This is my symphony

What I read & what I lived …

I’m almost finished with my summer digital reader’s copies and when I am, man-oh-man, I am diving into this shelf of real, honest-to-goodness print books as soon as I can. I’ll breathe that thick paper and glue smell deeply and bookmark my pages with an honest-to-goodness dog-ear, not a wimpy little icon inserted at the top of a digital page. (I freely admit to being a corner-folder and spine-breaker who manages to ravish her books in those—and many other—ways!)  While I do love me my Kindle, there is nothing that compares to the satisfaction of a book in hand.

Here’s what I have to look forward to:

Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography—It’s my goal in the next few year to visit as many of the Laura Ingalls Wilder landmarks as I can and there are more books than one would think to guide readers in their all-things-Laura travels. This book is by far the most comprehensive of the bunch and I’m just starting the section on Little House In the Big Woods since I’m checking Pepin, Wisconsin off my list this summer. If you’re a LIW fan, this should be your definitive guide.

TBRA Week in Winter—This book by Maeve Binchy showed up unexpectedly when my mom returned some books I’d lent her … and included A Week In Winter which I’d gifted her for a trip! But no matter. What’s to protest about a sweet Binchy in which the protagonist, “decides to take an old, decaying mansion set high on the cliffs overlooking the windswept Atlantic Ocean and turn it into a restful place for a holiday by the sea …” Any book whose blurbs use the words “delightful” and “heart-warming” can’t be all bad.

Eleanor & Park—I should probably read more YA fiction. Every summer I try to read a title I can share the next year in my classroom, and I’ve had this one on my radar for a while. Eleanor, Park, star-crossed, high school—and John Greene loved it, so that will sell the book to my kids right there. (And an author whose name is Rainbow can’t hurt, either.)

The Woman Upstairs—This came out in 2013 and has been on my wish list for just about that long. I heard Maureen Corrigan review it on NPR’s best books for the year segment and it sounded intriguing. Probably a little dark, but that’s okay—it will counter-balance Maeve Binchy.

The Road to Character—I’ve been in love a fan of the pundit David Brooks for years. He is honest, fair, and balanced in his political critique (but not in the Fox News way). In the past few years he has branched out, writing more about character in our culture. My hunch is he finds us lacking. Go figure.

The Miniaturist—I loved the cover, plain and simple. And I’m pretty sure friend Denice liked it.

Sycamore Row—This one was in the re-sale bin in our local independent bookstore and for three bucks and 637 pages (!) it was the bargain of the century. It’s got all the good John Grisham stuff: a rich guy who’s dying, a revised will, bratty adult children, and a black maid. I should also say here that everything I know about the law I’ve learned in John Grisham. Like never, ever join those large settlements you see on late night TV because even though the lawsuit is for a bazillion dollars, you’ll only get ten thousand. If you’re lucky.

It’s an odd assortment, I admit. Suggestions I got from a review here and there, a little bit of serendipity, nothing too cutting edge. And that’s just fine with me.

Happy summer reading!

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