July was my most productive reading month of the year!
Don't You Forget About Me by Jancee Dunn
This novel is about a thirtysomething New Yorker who moves back to her childhood home in the suburbs after her husband leaves her. In preparation for her high school reunion, she basically regresses to that seemingly-better time. This book was funny, thought-provoking and even comforting to me. The characters were real and relatable, and in some cases, charming. I really liked it.
The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano
I read this in one night. It's a sort-of love story about Alice and Mattia, two solitary, disturbed people with dark pasts. I never warmed up to either of them and didn't really like the story itself, but the writing and the translation from Italian are superb. Most translated books I've read have seemed awkward, but this one wasn't at all.
Schooled by Anisha Lakhani
A novel about a private school teacher who temporarily loses her ideals in favor of big bucks on the side. I'm always fascinated by these NYC-high-life novels (see also Lauren Weisberger's entire body of work). Part of it is escapism into a cushy life I'll never lead, but part of it is morbid curiosity as to why these characters don't just leave New York. I mean, it appears to be a culture unto itself. Move to Cleveland or somewhere and enjoy a normal life with normal priorities! Although I guess then there would be no book.
The Summer Before by Ann M. Martin
I was a diehard Baby-Sitters Club fan as a kid, and the books impacted me in subtle ways that I probably don't realize even now (not including the traces of Stacey McGill in my handwriting). So I was excited to hear about the first new BSC book in many years. It follows the "core four" in the summer before they start the BSC. I've heard that some of the plot is directly contradictory to the Portrait Books, and it also reminded me a little of the liberties-taking BSC movie (not sure if AMM had a hand in the movie). But I still enjoyed it!
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life by Donald Miller
One of my passions in life is a well-told story, and this book is all about telling a good story with your life. It's about Donald Miller's experiences while turning Blue Like Jazz into a screenplay. It's convicting, inspiring, and brilliant...but his simplistic, almost Forrest Gump-like manner of thinking/writing drives me nuts a lot of the time.
Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
This is sort of a memoir in short, unrelated vignettes. It's really original and interesting. I laughed a lot, and, like many others, wish I had thought of it first.
The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling
Finally got around to reading this! It's brief and simple, but a nice background piece. I liked Dumbledore's notes. :)
Tea Time For the Traditionally Built by Alexander McCall Smith
#10 in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. I LOVE these books and I think Mma Ramotswe and I would be good friends.
Books for July: 8
2010 year to date: 40