Well, summer has juuuust about come to an end and I’m feeling quite bitter sweet about it.
Because we were traveling around the country all last summer, we missed out on the very best weather our beautiful Pacific Northwest has to offer. This year, we mainly stuck around home, with two trips over to Eastern Washington where it is hotter, dryer and the lake is much more swimable than the chilly Puget Sound. It has been an amazingly warm and sunny summer (which we all so needed after that dreadfully wet and gray winter and spring!) and it feels like we’re all holding on to it as much as possible.
Staying around home, taking some time off work and the easy ages of our kids has allowed me to get a few books finished this summer.
Since recommendations from a friend is my favorite way to choose a book, I thought we could spend a few minutes chatting about the books I finished, the ones I quit and what I’m reading now.
BOOKS I READ THIS SUMMER
This is the book I can’t stop talking about. The Enneagram is a personality typing system that is both completely fascinating to me (my degree is in psychology, so I guess that makes sense) and also has been hugely eye opening and healing. This book uses the Enneagram as the basis, but approaches it through scripture. It’s so good!
Susan Meissner’s stories are my favorite types: historical fiction with multiple characters whose stories intersect in unexpected ways. This book is about the Queen Mary and *warning* it talks about ghosts. It almost stopped me from reading because I’m not super into ghosts, but I kept going and I really liked the story. Not my very favorite of hers, but still worth reading (fyi, my favorite of hers is this one).
Did you read Where’d You Go Bernadette? If not, you should. If so and you liked it, you’ll like this one too. Quirky, quick to read, endearing character, and it’s set in Seattle, which makes it fun for this local girl.
Annie Downs is adorable and I want to be her friend. I listen to her podcast and kept hearing pieces of the message of this book so I decided to go against my normal non-christian-living book preferences and give it a try. I actually listened to the audio version (Annie reads it so it feels like your listening to a fun/wise/kind friend sharing and encouraging you).
Here’s what Amazon says about this one: No matter who you are and what path God has you on, we all need to remember the lovely, fight to finish, and find beautiful in our every day!
READ THIS ONE! I loved it. I quit a WWII novel (see below) because I needed something a bit lighter and happier – but still engaging and well-written – and this one was perfect. A young woman goes to work at a food magazine, only to have it shut down shortly after starting. But in that time, she uncovers hidden letters written during the war between a young girl in Ohio and legendary chef James Beard. The letters, the characters, the way food is part of it all makes it such a delightful read.
I can’t remember how I heard about this one, and even though it is on the heavy side, it was a good read. I started listening to the audio version and it was read in a super depressing voice, so I switched to reading it on my own and liked that much better. There is a movie out, which I haven’t seen yet, but I think I will. A husband and wife find a baby and decide to keep it, but have to deal with the moral ramifications, which are many.
BOOKS I QUIT THIS SUMMER
I’m not typically a book-quitter, but I am allowing myself the freedom to stop reading a book if it just isn’t holding my attention. How far in should I give it? I make myself get to at least 25%. These three I quit for various reasons … but chances are I’ll pick them up again when I’m more in the mood for the stories.
Based on a true story about the nanny who cared for the brothers who were both the King of England (Queen Elizabeth’s father is one of them), I wanted to like this one because I’m generally interested in history, England and the Royal family, but I grew bored pretty quickly. Perhaps I’ll try again.
See? History, England, royal family. I made it about 60% through but this one felt a bit dull as well. I might try to get through it, or I might just watch the pbs series of the same name and call it good.
A friend recommended this WWII novel and I jumped because I do like WWII novels and I actually really do like this book. It is just heavy and I was wanting something a little lighter for the summer (I picked up Delicious – see above – and it was just what I was looking for. I’ll come back to finish Lilac Girls this fall).
WHAT I’M READING NOW
Just keeping with the Enneagram learning. This book is also written from a Christian perspective and is surprisingly witty and very enjoyable to read. If you are brand new to the Enneagram, this one is a great choice.
Here’s what Amazon says: Ian Cron and Suzanne Stabile forge a unique approach―a practical, comprehensive way of accessing Enneagram wisdom and exploring its connections with Christian spirituality for a deeper knowledge of ourselves, compassion for others, and love for God.
I’ll confess: I almost quit this one. I was at 23% and my sister told me to at least give it to 25%, so I did. And then I couldn’t stop. And now all I want to do is read and see what happens to the characters that I now really like and care about.
I was initially drawn to this book because its subjects are not my typical go-to (I’m trying to expand my reading preferences from the above mentioned history/England/WWII mix). This story is about an immigrant man and his family from west Africa who works for an executive for Lehman Brothers before its collapse in 2008. It is a story of immigration, family, facades, wealth, secrets and dreams.
While on vacation, we spent one dinner talking around the table about the best books we’ve ever read. My brother-in-law named this book as his favorite. We put on the audio version for our family to listen to on the long drive home but stopped a few chapters in after not finding it quite as child-appropriate as we prefer. I think I’ll keep going, though, because it is a clever and compelling story.
Have you read anything great this summer? I’d love to hear your recommendations!