Sunday, June 7, 2015

First Day of Summer, or Let the Reading Begin!

It's official. School is out. Summer has started.

So let the reading begin!

What have I finished during this last week of school?

Second Reading is a book-about-books, and its all about taking a second look at my kind of books. Book critic Jonathan Yardley pulls books from his bookshelf that he read twenty, thirty, forty years ago and rereads them. Most of these are small books, almost forgotten now, and I love it that he brings his magnifying glass to each of these rather than the big bestsellers that are always in the limelight anyway. Yardley's tastes run a bit more to suspense and adventure than mine do, but I was still able to write down lots of titles on my wish list and that's always nice.

Uncle is our 1001 Children's Books You Must Read book group's latest read. It's a book that never appeared on my radar until I saw it on this list. It's a story, I suspect, that kids will love more than adults, but, as I'm the rare adult who hasn't quite grown up yet, I adored it. Uncle is an elephant and he and his friends are fighting a constant guerrilla war with a group of his enemies who are jealous of Uncle's power and influence and riches. It's very, very fun, with each group pranking the other, slinging little arrows at the other, and just trying to get the other group to yield and cry...well, uncle.

I Dare Me sends author Lu Ann Cahn on a yearlong journey to try something new every day. Sometimes she tries big things (cooking a rack of lamb, riding in a race car, learning to fence, starting a daily journal) but mostly she just tries small things (going to the movies by herself, learning to sew on a button, talking to a stranger), and the results are quite engaging. I dare you to read I Dare Me. Then I dare you to dare yourself to do something new every day.

Expectations often kill a book for me, and that's what I think happened with Rabbit Back Literature Society. Publishers, I urge you, don't paste a huge endorsement for the book on the front cover in which you compare the book to another, long-treasured book (The Secret History). I promise you, you just can't live up to that hype. I didn't hate it; in fact, I might have loved it, had I gone into it with smaller hopes. A charming little premise, with lots of minor weavings and wobblings along the road, and with occasional trips into the ditch.

What arrived in the mail this week?

Just one book, but it's a doozy. Lists of Note: An Eclectic Collection Deserving of a Wider Audience. I recently read Letters of Note, compiled by Shaun Usher, and loved it so much I sent the book back to the library and promptly added it to my wish list so I can get a copy of my own. Can't wait to read this one!

What is the Sunday SalonImagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them,and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book. Click here to join the Salon.

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news and recap the past week.

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share books that we found in our mailboxes last week.  It is now being hosted here.

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews in which you can share the books you've acquired.


  1. First of all, welcome to summer. Hope yours is filled with fun times. Lists of Note and Letters of Note both sound interesting. Do you remember a book that was published maybe in the late '70's or early '80's called The Book of Lists? I loved that book. Just random stuff. Quite, quite fascinating, for me anyway. :-)

  2. Happy summer and happy reading! I love books about books, so must check out Second Reading.

  3. I'm not sure I will accept your dare... but I would like to read I Dare Me sometime this summer - sounds fabulous :)

    Happy first week of summer!

  4. Yay for summer! I can't wait to dig into the huge stack of books I really want to read. I would be afraid to look at Second Reading. I really, really don't need to add any more books to TBR mountain. Here are the new arrivals on TBR mountain. Happy reading!

  5. That dare book looks like a good one, but like Molly, I don't know if I'll accept the dare either. I would like to read it, though.

  6. I agree that the hype that goes overboard often ruins a book for me....The Rocks was one such book.

    Enjoy your new week, and thanks for visiting my blog.

  7. Enjoy your reading break- you've earnt it.

  8. These are all new to me but I'm going to have to add Second Reading and Lists of Note to my TBR. Have a great week!

  9. Rabbit Back looked so promising, but I think the hype and promises from the publisher would kill it for me, too.

  10. Sounds like a wide variety of books for you too! Second reading sounds great and like something I'd like - I love books about books.


Please share your thoughts.