Recent (Summer) Reads III

Monday 19 August 2013

There is something about summer that warrants easy living.  We dine on light, cool meals thrown together casually.  When the sun comes out and the air warms, we abandon responsibilities a little easier  and when we read, we want something we can drift in and out of yet the plot keeps our attention and can be picked up when left for days or even weeks.
Speaking From Among The Bones by Alan Bradley
I've been following this series for several years now and the main character, Flavia de Luce, keeps me coming back.  A child prodigy of sorts, Flavia solves mysteries in her small English village and this novel keeps one guessing throughout.  In fact, there's quite a cliffhanger leaving me anxious for the next instalment.  The writing is poetic and Bradley does a wonderful job at drawing you into Flavia's world of chemistry and mystery.  I'd recommend you start at the first novel in the series if you're looking for a little mystery in your summer reading.

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
New York in the late 30s, working class women with an eye for more and a tangled story of friendship and romance make this a great read for the summer.  The main character, Katie, is smart and self aware and I love that she goes against the grain, becoming a spinster of sorts.  In my books, this was the perfect book to devour in the sunshine (or for that matter, in the rain.)  The author also created a playlist full of jazz to pair with your reading - I'd suggest a cocktail too, preferably a martini.

The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani
Italy in the early 1900s to America in 1950s, this is a love story that spans two continents and several decades as two young Italians try to make their way in New York City.  Sometimes the story felt slow with pages of narrative over a single encounter yet other times, years or even decades would pass between paragraphs.  I started to lose interest half way through - as the plot progressed, many events came together far too neatly and too quickly.  I finished it feeling a little 'meh.'  It wasn't a waste of time but I was happy to be done with it and ready to move onto something else.

What has graced your summer reading list?

{PS. Recent Reads 1 & Recent Reads 2 & Why I Read}


  1. I really need to read Rules of Civility! it's been on my list forever.

    I just finished An Unexpected Guest by Anne Korkeakivi and think you'd LOVE it. The whole novel takes place in one day and it's mostly internal narrative by the main character - I usually prefer books with more dialogue but I was SO engrossed in this woman and her world! Definitely recommend :)

  2. I've been dying to read the Shoemaker's Wife for awhile now... it's definitely going to be on my December reading list. Can't wait until this Masters end and I can have a life again ;)


  3. I've been wanting to read Rules of Civility and The Shoemaker's Wife! I'm so behind on books and everything thanks to college...ick. this weekend I binged and read The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan [I've loved everything of hers so far] and Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella [she's totally a guilty pleasure author!]. currently I'm making my way through Wild, by Cheryl Strayed.

  4. LOVED Rules of Civility - one of those books I didn't want to end (but luckily there is a sequel of short stories out that is called Eve in Hollywood). So glad to hear you liked it too. Currently loving In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez - lovely tale of rebellious sisters in a time of dictatorship.

    1. I have never heard of 'Eve in Hollywood' but will most certainly check it out! Thank you!

  5. Fantastic post Jay - I've been looking for new reads while I'm in Canada and can download them on my iPhone to read when I get back to Honduras. I just finished The Red Tent...I know I'm years behind, but it was still an incredible read!

  6. Gosh, I haven't heard of any these. Thank you for sharing! Now that I have the time to read again, I'm so excited to dig into these soon :) Shakespeare & Co, here I come!

  7. I've been looking for some new reads and these all look so good! Thanks for the recommendations!

  8. Okay, Rules of Civility might need to be added to my list. I love book posts! I've been reading a lot of the modern classics lately, with some silly YA thrown in there, too. It's always nice to get more suggestions!

  9. aww man i like the shoemakers wife just cause of the title! sounds cute! oh well... i'm reading sharp objects right now so far really good and weird

  10. I LOVED Rules of Civility. I didn't realize there was a playlist to go along with it- I will have to check that out.

  11. Captain Corelli's Mandolin has been putting me to sleep all summer. It's slowly getting better...but I'm not in love with it.

  12. Thank you for your recommendations, Rules of Civility, sounds fantastic. I came across a great romance novel this summer called "Come Fly With
    Me" by author Judith Whitmore
    ( The book is packed full of romance, action, suspense, and some plot twists that I was not expecting! The great thing about this book is that it doesn't focus on the main character, Kate, being "rescued by a knight in shining armor" it focuses on the power and strength that she finds within herself after being stuck in a loveless marriage and having to deal with death and adultery. Kate meets Rick (who just happens to be a handsome, intelligent pilot) and this is just the icing on the cake :) I feel the book really promotes the idea of a female hero and it was quite inspiring to read! I highly recommend it!


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