Bookish Chatter | A Quiet Morning; Some Finishes; and a 2022 Summer Reading Plan (?)

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!

The ridiculous bag I packed for an hour and a half at Panera!

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.


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:

Other books that I’m interested in picking up:

Late summer (August plans):

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!


24 thoughts on “Bookish Chatter | A Quiet Morning; Some Finishes; and a 2022 Summer Reading Plan (?)

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  1. No reading plans for me per se. Just to enjoy what I do read. I have a very long TBR list (that grows weekly if not daily) and I look at that and then see if any of them are available at the library. I’ll pick up 4 or 5 to read and then when those are finished, start again. Fresh Water for Flowers looks interesting, so thanks for that recommendation (it was added to my TBR list).


    1. I just downloaded Audible book of Excellent Women and am excited to read/listen to this as it will be my first Pym’s book. I have a pile of books everywhere in my house and on Kindle and Audible. I have no order on what I read next and just go with the flow.


      1. I hope you love Excellent Women! It is so funny and perfectly Pym-like! I think going with the flow is a wonderful way to plan your reading – it’s the perfect way to ensure your book matches your mood. Enjoy!


  2. I am taking a different approach to summer reading this year and not planning anything. So many good books on my shelf and in my library cue. I am going to live dangerously and go with the flow.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m loving all the energy around Weight of Ink – I read it a few years back and loved it … amazing story! Also, History of Rain was a favorite from my reading last summer and I think it’s right up your alley. I’m stopping at the library today (hopefully!) to pick up Shades of Milk and Honey – Jane Austen with magic sounds perfect for my nightstand reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shades of Milk and Honey DOES sound amazing. Hmmm… I’m tempted to add it to my list! Thanks for the encouragement about Weight of Ink and History of the Rain – I am excited about them both!! I’m hoping to start Salvage the Bones this morning, if I can capture a few minutes before the kids wake up.


  4. I always enjoy these book posts. Love to see what other people are reading. Lately, I’ve been on a Mick Herron “Slow Horses” binge. Oh, how I am smitten by his writing. In between Mick Herron books, I’m reading the newest one by Anne Tyler—“French Braid.” Just started, but so far, so good. Glad to read you got a bit of time to yourself. We all need to refresh ourselves now and then.


    1. So glad to hear that the newest Tyler is so good. The cover is so pretty! I think you’ve mentioned Mick Herron before and I still haven’t taken the time to look into him – thank you for saying his name again! And yes — the time alone was AMAZING. I think it should be a quarterly event 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Unfortunately, for me, the Anne Tyler book has fizzed out. Don’t want to say too much more in case you read it. As for time alone…maybe more than quarterly? If you can manage it.


      2. Good to know. I thought I wanted to read it in May and then decided against it. But you were making me want to add it back to my list. Now I’ll trust my second instinct and pass on it for now unless there’s a compelling reason to pick it up. 😃

        As for time alone… we will have to see. Quarterly feels quite ambitious to me as it is!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. As a writer, she started so young, and I truly think she’s said everything she’s wanted to say. “French Braid” feels like a combination of “Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant” and “Ladder of Years.” Anyway, if you’re an Anne Tyler fan, which I am, it’s worth reading. But…

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m similar to the above two commenters in that I am not a huge reading planner. I do have a big TBR list on Goodreads, and if I find my book supply dwindling I look up several and put them on hold. I tend to just go with what I feel like reading at the time.


    1. I think that’s a great way to manage your reading!! My planning has shifted slightly since I joined the Fiction Matters patreon because there are so many group and buddy reads and it can be hard to keep track of. My calendar has become indispensable to me! I hope you find some good books this summer 🙂


  6. I’m so glad you enjoyed The Carrying! She’s amazing. I’m thinking of buying her latest collection with my unspent Barnes and Noble gift card. I want to immerse myself in poetry this summer.

    I put Bloomsbury Girls on my TBR list, it looks delightful.

    I forgot about reading Civil to Strangers until you put it on your list, so thank you! Ha ha! We said July, right?


    1. I LOVE the idea of immersing myself in poetry. I just bought Wendell Berry’s The Peace of Wild Things and have been enamored. Thank you for recommending Limón — I will look for her newest! And I’m excited for Bloomsbury Girls – it looks like a fun summer read.

      Yes — I’m planning to pick up Civil to Strangers in July. But no pressure to read at any point, of course! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I am trying not to plan out my summer reading too much. I know I’ve got my Erdrich list to keep up with, but other than that I’m just trying to read more of the books I have around the house. I think you’ll really love The Weight of Ink. I discovered it a few years ago just by accident and really adored it.


    1. I know exactly what you mean by not having the attention span to read I have felt that way for awhile. I usually turn to audible books when that happens. I love your list of books and usually get several that you recommend. I have a huge stack in my bedroom waiting to be read. Thank you for all the suggestions. Have a wonderful week.


      1. Audiobooks are a great choice for a limited attention span! So glad you’ve found a few books that look interesting to you. Enjoy!


  8. I love Sense and Sensibility, it is my favourite of Austen’s. It’s really dark, in my opinion, and it really shows the issues around women and lack of property ownership.


  9. What a list! I’m like Juliann, not planning a thing for summer reading and will be picking up what floats by boat. I just picked up Bloomsbury Girls and look forward to reading it soon 😊


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