If the pessimistic in me chooses to look on the bright side, I believe that I am adjusting to this new “normal” (I can’t decide whether this is a good think or a bad thing) and thus my reading life is slowly coming back. I read five books this month.
I am four books ahead of schedule in my goal to read 40 books this year. I have read two of my five must-reads from Modern Mrs. Darcy’s (MMD) Summer Reading Guide. And I have completed four of the 10 categories in the MMD 2020 Reading Challenge: (1) a debut novel, (2) a book recommended by a source you trust, (3) a book outside your (genre) comfort zone, and (4) three books by the same author.
- The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny. I have completed my third Louise Penny this year and thus have completed the MMD 2020 Reading Challenge of three books by one author. Last month, I said that I couldn’t decide whether I liked this series or not. Well, I have decided. I like it. A lot. It is unlike anything that I have ever read before. Penny’s use of language is so beautiful that it sometimes doesn’t feel appropriate to the crime-solving mysteries that are these books. I am convinced that it will take more than one reading of each to fully comprehend what is happening; something that I am looking forward to doing. Penny also sets this series in seasons of the year and I am trying to read according to the season that it is. The fourth, A Rule Against Murder, is set during the summer months and I hope to start and finish it before Fall arrives. But, alas, I have so many good things to read this summer
- Strike Me Down by Mindy Mejia. This is my third book from MMD Summer Reading Guide. It wasn’t a must-read pick; it was just available at my local library so a snatched it up while I had the chance. I feel kind-of “meh” about this one and not because the author didn’t do a good job; the subject matter wasn’t all that interesting to me. I did want to find out what happened and thus I kept turning the pages. So, there’s that.
- Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey. I picked this up from my library a couple of years ago, started it and didn’t finish it. However, it is recommended reading for the writing group I am in so I got it from the library again and forged through it. This book looks at the habits and rituals of 237 artist, writers, composers, etc. and discusses their process for creating their work. If I got anything out of this it is that no two artist work the same. Each one’s process is suited to their lifestyle and temperament. I think, I have been looking for a formula to produce my own work and hoped someone would tell me what that was. But, in reading this book, I learned no one can tell me what it is. I have to discover it on my own. I’m glad I finished it this time.
- Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad. If you weren’t burrowed under a rock, as a lot of us probably wished that we were, you are aware of the racial tensions that dominated the news cycle last month. My social media feed was inundated with these “Antiracists Book List” and this pick was one of the few that kept showing up on. As a woman of color, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to read about racism but curiosity got the best of me and I wanted to see what this one was about so I borrowed a digital copy from my local library. I read it in one night, even though it is meant to be read and journaled through over three weeks and I am not the intended audience.
- Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah. I have long proclaimed that I can’t get into audio books! But my friend and coworker, Ginger, let me borrow this one from her and I couldn’t put it down-err, stop listening to it. I learned SO MUCH! About apartheid in South Africa, racism, socioeconomic conditions and the long-lasting effects, parenting, perspective. I love Trevor Noah’s accent and the book was so funny, making the abject horror bearable to read, I’m sorry again, hear. This was definitely a 5-star read for me, my second of 2020! Some have said this is the best audiobook that they have ever experienced which doesn’t bode well for me as a search for another.
- Untamed by Glennon Doyle. I am LOVING this book! I restarted it last month and am still journaling through it, chapter by chapter.
- Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by Madeleine L’Engle. This is the second book recommended by that writers’ group I talked about earlier. Thought-provoking.
- The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner. This is my third must-read pick from the MMD Summer Reading Guide and happens to be August’s pick for the MMD Book Club. I’m not very far in so I can’t tell whether I like this one or not.
- Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld. This is my second book by Sittenfeld and I love her writing style. Plus, the premise of this novel – what if Hillary hadn’t married Bill – is fascinating.
In Case You Were Wondering
Yes, I talk a lot about the Modern Mrs. Darcy’s space here. Her Summer Reading Guide has been the described as the “Christmas” of book lovers and is my quintessential guide to a fun summer reading experience. Her yearly Reading Challenge, helps me break at my reading rut and also give some structure to my reading life. Plus, it’s the only challenge I will take a stab at it. I have failed to complete it three years in a row. But I still try.
Anne also does a Quick Lit post every month discussing what she is currently reading, to which I am linking this post. If you’re here because of her, I can’t thank her, and you, enough.
I hope you’re reading life is getting back on track.