Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Summer Reading

My reading tastes encompass high-brow, low-brow, and every-brow in-between. Here's my list for the summer:

Prince of Pleasure by Saul David: English History; A biography of the Prince Regent of England between 1811 and 1820, later King George IV. While he was a blackguard and a hedonist, he was also a great patron of the arts and, to many, a kind and generous benefactor. Jane Austen was commanded to dedicate Emma to him, and she did so most reluctantly. A fascinating monarch.

The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey: Christian Living; A Christian journalist's perspective on the life of Christ - highly recommended by many respected friends. I've never read Yancey before, so this should be interesting.

Ten Big Ones by Janet Evanovich: Mystery (sort of); Stephanie Plum is back in this latest mass market paperback in the numerically-themed mystery series set in Trenton, NJ. Saving this one for pool reading on our annual Las Vegas trip.

Hissy Fit by Mary Kay Andrews: Chick-Lit Southern Style; Comedy, drama and mystery mix it up in Georgia for what promises to be a vintage Andrews (Savannah Blues, Little Bitty Lies) novel. I've heard that this one has darker undertones to the storyline, but is still a funny read.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling: Youth Fantasy; Yes, I bought this on July 16. Yes, I'm a big fan. No, I won't apologize for it. Pppbbbbltt!

FDR's Folly and Wilson's War both by Jim Powell: American History; History with a libertarian perspective, examining, respectively, The Great Depression and World War I. Jim Powell wrote the excellent collection of libertarian personalities, The Triumph of Liberty.

The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella: Chick-Lit British Style; This looks like another winner from über-hilarious Brit, Ms. Kinsella (Shopaholic series, Can You Keep a Secret?). A London lawyer runs away from the city and her stressful job and ends up as a servant in the country - only Kinsella and a willing suspension of disbelief can pull this off - I expect many laughs.

A Prayer for Owen Meany by (Stupid) John Irving: Fiction; Okay, I bought this book three years ago and couldn't get into it. Then, I read The World According to Garp by Irving and hated it. Plus, The Cider House Rules (which I have never read), also by Irving, appears to be a positive portrayal of abortion - which infuriates me and consigns the author into one of the outer-rings of hell in my authorial hierarchy. BUT, Rich Mullins and Carolyn Arends both read and loved A Prayer for Owen Meany. AND there's this secret club that people who've read the book get to belong to, and I've always had a weakness for secret clubs. Plus, I finally got to "talk books" with Carolyn Arends up at Barnabas, and the first novel she brought up was Owen Meany. And I had to gulp and admit that I had bought it when I read that she loved it (and about the secret club), and that I just couldn't get into it. So I'm going to gird my loins and grind my teeth and get through this wee tome. Can something that has touched the hearts of two of the greatest songwriters of all time be really bad? Well, we'll see . . .

Dark Star Safari by Paul Theroux: Travel Essay; My dad highly recommends this and even lent me his copy (which I've had for a year). It's all about the author's travels in Africa. My dad says it's pretty hard on the humanitarian organizations at work on that continent (one of which - Compassion International - I support), so it may be tough for me to stomach. But Dad insists it is well-written and entertaining, and he read Bill Bryson at my behest, so I'll give it a go.

One Nation Under Therapy by Christina Hoff Sommers and Sally Satel, MD: Social Science; Few things, in my opinion, are more subversively destructive in our culture today than belly-button-gazing psychotherapy. When I worked at B&N, the "Self-Help" section made me physically ill. This book promises to reinforce all my previously-formed prejudices - which should make for an invigorating, comfortable, but, most likely, unchallenging, read.

Teach Your Own: The John Holt Book of Homeschooling by John Holt and Patrick Farenga: Education/Child Development; I've already begun this book, and I find it incredibly enlightening and helpful, especially since I'm planning to homeschool. John Holt had a lot of empathy for children; and his warm understanding of children as, foremost, individuals shines through on every page.

Well, there's my list so far. Feel free to add your own lists/recommendations in the comments section. (I'm sure they'll be much more erudite than mine - I'm honored to have a lot of smart people visit my humble blog.) I'm always on the lookout for great reads!

A blessed and literary summer to all!

1 comment:

Amigo said...

What a list! I better get out there and start reading, I'm starting to feel that I'll become a poster child for illiteracy.