I’m going to follow the trend this week and say that this is, without a doubt, the hardest theme week for me. As we all know, my love affair with books started before I even knew how to read, with my dad reading to me every night. So how did I go about picking what to write about for this post? I considered writing about all the books that have meant the most to me over the years. I considered writing exclusively about Harry Potter, the one book series that I find just as enjoyable now as I did the first time I opened Sorcerer’s Stone when I was ten. I thought about writing about one of my favorite authors. I even considered writing about the type of book I want to write someday.
But at the end of the day, I decided to write about all of the books that I have read this summer. Usually, my summers consist almost exclusively of me sitting in my backyard reading. My job and my newly invigorated social life (not even being sarcastic for once…my weekends have mostly been packed with fun things this summer) do not allow me to casually read as much as I used to. However, I have managed to find the time to read a few books.
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
I know, I know. I’ve already talked about this book and how much it means to me. But after writing about it back in June, I realized I hadn’t read it in a long time, and I wanted to. We all know the story, 11 year old Harriet is an aspiring writer who keeps a journal documenting everything she sees and hears. Her friends find the journal, leading to an array of problems for our young hero. So sit down, grab a tomato sandwich, and enjoy one of my favorite books of all time.
This book is pretty jarring. It’s told from the perspective of 5 year old Jack, as he describes his day to day life with his Ma, living in “Room.” As the story goes on, you realize that his mother had been kidnapped and trapped for years by “Old Nick,” who, unbeknownst to Jack, is his biological father. Jack is exceptionally smart, and as he gets older, he starts to realize that there really is a world beyond Room. This book is extremely disturbing, but also quite hopeful. With all the stories in the news recently of young girls being trapped and kept in captivity, this book feels particularly realistic. I recommend it, but don’t go into this thinking it’s some light summer read.
Now this is definitely a light summer read, which is needed after Room. This book follows three roommates, Cate, Renee, and Abby, as they navigate through their 20s in New York City. Cate was just promoted to features editor of fashion magazine Gloss. This job leads to more pressure and complications than she ever imagined. Renee is an associate editor at Gloss, fighting against her own lack of self-confidence for the beauty editor job. When Cate and Renee’s dreamy coworker Trey brings his mysterious sister Abby into their lives, the girls are never the same. This book is light, fun, and has a bit of mystery involved making you want to keep reading.
My friend Matt introduced me to this movie before I read the book. He actually told me all about it while we were on a train in Copenhagen, but that’s not really relevant. So I did this one backwards, watching the movie first. Not that it took the magic away from the book, which I read probably for the third time this summer. The book follows Tristran Thorn, a young man in the town of Wall, who is hopelessly in love with a snobby girl named Victoria. Victoria tells Tristran that she will marry him if he can bring her a fallen star. This begins Tristran’s adventure in the magical town of Faerie, which exists on the other side of the wall. The citizens of Wall are forbidden to cross the town’s namesake, but Tristran gets past the wall guard one night. While there, he meets Yvaine, a beautiful and mysterious stranger. This book is full of magic, mystery, action, and romance, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. The movie is pretty wonderful too, if you are interested in seeing a cross-dressing pirate played by Robert De Niro, and who wouldn’t want to see that?
There are four books in this series by these wonderful and hilarious bloggers. I don’t follow much of Lisa’s work, but I absolutely adore Sonja’s site, The Pintester. For someone who hopes to be a writer one day, these books are the absolute best. Bagels, Dirty Limericks, and Martinis: The Badass Guide to Writing Your First Book is the first in the series, a hilarious guide to buckling down and writing your first book. Whiskey-Pissing Unicorns: How to Lose or Quit Your Job and Become a Badass Writer, the second book, is probably my favorite in the series, as it is my not-so-secret dream to become a professional blogger/writer/Netflix watcher. I’m still in the process of reading Vampires and Tantric Sex: How to Publish Your Book Like a Bona Fide Badass and I haven’t started Market Like a Mofo: How to Sell More Copies of Your Badass Book yet. I cannot express enough how funny and informative these books are, if you are interested in writing at all. And if not, at least check out The Pintester, where Sonja tries, and usually fails in a most hilarious fashion, at testing Pinterest pins.
So there you have it. I may not have gotten into as many books as I would like, but these are the ones I have read so far this summer. And I only have all of these sitting by my bed waiting to be read: