Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My Summer Reading List--Really

I saw an article in Time magazine about books to read this summer, as recommended by famous author-type people.  I have come to believe that these famous author-type people are either REALLY boring, or full of shit.  Summer reading for these people contains a Russian metaphysical book, Dickens' Great Expectations, and the works of Dante.  Really?!?  Have they never heard of Janet Evanovich or Tom Clancy?  Now, granted, this is recommended reading from Time, not People magazine, but honestly, it's summer--lighten up!  (Or at least tell the truth.)

In the spirit of full disclosure, I, Kristin Alvick Graf, non-famous non-author type person, will share with you my summer reading.  I will divulge what is currently in my book bag, what is on my bedside table, and what I have on hold at the library. 

When I was in college I would read fluff fiction whenever I had a break.  I would stock up on Harlequin Romances and give my brain a rest from all my college text books. I should state for the record that I majored in English--I hope they don't revoke my degree when they read this.  In commemoration of this tradition I recently finished a racy little paperback titled Slightly Married by Mary Balogh.  It's set in Regency England and full of heaving bosoms and throbbing loins.  While this book was not bad, I will not be reading the other "Slightly" books in the series--one was plenty.

Last week I started reading The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow, partly because it was on sale at my local Target store and I desperately needed something to read.  (Buying books from Target?!  Now I know my bookseller's license will be revoked.)   The paperback edition I picked up is so covered with glowing praise there's no room to tell you what the book is about. But I will fill you in:  it's set in Portland, Oregon (near my home town) and tells the story of a mixed race girl who survived a family tragedy, but is left with more questions than she can answer.  I was liking it, but got distracted by another book.

Right now I'm reading The Foremost Good Fortune by Susan Conley and I'm loving it.  I usually don't read non fiction or books about cancer, but this memoir has so much going for it that I am positively swimming in it.  (But I am not taking it swimming because it is a library book and the librarian frowns on water logged books).

Next up, sitting on my bedside table are Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh, a book about I only know is set in colonial India during the Opium Wars, and Aunt Dimity's Death, a book (that I am re-reading) that is part of a mystery series by Nancy Atherton that I love.

And requested at the library and for which I am number one on the list after waiting many months--Voyager by Diana Gabaldon.  This is third in a series set in 18th century Scotland and has the unlikely combination of heaving bosoms and time travel, but it also covers a lot of Scotland's history.  And I like my history with a some throbbing loins on the side.

So there you have my Summer Reading List.  I may not reach September any smarter or with  greater enlightenment, but I will hopefully be well entertained.  And if not, I will go down to the local library and browse the stacks some more.