Summer Reading

Wednesday, July 15, 2015 | Stamp in My Passport| |

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The concept of summer reading is much more appealing after high school. Although I admit that I was the student who finished the assigned reading and essays well before the halfway point of summer and enjoyed it. Call me crazy. So far this summer my taste in books has been all over the place: from Amy Poehler's laugh-until-you-cry-from-laughing memoir and Cheryl Strayed's much more serious and motivational memoir, to the latest novel from Grisham (I think it's the latest, he just writes way too many) and a unique world history overview.

Confession time. Other than her time on Weekend Update, Mean Girls and Parks and Rec, I didn't know much about Amy Poehler's career. And I was one of those people who read through it thinking of Leslie Knope writing it, even though that's just a character she plays. But any book with a guest chapter by Seth Myers is a book worth reading in my opinion and I enjoyed the mix of memoir and comedy, although it was no "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me." (Side note: Mindy's second book, Why Not Me, is coming out in September and I cannot wait.)

I went through a major John Grisham phase in high school. As in I've read every single one of his books and am now in the habit of automatically reading the next one year after year. Gray Mountain focuses on the coal mining industry in Appalachia and the severe impact it has on the environment as well as the economy and the people of the region. In true Grisham fashion, there were many ethical questions and law practices raised as well as seedy characters typical of small-town justice. 

Months after the movie was released (on DVD) I got around to reading Wild. It was all everyone could talk about and perhaps my expectations for it were too high, but I was underwhelmed by it. It was a powerful story knowing that it was true, rather than fiction, but it would have been just as powerful without all the mentions of her toenails falling off. 

And finally, A History of the World in 6 Glasses, which I highly recommend to anyone who has a love of history and how interconnected social, economic and political factors are. From prehistoric times to present day, Standage sums up the major high points of history as affected by beer, wine, spirits, tea, coffee and Coca-Cola. While I was in college, the International Programs office organized two summer trips based on this book following the history of tea (traveling to Boston, China, India and London) and coffee (traveling to Ethiopia, Turkey and Paris).

What's on your must-read list this summer?


Victoria said...

I've really gotten into summer reading over the last few years!!! When I was growing up I traveled during the summer and didn't spend much time reading at all (flying = not conducive to traveling with a ton of books). I always loved the idea of getting a reading list and spending hot afternoons out on my grandma's porch swing checking off another title, but I was horribly negligent with those tasks!!!! :(

Now...We never had essays to write during the summer...Tell me more about those! What kind of topics were they? Did you read a book and then write about some assigned issue that was present in it or something else entirely?

As for this summer...I shared my list on my blog and I'm adding short reviews to it each time I finish a book (the link is on my sidebar, if you want to check it out). So far there is one book that I can't stop recommending: "The Mapmaker's Children" by Sarah McCoy. It's the perfect balance of light and heavy and will be a book I'm pretty confident you won't be able to put down even though you'll want it to last forever!

Amanda Greer said...

I am LOVING Jojo Moyes’ books lately. Two faves: The Last Letter From Your Lover and The Girl You Left Behind.

Megan @ Semi-Charmed Kind of L said...

This is so funny - my library has a "Lucky Day" collection with really popular/well-reviewed books that people can only check out for a week and don't show up in the catalog. Three of these books are in that collection! (All but A History of the World....) So, you must have great taste in books! ;)

Jess said...

haha thanks! yes it's so hard to get on the list for the bestsellers at the library but sometimes that's where i find some of my favorite ones that are a little off the beaten path. anyways, if you ever get lucky and get your hands on one of these three, i would highly recommend it!

Jess said...

I've heard so many good things about me before you so i can't wait to check these two out as well!

Jess said...

oh yes, kindles were the best thing that could have happened to air travel for book lovers. and as for those essays, we were given questions to answer that were usually open ended and open to interpretation which was nice to write about what we thought the author was trying to get at rather than find a correct answer. and thanks so much for the suggestion!!

Melinda Lawson Pollard said...

I am seriously obsessed with Wild by Cheryl Strayed- I literally could not put it down and read it in a few hours// One of the best books that I've read in a while- and I have Yes, Please on hold at the local library- can't wait to read it!

withluckblog said...

I keep forgetting to add Wild to my "Must Read" list! I don't know why I keep forgetting about it until someone mentions it again. I feel like I only hear great things! Thanks for the reminder.

I loved Amy's book, but I also enjoyed Mindy (and Tina's!) a little more.