Monday, September 26, 2011

The Last Dregs of Summer

Fall has arrived! So let's wrap up my summer reading:

The Ordering of Love
This was the last compilation of L'Engle's poetry. All of her poems from the previous three collections plus two dozen recent and not-so-recent poems were gathered together. So if you love Madeleine L'Engle's poetry (and to be honest it's pretty awesome), this is the book to get.

Savor the Moment
The third in the Nora Robert's bride quartet. It's my least favorite. However, I love the quartet in general so it's not all bad. :-) Laurel, the cake baker of Vows weddings, falls for Del, whose always been an older brother to the quartet.

The Joys of Love
The LAST Madeleine L'Engle book. It was published posthumously by L'Engle's granddaughters. L'Engle had given it to them as a special book all their own which they wished to share with her fans. It was a nice sentiment, and the book was nice, but I understand why L'Engle didn't push to publish it. Elizabeth is participating in summer stock, sure that some tips from her favorite actress will help launch her acting career. She has fallen for the director whose perfection blinds her to the honest love Ben, a fellow troupe member has for her. When her aunt pulls her funding, Elizabeth only has a couple days to figure out all the decisions waiting for an answer this summer.

Happy Ever After
The last of the Bride quartet. Even workaholic Parker find love. Aw. What I really want to know is how Parker figures out how to provide 24/7 service to her brides (which Vows is known for) now that she has other demands on her time. Also, I want to see their weddings. It's really sad we only get to see Mac's.

Image and Pilgrimage in Christian Culture
This was the hardest book I've read in a really long time. Victor Turner is the expert in his field, but that was much more academic writing than I've encountered in a long time. (The Nora Roberts probably isn't challenging my reading skills.) Nonetheless, I finished it and it was really intriguing. While everything is from an anthropological view which is a little less satisfying for this theologically minded person, the patterns developed around pilgrimages are fascinating. The more I read, the more I think I need to take a very intentional view of travel whether it is to spiritual sites or not.

Flash and Bones
A Kathy Reichs novel. Yay for a very different Temperance Brennan than is on fox. Still her no nonsense attitude shines through as she tries to unravel various missing person cases to find the murderer who dumped a body near the North Carolina raceway. BTW have you seen that commercial where a driver sabotages another driver by pumping Amy Grant into his headset? It makes me very upset. Amy Grant is awesome. Don't diss her.

A Long Way from Chicago
Our church secretary heard about my love for YA and sent me this and the next book. Joey and Mary Alice are sent down to their grandma's house in small-town Illinois for a week every summer during the Great Depression. Grandma is pretty wacky and prickly, but she's also a hoot and a half. Those kids get into more trouble with her than without her. For instance, they would never borrow the sheriff's fishing boat to gather catfish from illegal traps to feed the hobos being kicked out of town. But they discover, summer after summer, that under that gruff exterior is a heart of gold.

A Year Down Yonder
Joey is off in the civilian corps and the parents are forced to move to a smaller apartment, so Mary Alice spends a whole year with Grandma. While Joey may have been won over by her, Mary Alice is definitely skeptical. But living with Grandma day in and day out makes Mary Alice wise to her pride, her eccentricities and her deep compassion for those she loves. You should definitely read both books together.

Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay
Though there are certainly other books demanding my attention, I downloaded the Hunger Games trilogy to my nook. Maybe the nook is not the best thing for obsessive series readers, because holy cow, it's really easy to move from one book to the next. You don't even have to get up and find the next book on your shelf; it's just there. So I was able to follow Katniss from her selfless volunteerism in the 74th Hunger Games, through her charade of feelings (or is it real?) with Peeta in the 75th Hunger Games, right through to the attack on the Capital mirroring the 76th Hunger Games. I still don't agree with all her decisions, but man, I cannot wait for that movie. And I totally get the end now. Ugh, it sucks to be you, Katniss.

Beauty Queens
After the drama of The Hunger Games Trilogy, the absurdity of 12 beauty queens stranded on a seemingly deserted island was delicious fluff. And you have to go into it with the intent to allow it to just be silly, otherwise you're going to go crazy. One beauty queen fights her way out of a giant snake. It's just the type of book that is. However, it is a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon or you know any time you want to procrastinate your library science homework.

The YA book by the Fug Girls! I didn't expect a whole lot out of this book, but it was pretty fantastic. Brooke is on her way to being Paris Hilton when she finds out she has a half-sister, Molly, who is coming to live with her now that Molly's mom has died. Brooke's never really had her dad's attention, due to all the demands being an action star/movie producer he has, but now she has to compete with a sister who is not even ugly. The sibling rivalry is pushed just past cliche to heartbreaking. You know these girls are trying to make the best choices, but they're teenagers so they don't quite grasp what those could be. My only gripe is that Stan, who supervises the girls while Dad is off on set, could have been way more instrumental. Sadly, he would have provided too much reason and killed the teenage drama. Also, I'm not sure whether there will be a sequel. The book itself could have been pulled out Princess Diaries style, but they wrapped up every storyline except one so I don't know...

So here's the thing about my summer reading. It was really nice to know what I was reading next. While at times, it was a little obsessive like my book list was demanding to be read, it really helped me focus on my next books. For most of September I've felt a little lost. And now that I'm thinking about it, during the Winter/Spring I had my YA class demanding books be read, so lost makes sense.

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