Summertime Book Adventures

I love reading and since I got a Kindle last year, I’ve been devouring books.  Just like last year, I’m all over the board with random topics.

  • Vixen 03 by Clive Cussler – my favorite author – as my father-in-law said it was a good read (he’s a Cussler fan as well, we’re constantly trading books).  I’m switching things up with a paperback.  The book is a little choppy with the story line, but I’m interested to see how they will intersect.  And it has a very young Dirk Pitt in it!
  • One up on Wall Street: How to Use What You Already Know to Make Money in the Market by Peter Lynch.  Something I know very little about is investing.  As a conservative risk taker when it comes to money, I’m very leery about investing simply because I don’t know how it all works.  The guy is a big name on Wall Street and the reviews about this book jived with what I’m looking for in an investment book: nothing with too much jargon or something I need millions to do – some reviews said it was a “fun read.”  I’m hoping this will be a jumping off point for the future me in terms of finances.
  • The Host by Stepenie Meyer.  She wrote the Twilight series; The General and I watched the movie last night and while I was reluctant about it, I got sucked into the storyline.  I downloaded this book while the credits were rolling.
  • The Confessions of St. Augustine.  I have heard of this book, but do not know much about it or the author.  I’m looking forward to learning more about this relic wordsmith and his relationship with God.  Bonus: It was free on Kindle.
  • The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth. I’ve ready good reviews about this series from Facebook friends and I hope it’ll be a good beach read.  I read all 3 Hunger Games book and loved them.
  • HeavenWord Daily by David Servant.  This is also free on Kindle.  For reasons unknown, even to me, every 18 July I change my daily devotional.  This year I’m going to try this one – it leads you through the entire New Testament for a year.  I like how it’s the equivalent to spiritual steak. After reading “My Utmost for his Highest,” (Oswald Chambers), I need something heavy.  I like my coffee and devotionals strong.

This should keep me busy until the winter chill rushes in.

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Cruel Summer

As I had mentioned before, I had a perfect summer reading plan: adventure novels intermixed with classics.  As I was going down this road, literarily speaking, I took a sharp right turn and decided to go off-roading.  The books I have on my Kindle are so far off the beaten path for my reading tastes, it even took me by surprise.

My heart, in a way, was beaten up a few weeks ago (no worries, The General and I are fine) — while I’d rather not get into the gory details of the proverbial “thorn in my side,” I’m struggling.  And with these struggles, I’ve decided to read about other women who are also struggling against the universe.

My 1st read is actually a classic, “Anna Karenina,” by Leo Tolstoy.  Reading Tolstoy is very much akin to drinking high quality vodka straight: small sips, easy does it.  Heavy, heavy stuff.  I’m probably missing most of the important philosophical content, but I’m doing my best to read between the lines.  It’s a very long book and while I know nothing about it, it was free on Amazon — so far it seems to deal with adultery and one’s own question of “What is right and wrong?  And how do I personally define those?”  I’m 10 chapters in, and this Anna Karenina character hasn’t even shown up yet.  I have no idea where the story is going, characters keep changing and it’s all rising action.  Also, it’s translated from Russian, so everyone has these long crazy Russian names and it’s hard to keep track of everyone. But it’s good stuff.  I forgot how much I love literature.

The other book is “Motherhoodwinked” by Anne-Marie Scully.  It’s her memoir of her struggles with infertility.  I’ve known many people who have walked this road and I have no idea about any of it.  I hope to glean some knowledge from this.  And she’s from Dublin.  Love, love that city!

The last book is “Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.  Written by Herself” by Harriet Jacobs.  I was drawn to this story because she is from Edenton, NC — about 4 hours north from Wilmington.  Growing up in Illinois, slavery was as real to me as communism.  It’s in another land, so long ago, so far removed from my own little world.  Now that I live in south proper, it’s different.  I enjoyed a bowl of ice cream downtown last night right next to where they used to buy and sell human beings 150 years ago.  Crazy.  One of my favorite classes in college was the Antebellum Theatre, which explored much of the black experience in theatre and life pre and post Civil War.  It made such an impression on me because it never dawned on me half  of the stuff that happened — I grew up in a lilly white cornfield.  It really opened my eyes and mind.  I think this book may be hard to read at points (she suffered much abuse) and I almost didn’t download it — but I read the introduction she wrote and was so drawn into it that I’m having a hard time not reading this book.  Right now.

So much for light summer reading.  But I look forward to sitting on my back deck reading by oil lamp.

Summertime Reads

I decided, randomly, last night that this summer – if it ever arrives – I am going to read a lot.  I have a huge reading list and I think it’s time that I bought a Kindle.  Nothing fancy, mind you, I’m looking at the base model. I don’t want to be responsible for a $300+ piece of electronic equipment when I’m out on an adventure or at the beach.

Right now, I am reading through the series “A Song of Fire and Ice” — better known as The Game of Thrones books.  The General and I watched the 1st season last winter and were hooked: for Xmas, I bought him the 1st 4 books in the series.  Just like every other TV/movie/mini-series, the books are way better than what’s on film.  And HBO takes some serious poetic licensing with the sexuality on the show; the books, which include sex, is more of a sentence to get the reader to understand what’s going on: it’s not detailed and gratuitous.  I blew through 600+ pages in a month simply because his writing pulls you into the story line and the characters are so deep and flawed – a lot like how Mad Men is written.  Ah….where was I going with that?  Yes, my summer reading list (once I get through the next couple of Game of Thrones books):

  • Clive Cussler.  He’s my favorite author of all time: I ❤ Dirk Pitt (an adventurer of modern day marine pursuits) and Issac Bell (a detective for the Van Dorn Detective Agency, circa 1910).  Bonus: My father-in-law is a huge fan as well.  There’s some new novels out I haven’t cracked yet.
  • Ernest Hemingway.  Ever since I toured his house in Key West, I have been curious to see what his books are like and see some of the old movies of them as well.  I’ve never read anything by him before.  I nearly bought a book of his translated in German, but it was a $20 paperback.
  • German books.  I found a few “learn German by reading adventure stories” books that have intrigued me.  It’s worth a try.
  • Alister MacLean.  My high school sweetheart turned me onto him.  I have his collection of sea-faring short stories (The Lonely Sea) in my beach bag – it never leaves.  My favorite is still “St. George and the Dragon.”  I chuckle every time I read it.  The Black Shrike, a novel, is also one of my favorite; it’s mind blowing.  He writes twists on top of turns in terms of story lines.

I don’t read a lot of non-fiction simply because my job is so cerebral.  I need some brain candy.  I do enjoy the occasional Christian life book as well.

And I’m open to suggestions.