Summer Reading


I've been on a reading binge again. It's one of my favorite things.

Last night I finished Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger. I picked it up at the airport when we were coming home from Italy after finishing The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (which I consumed in a couple days on our trip - definitely worth reading).
She's the author of The Time Traveler's Wife (which I completely loved).

I remember hearing not so great reviews about her newest book but decided to give it a chance. It's a strange tale - life and death and ghosts and in-between places. It's dark. It wasn't one that I would say I really liked - I definitely felt at a certain point I was just wanting to "make it through" - but there's something about it that kept me going and wanting to know how she was going to bring it to a conclusion. Often if I'm in the middle of a book and not enjoying it I'll just set it aside for another time (or just set it aside completely). With Her Fearful Symmetry I did want to know what happened and felt satisfied when I finished it late last night (even though the ending is definitely not what I was expecting).

Another book I have been reading (started before leaving for Italy and decided to leave it home because it's hardback) is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. I'm completely fascinated with and engrossed in this non-fiction story and it's not the kind of book I normally find myself reading. It's the story of a woman, her cells, the history of cell research, her family, and the way it's all been weaved together over time. Highly recommended

Up next for me is most likely The Girl Who Played with Fire (the next one in the series following The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) or Little Bee which I picked up this past weekend at the coast.

What have you read lately that you love (or didn't)?


FOLLOW-UP : I see that
Project Life by Becky Higgins is back in stock at Amazon.You can see how I've been approaching this album here and planning to play catch-up (in a non-guilty way) soon.

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  1. Bonnie Fuchs

    2010-07-23 01:54:43 -0400

    Ali I have a huge favor to ask of you.
    My stepson, Michael Fuchs, graduated from Lane Comm College with an Assoc Graphic Design degree as I believe you have. He needs a mentor.
    Or at least someone to review his work and give him some objective feedback.
    Ever since your tutorial on layered templates showing Simon at the U of O basketball game I have followed your blog. You are an amazing talent and if Michael had one-tenth the talent you have I could not ask for more. Contact me directly and I will forward his phone/email address.
    MICHAEL FUCHS Eugene, OR 97402
    If you could at least reach him, I know he would be so impressed. And I will forever be in your debt.
    from a worried stepmom: BBF

  2. Stacy Milford

    2010-07-23 03:27:33 -0400

    I have recently gotten back into reading...and LOVE it! Sometimes life just doesn't allow for it though. I'm one of those that gets stuck on an author...right now it's Nicholas Sparks! LOVE his easy to read...just what I need! LOL! I'm reading "The Last Song" right now...

  3. Stacy Milford

    2010-07-23 03:32:08 -0400

    As the mom of 2 teenage sons "The Gift of an Ordinary Day" sounds like a book I need to find...NOW! Thanks for sharing!

  4. [email protected]

    2010-07-23 04:48:30 -0400

    Loved "The Help"!! Great book

  5. Cheryl

    2010-07-23 05:09:26 -0400

    I just bought "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" as per your recommendation. I can't wait to start it. I wonder if the movie is any good??

  6. [email protected]

    2010-07-23 06:42:38 -0400

    Oh I *love* summer reading! I'm on a book binge myself, so it's fun to read all of the replies (though my list grows ever longer, lol) I just finished up The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and have the 2nd book in my pile.
    Recent faves are:
    The Physick book of Deliverance Dane/Katherine Howe
    The Forgotten Garden/Kate Morton
    In my pile to read:
    Sarah's Key/Tatiana DeRosnay
    Summer at Tiffany/Marjorie Hart
    Garden Spells/Sarah Addison Allen
    The Story of Edgar Sawtelle/David Wroblewski
    A Vintage Affair/Isabel Wolff

  7. Lynn Q

    2010-07-23 08:47:53 -0400

    I recently discovered Jeffrey Archer and LOVE him. Just finished Kane and Able and I also read A Prisoner of Birth. Both books are amazing. Nothing like a great storyteller!

  8. Kelly R.

    2010-07-23 10:47:50 -0400

    Ali once you read The Girl Who Played with Fire, you will immediately need to read The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest.... you'll see why.
    All great reads!!

  9. Gina

    2010-07-23 11:28:29 -0400

    i loved Eat Pray love and really looking forward to the movie as well! I read it last year and really enjoyed it!

  10. Gina

    2010-07-23 11:39:25 -0400

    Michelle, i read Water for Elephants this past Christmas and it took me 3 tries, but when i pushed through i really enjoyed it! It was well worth it! Hope you enjoy it. Girls with the Dragon Tattoo is next on my list. Reading some Paulo Coelho, who i really enjoy as well!!

  11. Gina

    2010-07-23 12:40:07 -0400

    I agree, but they were fun to read and you kinda have to, to stay up to date.

  12. Gina

    2010-07-23 12:48:51 -0400

    Michelle, I so agree with you too about Janet Evanovich. They are all easy, fun reads. I have read about 6 or so of her books and have enjoyed them all! Especially the Stephanie Plum series, I think she is hilarious and her family!! LOL every so often i enjoy reading something light and this always fits that time!

  13. Gina

    2010-07-23 16:51:19 -0400

    loved Memoirs of Geisha, need to read it again!

  14. Pamela

    2010-07-23 17:02:09 -0400

    Ooh, favorite subject! Books! I'm a librarian so had to put in my two cents worth. Read all three 'Girl' books. Loved them, although the last was a little tougher to get thru. Agree with Marian - Life of Pi by Yann Martel is in my top ten favorite books. Check out Martel's new book Beatrice and Virgil - Brilliant!!! The ending blew me away and the very last chapter breaks your heart. Loved the Italy photos Ali!

  15. sansku

    2010-07-24 09:03:22 -0400

    the help by kathryn stockett was awesome. i'm reading the book poisonwood bible at the moment and i love it. i also loved the nightworld book series by l.j.smith.

  16. Beth

    2010-07-24 14:19:41 -0400

    I read Little Bee and loved it. I also liked WAter for Elephants and The Brooklyn Follies.

  17. KateTeague

    2010-07-24 19:00:17 -0400

    Reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and loving it- it's a collection of back and forth letters just after the war.
    I also read LA Candy and Sweet Little Lies this summer- I need a little fluff in-between :) I call these my take to the beach books.

  18. Terri Barton

    2010-07-26 14:16:09 -0400

    The Help by Kathryn Stockett, fantastic book!

  19. Joyce

    2010-07-27 02:36:24 -0400

    Two books I have read and loved this summer are Crazy Love and Holy Discontent. Now I'm reading Mean Girls All Grown Up. I re-read Eclipse in honor of the movie releasing (guilty pleasure reading!). I've been skimming through my most favorite trilogy by Francine Rivers: the Mark of the Lion series. It starts with An Echo in the Wind. So good! Trying to decide whether to go buy her newest one about a mother and daughter.

  20. Monica

    2010-08-02 04:01:32 -0400

    I just read The Book of Negros. I think the title in the U.S. is Someone Knows My Name by Laurence Hill. I loved it. It's definitely on my list of 'books to read in a lifetime'.
    Little Bee sounds like my kind of book. Just read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and couldn't put it down.

  21. janet

    2010-08-03 04:06:12 -0400

    I LOVED Water for Elephants.....I too had a hard time starting The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo.....but did end up liking it.....I would say the middle of the book wast the best.. the beginning and the end I didn't love!

  22. Barbara

    2010-08-04 07:13:11 -0400

    I read Dragon Tattoo and The Help first, then just finished The Girl Who Played with Fire last evening. Loved it and can't wait to read the 3rd one in the series. Thanks for the tip on Little Bee.I will check it out.

  23. Staci Miserlian

    2010-08-04 16:21:08 -0400

    We must have the same reading list...I *just* finished "The...Dragon Tatoo", also read "Her Fearful Symmetry" & felt it could not measure up to "TTWife" which is in my top 5 books ever. I read "Little Bee", but it didn't do it for me too much. I am completely engrossed in the "Outlander" series - on book 6. If you haven't read those, you should! I ♥ "Pillars of the Earth" and "World without End", too. Must get "The Girl Who Played with Fire" next. Some of my other fave authors are Maeve Binchy (early stuff) and Anita Shreve.

  24. Julie

    2010-08-05 16:58:04 -0400

    Wow! So many readers. I haven't gone through all the comments, but I've decided to throw in my two cents now. It seems I've been reading books that have books as "characters." Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game, both by Carlos Ruiz Zafon started the trend last summer. The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane and The Forgotten Garden came next. I'm working on both The Thirteenth Tale and People of the Book right now. I have a few others waiting in the wings. Now it is a fun challenge to find other stories with books as a key feature. As a break from that, I read Shanghai Girls by Lisa See earlier this spring. I'd recommend them all. I think Zafon has another book coming out soon. I hope so, because he's awesome.

  25. Fabiola

    2010-08-07 09:53:21 -0400

    Great posts.... I'm at the end of The Red Tent and would highly recommend it!!!! I also just finished reading The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell and I can't wait to read Outliers. Nothing beats a great book, while lounging on the deck and enjoying the summer!!
    P.S - Pillars of the Earth is one of my favourite books!

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