A new kind of “light” summer reading

Full disclosure: I am very picky about books. Very! I’ve never been a fan of chick lit, can’t justify taking up time with mysteries and romances, and won’t finish a book if it’s poorly written. But let’s be honest: there is nothing more satisfying than a well-written book!

So when I think about summer reading recommendations, I think about books that are easy to read, have characters that grab me and sentences that stay out of the way of the story. My summer reading books are not necessarily light in subject matter, but they’re light in required brainpower!

Loving Frank (Nancy Horan) – historical fiction of Frank Lloyd Wright’s affair with Mamah Cheney. Juicy, conflicted and very readable. People Magazine would have been all over these two!

The Glass Castle (Jeannette Walls) – a memoir of a dysfunctional family, by a woman with an unbelievably sensible voice, perspective and wit.

On Beauty (Zadie Smith) – a story nestled in your classic New England college town, with storylines that challenge ideas of race and family expectations.

Water for Elephants (Sara Gruen) – solid character development is a must when your canvas is a 1920’s traveling circus! Gruen is whimsical and whacky, but she still hits your heart.

Half of a Yellow Sun (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie) – beautiful novel showing personal struggles illuminated against a greater political and historical backdrop: the Biafra, Africa civil war.

Garlic & Sapphires (Ruth Reichl) – in this memoir that playfully skips from one scene to the next, Reichl recounts her adventures as the New York Times restaurant critic, donning disguises – and figuring herself out – while dining at the city’s aspiring hot spots.

What are you reading this summer? Send along a reccommendation!



Three Cups of Tea

The morning after I finished reading Greg Mortenson’s Three Cups of Tea, I immediately sent out an email to friends, enthusiastically recommending the true story of Greg’s work educating girls in Afghanistan and Pakistan. “The idea is simple: Use education as a tool to fight terrorism. The feat is heroic: One man overcoming cultural expectations and barriers to achieve this goal.”

This is from my review, which appeared in our local newspaper in early 2007. Currently #1 on the NYT paperback nonfiction list (72 weeks on the list so far!), Greg’s book continues its momentum. And deservedly so. Regardless of your political or religious view, this hopeful story will be an antidote to the thrum of negative news and all too present contentious “journalism.”

Having spent some time with Greg when he visited Breckenridge last June, and then again this winter when he filled the 1,000+ capacity Macky Auditorium in Boulder, I continue to be impressed with his dedication to his work in such a volatile part of the world and maybe moreso, his complete humility.

Start Mingling

Avid Reader is an understatement. Voracious reader? Maybe. Addict gets closer. 

For the last four years, I’ve worked part-time in an independent bookstore (first at Hamlet’s in Breckenridge, Colo. and now at The Next Page in Frisco, Colo.) to feed my habit. Books are my passion and words are my true love. And since I love talking about and recommending books almost as much as I love reading them, I decided to start collecting my own words here.

So… welcome! I’ll offer book reccos and reviews, share some of my own dabbles (not an official dictionary word – but I like it!) in writing, bring you with me as I meander on adventures, and hopefully, inspire you to share your own recommendations and comments on books and authors and words… and life ( : Let’s mingle…