What’s On Your Summer Reading List?

IMG_2493.JPGConfession: I read all the time but in the last number of years I have found I rarely read novels. The last novel I read was The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain and that was on vacation and it was very short. I read news and op ed pieces online and follow lots of writer’s blogs, but I don’t often make my way through an entire novel. Oh, I have good intentions. I can’t tell you the number of great books I have started lately, only to put them down part way through. I’m not sure what happens, but I seem to lose interest at some point or get busy with other things I’d rather be doing. When I do have quiet time I am more likely to fill it with, well, being quiet.

All of this to say, I always have a pile of books that I am drawn to read sitting on the coffee table or waiting hopefully at my bedside. I thought I’d share with you some of my latest, might read someday books.

IMG_2486.JPGThe Hidden Life of Trees
Peter Wohlleben

This book is at the top of the pile for two reasons. In a few weeks we will be flying to London to visit my daughter and her children. They live very close to Kew Gardens and we spend most days there when we are visiting. Kew Gardens, officially known as Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew, is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Kew has over 14,000 trees including rare and ancient varieties. I always feel as if I am entering a cathedral when I enter the gardens and I know it’s because of the trees. My second reason for wanting to read this book is that we bought the land next door to us last fall. It is 15 acres of mixed forest. I walk on this land almost every day and the words on the book jacket promise that after I read this book a walk in the woods will never be the same again.

IMG_2491.JPGMushrooms of Northeast North America
George Barron

Except for morels and chanterelles, I have not been a mushroom picker. I think its mostly because of feeling overwhelmed by the mushroom identification books that we bought when we first decided to live in the country. They all seemed complicated and involved gathering spore samples amongst other things. That, coupled with my fear of happening upon a mushroom that might cause stomach upset or worse, dampened my interest in exploring the mushrooms that grow so abundantly in our woods. My interest in mushrooms has been revived, however, and this book has great pictures and an understandable way of indexing them. I’m looking forward to spending the summer learning as much as I can and this book feels like a good start.

IMG_2477.JPGAnam Cara
A Book of Celtic Wisdom
John O’Donohue

Deepak Chopra writes on the cover, “Anam Cara is a rare synthesis of philosophy, poetry, and spirituality. This work will have a powerful and life transforming experience for those who read it.” It sounds right up my alley. I am stuck on the prologue at the moment, so I am not sure how that bodes for me reading the rest of the book.

IMG_2494.JPGThe Art of Memoir
Mary Karr

This book I am doing quite well with as you might be able to see by the curling cover from reading it in the bath and dragging it with me to places where I think I might have the opportunity to read. I have been reading this book since January and am on page 155. I am really quite enjoying this book. It is insightful and well written and  full of good advice. For instance, I learned that if you are going to change someone’s name in a memoir, tell the story using the real name and go back and change all name references  after you’re finished. The story will have much more authenticity and power if you use the real name in your initial writing.

What books are on your summer reading list?  Please feel free to let us know in the comments.

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