the story each night when he got home from work. Here’s what happened in Felicity tonight! Bronwyn is still enjoying finding Felicity’s name on every page. Good enough for me!
2022 Summer Reading Plans
I shared my May reading plans last month and am pleased to say that I did pretty well. Out of the 13 I shared, I finished 6 of them plus many books that weren’t on my plan. And since we’re nearly halfway through June, I’m not sure how much sense it makes to share my plans for this month. Instead, I’m going to share a general list for the next couple of months.
The Fiction Matters Summer Reading Guide came out yesterday and I was happy to see a few books that I was already planning to read. Those that I want to prioritize are:
- The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish
- The Anomaly by Hervé Le Tellier
- History of the Rain by Niall Williams
- Bunny by Mona Awad
Other books that I’m interested in picking up:
- Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward (a FM buddy read)
- Tomb of Sand by Geetanjali Shree (A FM buddy read and winner of the International Booker this year)
- Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner (just published and right up my alley)
- Fresh Water for Flowers by Valérie Perrin (originally planned for May; trying to get to it!)
- Four Souls by Louise Erdrich (another Erdrich-Along bonus book)
- A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson
- My Year of Meats by Ruth Ozeki
- The Painted Drum by Louise Erdrich (the next official Erdrich-Along book)
- Civil to Strangers and Other Writings by Barbara Pym
Late summer (August plans):
- The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher
- Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich
- Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen (The MMD Austen in August read this year)
Still hanging out to be finished:
Once again: that is a lot. I’m sure I won’t get to them all and reserve the right to substitute, swap, and sack anything at any time. This summer will be all about my mood and if something isn’t landing quite right then it’s out the door.
How about you? Any of these on your list for the summer? Is there anything you think I must get to? Let me know!
I hope you have a great start to your week. Take good care!