Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Summer Reading 2011

Now that I'm back at school, I'm sorry to report that my summer is OFFICIALLY over.  Which means I can officially do my end of summer reading wrap-up.  So that's almost a win-win scenario right?  (It also means that I can do an official end-of-summer-movie guide.  Unfortunately, I can't even begin to remember all of the summer movies I saw over the past few months, which I think is a sad commentary on modern American cinema.)

Anyway, I read a lot this summer.  It was definitely one thing I made time for.  So I don't bore you to tears with annoying book details, I'm just going to provide a basic summary (title, author, my rating, and brief summary).  You can find all of these books on Amazon which you can access here (this is just going to have to suffice because I am far too lazy to look up each book and post a link to it).

So, without further ado, here is my summer reading list 2011:

The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin
3/5 Stars
This book was an easy read and on an interesting topic (the uber-wealthy Manhattanite), but not the best book ever.  This was a quick, quick read.  However, I couldn't identify with any of the characters and found most of them reprehensible.

Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
Talk about morally reprehensible characters!  I actually am currently writing an entire Emily Giffin post, so I'll spare you the deets here; but I will say this: this book was about terrible, terrible people and the terrible things they do to one another.

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
This book was EXCELLENT.  Its about a southern Baptist minister who moves his family to Africa to "convert the heathens."  Told from the perspective of his wife and four daughters, no one is quite ready for the way that Africa changes them.  I thought this book was insightful and beautiful.

The Black Dhalia by James Ellroy
I don't typically read murder/mystery books, but this was a selection for a book club back home.  This book was very dark, and it took me a long, long time to read (I'd put it down when I got scared).  I'd say it was well-written and had a few twists and turns but it did not turn me onto the murder/mystery genre.

Something Blue by Emily Giffin
As much as I hated Something Borrowed, I loved Giffin's sequel.  Instead of being about terrible people who do terrible things, this was about one person's metamorphosis from terrible to pretty good.  But again, more on this one later.

Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner
Oh how I love Jennifer Weiner!  There is just something about the way she writes that absolutely does not let me stop reading!  This one is about a senator's wife and daughters who are living in the aftermath of his infidelity.  His wife's life is turned upside-down; but his daughters are struggling with their own issues: one is a recovering addict and the other is dealing with her loveless marriage.  Weiner's characters are always relatable and real.

Sisterhood Everlasting by Anne Brashares
This is the 5th book in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series.  I'd like to write a longer post on this one, but who knows if that will ever happen.  I loved this book.  I've loved all of the Pants books.  This one picks up when the girls are about to turn 30, almost 10 years after the 4th Pants book ends.  This book made me laugh and it made me cry.  In fact, this book made me cry at the drop of a hat for about 4 days.  So read with some tissues!

One Day by David Nicholls
I decided to read this after I saw the preview for the new movie coming out with Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess.  This book is about Emma and Dexter who meet in college and are friends forever.  It checks in on Em and Dex every year on the anniversary of the day they met.  Amazing idea.  Nicholls did a great job in making the characters real, but also in keeping certain threads going on throughout the book, so you weren't completely lost after not having seen these characters for a year.

and finally:

When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris
This was the first David Sedaris book I'd ever read, but it will not be the last.  A collection of essays, this book would be perfect on vacation as its easy to pick up and put down.  Sedaris is almost sinfully funny and had me laughing out loud in my cubicle.  I love books that make me laugh out loud, and this one did.  

And that's it!  As you can see I was a busy, busy reading bee this summer!  I'm still trying to finish a few books I started over the summer, so hopefully I'll be able to update you on those soon!


Meredith said...

I never thought I'd see the day when I read more books than you did in a summer! I'm usually the one struggling through 1! I looked at my Kindle yesterday and saw that I have read 11 books this summer to include 4 of 5 of the Song of Ice and Fire books and not to leave out "The Poisonwood Bible" and the 4-5 books I have on my nightstand that haven't been completed. Crazy. I think I might read Fly Away Home (first J. Weiner book for me) too though. We'll see. With no school this semester and Garrett possibly working evenings I'm going to have a ton of time to read! Love your reviews! I love seeing what other people are reading too!

Andrea said...

Mere, I'm so impressed!!!! Starting Game of Thrones was not the best Idea two weeks before school started because I've had ZERO time to read....and I'm DYING to know what happens!!!