7.24.2011

Summer Reading Isn't Just for Kids


I was recently asked what book I'm reading this summer. Only one book? As you can see from this photo...I'm a devourer of books. Have been ever since I was a child. Literally and figuratively. When I was 11 my parents would drop me off at the main branch of the public library (in Tucson) and leave me there so I could read all day. And I did. Then when the library closed I would walk the 8 miles home with a backpack full of books...some which were hardly age appropriate, but definitely interesting. But that's not why I'm writing this blog. I was thinking, what book could I recommend for some summer reading? So here is my list, read one, read two...but please, just log off after you are done, pick up a book, and read. 

Jim Higley Bobblehead Dad: 25 Life Lessons I Forgot I Knew. Higley was tripping along through life, like most of us, established in a well worn routine: work, family, work, weekend, work...when a diagnosis of cancer caused him to re-evaluate. It shouldn't take a major illness, a major anything, to make you stop and revisit your past to engage in your future. I tend to be the caretaker in my family, even though thousands of miles away from most of them. I would be the "lifeguard" that Higley writes about. And all lifeguards need a lifeguard themselves. So in some way, this book is a lifeguard for me. A reminder to say thank you to those who need thanking and to not put off what needs to be done today because of a brief promise of a tomorrow. Carpe Diem? Certainly we all need a bit more of that in our lives. I wrote a  review on Amazon that was much more eloquent, so go there and check it out, and get a hold of the book as well.

William Powers Hamlet's Blackberry. Okay. I admit it. And it's so obvious. I cannot unplug. I cannot go off the grid. I cannot disconnect. But Power's isn't saying that you have to completely shut it all down and hide away like hermits. His point is that when we look through history/philosophy etc it is in our very nature to connect with one another. However, we all need balance. I do try to achieve that, no cell when I am on the treadmill (okay, most days), no cell on Sundays (not very successful at that either). Looks like I might need to re-read this one as well.

Darrell Hammond KaBOOM! How One Man Built A Movement to Save Play Full disclosure. I have been involved with KaBOOM! for the last few years as a playground advocate. But this book is not just about how Hammond founded KaBOOM! it is about how his vision and dreams inspire others to do more. Besides, how many people have Ben & Jerry's name an ice cream after them. Not too many. But this is a great read about how a dream turned into a mission which turned into a movement which is bigger than one man but without that man, there would be no movement at all.

Now just the quick list so you can get to the library and check these books out:

  • Rebecca Skloot The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
  • Laurence Bergreen Over the Edge of the World (Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe) uses words like skullduggery. That's cool.
  • Kate Summerscale The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher
  • Po Bronson Nuture Shock
  • Craig Johnson The Cold Dish (first in the series, always read the first, then read the rest, good books)
  • Arthur Phillips The Egyptologist
  • John Pomfret Chinese Lessons
  • David Anthony Durham Pride of Carthage A Novel of Hannibal
  • Caroline Finkel Osman's Dream The History of the Ottoman Empire
  • Dava Sobel Galileo's Daughter
  • Lewis Carroll Alice in Wonderland
As you can see I have some ecclectic tastes in reading. When I travel I always read Vanity Fair or the New Yorker. I have a kindle, and I read Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, and Jonathan Kellerman. I'm pretty much an equal opportunity reader, biography, autobiography, even the seventh Harry Potter was re-read before the movie. I tend to read along with the kids too, so if they are reading 39 Clues or Rick Riordan I do as well. Makes for some good conversations. And every summer, without fail, Love in the Time of Cholera and 100 Years of Solitude. 


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