My reading always slows down in the summer because I would rather be in the garden than reading a book. I used to feel badly about this, but now I just own it as part of living seasonally. Being curled up by a fire with a book is what Januarys are made for; picking green beans late into a warm summer evening is what August calls for. But I did get some reading in the last few weeks:
The Rules Do Not Apply. I still don’t know what I think about this one. The writing in parts was drop-dead gorgeous, but the last third of the book fell flat for me. I think Levy has another book in her (at least) delving into the pitfalls of the “anything goes/follow your passion” mentality that our generation has been steeped in growing up. Certainly, much freedom has come from that, but there are some potential downsides too. She skirts around the edges of them in The Rules, but I think she could have done some more introspective work…hopefully in her next book.
Almost Sisters. I loved this book. Jackson is quickly becoming one of my favorite living novelists. Her books perfectly hit that “sweet spot between serious literature and fluff” that these days seems to be my MO when it comes to fiction. Almost Sisters is about a Southern family and their secrets, and Jackson skillfully weaves the South’s past into the story, making Almost Sisters a timely read in 2017 America.
State of Wonder. I emailed a friend a couple chapters into this and said that reading Patchett makes me never want to write again. She is a genius. I said that Jackson is on my favorite living novelist list, but Patchett is on my favorite novelist period list. I don’t even know how to, nor do I want to attempt to, explain the premise of this novel to you because it sounds weird. Just give yourselves 50 pages, and I almost guarantee you will be sucked into the writing and wanting to know what happens to Dr. Marina Singh, the protagonist. I gave this 4.5 on Goodreads because I didn’t love the ending at first, but the longer it has been since I’ve read it, the more I think it was perhaps the right ending.
Of Mess and Moxie. Hatmaker isn’t for everyone, but I think every mother should read the first two or three chapters of this book. Writers that give me that “me too” feeling of having been there in the “all joy and no fun” of parenting help me to feel a little more sane since I’m in the trenches of it. I think this book could have benefited from a more strict editor, but I love Jen, I think she’s hilarious, and some of her insights into parenting and faith were so practical and helpful that overall, I loved this book.
Saints for All Occasions. Oh man, I loved this book. It hit for all cylinders on me: concurrent, connected stories from several different viewpoints, faith and place as their own characters in the larger story, redemption at the end. I will now proceed to read everything J. Courtney Sullivan has ever written. Saints was a best of 2017 for me for sure.
YOUR turn. What have you been reading lately that I can add to me TBR stack? I’m linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy if you want to check her post/comments for more reading recs.