I guess since it is officially fall, summer is kinda over. So, here are the books I managed to read this summer. Not impressive, but more than I've read in one summer for years. When I was a kid I LOVED to read. Had nothing to do so I read all the time. Now it seems there are always things that must be done, but this summer, having no job to attend to 40 hours a week, I was intentional about squeezing in chapters wherever I could. Blah blah. Anyway, here they are:
A Mother's Book of Secrets, by Linda Eyre and Shawni Eyre Pothier
Shawni is the author of 71 toes, one of my favorite blogs, and that's how I found out about this book. My sweetie husband bought it for me for Mother's Day, and I just finally finished it. It's a lovely little piece filled with lots of great stuff to think about and ideas for creating a parenting "offense." I loved it.
Where the Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rawls
A classic, and I enjoyed every minute. Made me want to be a coon hunter. I read most of the book to Bob, but I'll have to do it again one day when he might actually have a clue what I'm talking about.
Good Harbor, by Anita Diamant
I don't even know where this book came from. I must have picked it up for free at a library book sale just because it's set in Gloucester. The first time I tried to read this one I never made it past the first chapter, where it was revealed that one of the main characters has breast cancer. It was just a little too heavy for me at the time. On my second attempt I forced myself to push through. The first half of the book was terribly depressing. Ben told me to just throw it in the garbage, but I felt compelled to keep reading. It felt important to me that I engage myself with the story, that I learn a little more about the pain a woman suffers when she finds out she has cancer, or when she loses a child, or when she must battle a disrespectful teenager whom she loves dearly. I wouldn't say I liked the book, but I think it helped me to sympathize a bit better, so I guess it was worth my while.
A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail, by Bill Bryson
This one made me want to hike the Appalachian Trail. Except I wouldn't be able to make it. But someday when our kids are in high school or something, I think I'll drag the whole family down to Georgia or up to Maine and give it a go. About the book, though -- it's hilarious. A good time.
Under the Dome, by Stephen King
This was my first Stephen King novel. Ben read it earlier this summer and couldn't put it down and the premise seemed interesting (the town of Chester's Mill, Maine, is suddeny trapped under a translucent but impermeable dome), so I decided to give it a try. And you know what? I actually kinda liked it. About half-way through I was totally hooked; I found slices of time to read when I normally wouldn't. I didn't love all of it -- some parts really annoyed the crap out of me -- but for the most part I believed it, and in the end it made me think. Ben didn't seem all that thrilled by the ending, but I rather liked it. I'd say the 1074 pages were worth the effort.
The Story of My Life, by Helen Keller
Helen Keller was an incredibly amazing woman. Every time I start thinking about what she accomplished I get all worked up, so I'll spare you here, but I will give you a couple of my favorite excerpts from the book (I could have chosen so many more)...
She writes of tobogganing: "What joy!" What exhilarating madness! For one wild, glad moment we snapped the chain that binds us to earth, and joining hands with the winds we felt ourselves divine!"
She writes of the poor: "In the county one sees only Nature's fair works, and one's soul is not saddened by the cruel struggle for mere existence that goes on in the crowded city... The sun and the air are God's free gifts to all, we say; but are they so? In yonder city's dingy alleys the sun shines not, and the air is foul. Oh, man, how dost thou forget and obstruct thy brother man, and say, 'Give us this day our daily bread,' when he has none! Oh, would that men would leave the city, its splendor and its tumult and its gold, and return to wood and field and simple, honest living! Then would their children grow stately as noble trees, and their thoughts sweet as wayside flowers. It is impossible not to think of all this when I return to the country after a year of work in town."
"Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content."
I love Helen's writing style, but she wrote this autobiography so early in her life that it left me wanting more. I'll have to pick up some of her other works.
Revolution in World Missions, by Dr. K. P. Yohannan
This book could change your life, which could in turn change other people's lives. Good stuff in there. And guess what? You can get a FREE copy here. Do it.