Monday, June 27, 2011

My Adult Summer Reading List

It is officially Summer and in honor of all the children out there who left school with a Summer Reading List, I am supplying all you adults out there with one of your own. Take that parents! I am still currently reading my last recommendation and don’t hold your breath for my review on that one or you may just die. Despite my slow reading, the sad sad statistics still remain: Over 20 million Americans cannot read. My Summer compilation consists of a total of four books- two books I have already read (& re-read), one I am reading, and one I want to read. Hopefully you will find one that fits your Summer style.

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
This one I have read and if you ever want to know what a true friendship is like, this is the book to read. It is an easy read with
gentle and descriptive verbiage, making it a choice read for the Summer. I must warn you that a box of tissues will be necessary as this book documents many painful Chinese traditions and historical details that are emotionally wrenching & cleansing at the same time. There will be movie adaptation of the book and I cannot wait. (My own lao tong has departed but I know she would be thrilled about the film version.)

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
This one is a recent gift and I cannot wait to read it this Summer. This novel was on the National Bestseller list and The Los Angeles Time Book Review stated, “An unexpected miracle-a delicate, and often hilarious, tale.” See why I can’t wait to delve in? This is a book about books and the power they have over all of us, despite our current situations.

The Proper Care & Feeding of a Marriage by Dr. Laura C. Schlessinger
I am currently finishing this one, and though Self-Help is a departure for me, it’s always a good idea to check in on your behaviors, especially if you are of the married set. Dr. Laura is very direct and old-school but this book gives some simple tools to feed your marriage a good dose of TLC. With great chapter titles like, “You’re a Nag” and “What’s Sex?”, you will finish this book in one weekend beach getaway.

How The Other Half Lives by Jacob A. Riis
This book is like a historical picture book for adults and served as one of the first forms of photojournalism. It is worth the read because it is a stark social reminder of how much worse life could be and sometimes we ALL need that reminder. With graphic black and white photography from New York City in the 1890’s, the focus of Riis’ book is on tenement life in the lower East Side. Cramped living conditions, lack of jobs and rampant disease infested the city yet immigrants from all over the world came in droves to start a new life in the big city. I have had this book on my shelves for over 20 years and I still pick it up at least once a year and you will too.

Shopping for books should be done with care. There are tons of books out there and any help sifting through all of the glorious titles should be appreciated. Recommendations and reviews are the best ways to determine if the book is worth the buy. New books can be costly especially for hardback versions, though these look fantastic when displayed in your library or book shelves.

Tip: Shop at second hand locations such as Goodwill, Half-Price Books and The Salvation Army. The book is new to you & you will pay pennies on the dollar amount of the retail price.

Whether you shop online, at second hand stores, mega chains or a local book shop, just shop for books and read them. There is so much knowledge out there and I don’t believe that print is dead. There is something so tangible about holding a book and smelling its pages. I love it and always will. Spend this Summer making a concerted effort to read everyday. Read to your children, read alone, online or magazines. Let the words on the pages enlighten you and take you to another world that can only be read about.