Good summer books
I am the most voracious reader I know. While many of my friends are absorbed in manga and Wikipedia, I still prefer literature. Over the summer, I’ve managed to read quite a bit. So, I have decided to release the top 10 books that have graced my shelves over the past few months…
1. 20 Years of Style: The World According to Paper, edited by Kim Hastreiter and David Hershkovits
At my favorite used bookstore, there are tons of books waiting to be picked up and loved. As a new book, this retrospective of Paper magazine was a splurge, but well worth it. It provides a historical retrospective of the magazine and tons of pictures from its pages.
2. Anybody Out There? by Marian Keyes
Marian Keyes constructs a poignant and moving story about a woman slowly healing after a tragedy. It is a masterfully written ghost story and leaves you guessing through many of the pages. It made me cry.
3. The Lives and Loves of Daisy and Violet Hilton: A True Story of Conjoined Twins by Dean Jensen
Decades before Paris and Nicky gained fame and notoriety around the world, Violet and Daisy Hilton were wowing audiences with top-notch performances, even though they were attached at the hip.
From the mother who gave them up because she saw them as a punishment from God to their deaths in a small, Southern town in the U.S., Jensen provides an intimate and illuminating look into the stars’ lives.
4. A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon
The pages flew by in Haddon’s novel as I forgot I was reading and not immersed in the world he created. When George Hall discovers a strange patch of skin on his leg, he immediately thinks cancer. Haddon delves into the lives of George’s family through the cancer scare, his wife’s affair, his daughter’s wedding, and his son’s struggle with love and homosexuality in modern Britain.
5. Lost Girls by Alan Moore
Not only is this erotica, it’s also an erotica comic. Moore explores the lives and sexual coming-of-age of famous child story heroines from The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, and Alice and Wonderland. The result is a provocative look at today’s legends from a female perspective.
6. The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty by Anne Rice
In a similar vein, Rice’s erotic fairy tale follows the story of Sleeping Beauty, except it tells what happens after Beauty wakes from her slumber. I’d been putting off reading it for years; everyone I know has read the restriction culture twist on the classic tale. However, the story of Beauty’s transformation from princess to slave is intriguing and hard to put down.
7. Bobbie Faye’s Very (Very Very Very) Bad Day by Toni McGee Causey
Bobbie Faye’s very bad day begins with her small trailer flooding and includes a Voodoo queen, a crime boss, gun runners, and a battle against time and the critters in a Louisiana bayou. It’s the best adventure yarn for women I’ve ever read.
8. Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
I was lucky enough to attend a screening of the movie based on this novel during a Jewish film festival, complete with the author fielding questions. Both the novel and the movie are hilarious, even though they deal with tragic issues, like the Holocaust.
9. Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot
I didn’t want to include this book, because I gritted my teeth the whole way through. With her naivety and graceless habit of sticking her foot in her mouth, heroine Lizzie Nichols is annoying. She also reminds me way too much of myself, but Cabot writes a sugary tale that is grabbing.
10. The Bright Side of Disaster by Katherine Center
This is a moving tale of important issues directly relating to modern women. Center isn’t afraid to put a human face to American quandaries like the choices available for childbirth and single motherhood. She does it all while avoiding the trap of making her characters stereotypes or one-dimensional super women.