It’s been a while since we’ve done a book review here on LDB but with summer vacation time nearing an end, we thought we’d share what was on our summer reading lists!
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
My mom and sister read this book back when we were seniors in high school. They both loved it and highly recommended it to me. Why I did not read this book sooner is beyond because it is that good! This memoir is about the year after Joan’s husband dies suddenly from a heart attack and their only daughter falls violently ill. Her story is told in present time with descriptions of being by her daughter’s side in the hospital and at her husband’s funeral but it is also interspersed with memories and stories from the past including her wedding day to the last trip to Paris she and her husband took. Her fist chapter on her husband’s heart attack hit close to home so the tears were flowing but her passages on grief were heartbreaking and inspiring. She has a follow-up memoir that I can’t wait to get my hands on!
Last Train to Istanbul by Ayse Kulin
This book had been in my Amazon shopping cart for a while and I finally downloaded it on my kindle. Set in early WWII, this book tells the story of two sisters from Istanbul. One sister plays the traditional role of housewife and marries a well to do government employee of the same faith. The younger sister rebels against female norms and marries a Jewish pharmacist who her family disapproves. She and her husband and small child move to France. Once the war breaks out, however, the Turkish government can only do so much to save Jewish Turkish citizens in France and they embark on a train ride with other Turkish citizens back to Istanbul. The novel tells the story of both sisters during this time and the strong bond of family. Great read!!
Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari
My family has reached the point where if I meet a nice guy with a job then I should pick a date and start planning a wedding… but it’s not that easy and this book explains why. The way we date has drastically changed in the past decade. Aziz conducts a study on modern romance and how technology and modern culture have changed the ways of meeting people and dating. Easy summer read and insightful. It did not, however, alleviate my fear of dying alone but at least it made me laugh a lot!
It Was Me All Along by Andie Mitchell
I saw a bunch of food bloggers posting about this book when it came out last winter, so naturally I bought it with no idea what it was about. When the book arrived and I saw it was about a young woman’s weight loss journey, I set it aside. When I finally began reading it though, I wondered why it had taken me so long to pick up. Written by the girl behind the blog Can You Stay for Dinner?, this memoir chronicles Andie’s life as she struggles with her weight, her identity, and life as a whole. This book was about so much more than body image issues though. Coming from someone who has been lucky enough to never worry about the number on the scale, I found the entire book relatable and inspiring. I couldn’t put it down! This was by far the best book written by a food blogger that I’ve read so far and I’m already thinking about reading it again.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
Every now I then I love a good nonfiction book, full of facts and statistics, that makes me think. Quiet was definitely one of those books. Did you know that at least 1/3 of American’s are introverts? I know that I’m one. But have you ever noticed how much our Western culture promotes extraversion? Once you start thinking about it, the “Extrovert Ideal” has been engrained in us since that day in kindergarten when our desks were arranged together into groups. As an introvert I loved learning about the science behind some of my personality traits, and if that sounds like something interesting to you then I’m sure you’ll love this book!
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
I never really got into watching the office but I loved the Mindy Project, so naturally I wanted to read this book. This is one of those perfect easy beach reads, full of short stories from Mindy’s life guaranteed to make you smile. In fact I read this on the plane and I think my seat mate thought I was a crazy person with how much I was smiling and giggling to myself. I’m pretty convinced Mindy and I could be best friends, so now I just need to make that happen.
What was on your reading list this summer??