We are moving into the home stretch of summer, and I can’t say I’m sad to see it end. I’ve been mentally ready for fall for a few weeks now. I do need this next week to get my kids set up to going back to school. Note to self for next year: open Ava’s summer reading packet in June, not August. We’ve got some catching up to do. My summer reading, on the other hand, has been pretty good. I thought I would get a lot in on all of our flights around Europe, but I
passed out slept on most of them instead. Today, we’re doing a quick round up of four popular books I read over the past few weeks. I’d love to know if you’ve read any of these and your thoughts in the comments below.
I snorted out loud reading Jenni Klein’s memoir-ish book. It’s not going to be for everyone; her “problems” are certainly that of the first world kind. If you’ve ever walked through the home section of Anthropologie and knew you’d be a better person if you ate your morning cereal out of one of their artisan designed bowls, you’ll like her. I especially enjoyed her self-doubt laden quest for the perfect wedding dress and her hilarious antidotes about the aftermath of a few dramatic breakups. I think she falls a little flat at the end, but it was well worth the read. You can get through it in a few hours, or in my case over the course of the week as you fall asleep cross eyed at the end of another busy summer day.
By far my favorite book of the summer is by Scaachi Koul, who writes about being the daughter of Indian immigrants, growing up in Canada. Scaachi is quick witted with razor sharp observations. Any kind of humor based on the absurdity of real life and family is right up my alley. I won’t do it justice, but there’s an exchange between Scaachi and her very traditional parents, who other than traveling to India every few years never go on vacation. They decide to take a trip to Cuba, and the back and forth of them packing and getting to the airport with Scaachi sitting on their bed watching it unfold left me in happy tears. Aside from the humor, which jumps off of every page, it’s also a fascinating narrative of race, religion, and cultures intersecting in the modern world.
When I first started Mark Mason’s self-help manifesto, I thought he was trying a little too hard to be cool. But I pushed through since my cousin Kaitlin told me it was legit and that she found some real take aways. It’s not life changing by any means, but it’s a good reminder that we can only put our energy into so many things. If everything matters does anything matter? While Mason is mildly entertaining in a kind of self-indulgent way, I don’t think he has many people in his life who don’t laugh at his jokes; he does makes some decent points. It sparked a few eye opening conversations with my husband. After reading it, I realized my problem isn’t that I focus on too many things, it’s that I focus on the wrong things, and often, I let my emotions lead the way. Keep in mind, he’s writing specifically to millennials, so I’m not his target market, but still, I found a few nuggets of new information.
I very much enjoyed this book, and I’m not entirely sure why. There is no actual plot. Instead, it is like a stream of consciousness by the author Dani Shapiro. Shapiro’s writing is lovely, interesting and introspective. Her narrative bounces back and forth in time reflecting on her marriage. I’ve been married for going on 14 years, so it made me think about how time unfolds and takes you down unexpected paths. I’m amazed how quickly I can go back to when Bri and I first met in my mind as if no time has passed, even though we’ve been together for so long. She made me think about how incredible it is to build a life with someone. Your days are mostly filled with the mundane while still going through extreme peaks and valleys. And you do all of it while building a life, a family and trying to grow as an individual. It’s a beautiful, rather untraditional book I think many women will enjoy.