In 2015, I was introduced to Goodreads. Some refer to the app and website as Netflix for books, and it really is- suggestions based on what you've read and how you've rated past reads, a peek into what lies on your friends' bookshelves... I really love their Reading Challenge. Each year, you can set a goal for yourself on how many books you'd like to finish before year's end, and track your progress along the way. With statistics from sites like Business Insider and Forbes spouting that the most successful people make a habit of reading daily, I see no reason not to push myself to pick up a book more often than the remote.
This summer, I've pinpointed a few books that I want to carry me through the first of September.
GodPretty in the Tobacco Field, Kim Michele Richardson
The story of a teen girl who dreams of a bigger life outside of an impovershed Kentucky tobacco farm speaks to me on a couple of levels. While growing up on a tobacco farm in a small, hard working community, I, too, craved more movement, more noise, more life. Perhaps its why I escape to cities like New York and Chicago as often as possible. While I never wanted to leave behind the kinship and green smells of my homeland, I'm curious to see why our protagonist wants to separate from hers.
How to be a Heroine, Samantha Ellis
Part memoir and part Womens Studies class, our author explores how the female writers and characters have shaped her life, her outlook, and her expectations for herself as well as current female leads (imagine Anne of Green Gables next to Amy Poehler's Leslie Knope). I'm excited about this one, though the ladies featured inside may spark an itch (a neccesity?) to go back and re-read some of the classic, female-led tales I've not touched in several years.
State of Wonder, Ann Patchett
After reading Ms. Patchett's Commonwealth last year, and devouring every word, I found myself floating towards her name again while at our local Carmichael's Bookstore last week. State of Wonder takes us far away from Commonwealth's Virginia hills and places us in the Amazon where a doctor ventures to find out what happened to her colleague there. Most of the details I've found on story arc are vague, so if you've read this one and have details, please reach out.
This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, also Ann Patchett
Because I loved Commonwealth so much, I grabbed two Ann Patchett works. This one, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage caught my eye. Focusing on the marrriages she's had- to a bad love, a good one, marriages to literature, to business ventures, and friends- Patchett remembers the relationships that have shaped her.
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry, Fredrik Backman
This one was recommended to me by a friend and client last summer, and it's been sitting in my "to read" pile since we got back from Phoenix. The relationship between an odd seven year-old, and her possibly dementia-ridden grandmother is that of two best friends who speak in their own language. When grandma passes, she leaves behind letters to those she believes she's wronged, and Elsa sets off on an adventure. A true worshipper of my own grandmother, I'm looking forward to see what sort of love and bond is here, and what sort of tasks Elsa is dealt.
American Housewife, Helen Ellis
The cover caught my eye almost a year ago, and NPR's book review piqued my interest, so I finally caved and bought American Housewife. A dozen short stories whose descriptions read a little demented, "and then they kill a party crasher, carefully stepping around the body to pull cookies out of the oven," I'm a little tentative of reading this Stepford Wife meets Mrs. Voorhees-sounding collection. Most reviews, however, seem positive, and hilarious... I'm curious to see how this one turns out.
Happy reading, friends, and please, send any book suggestions this way!
** photos by Kyle Leuken **
** this post is not sponsored **
Yours, most sincerely, Joyce