Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Spring/Summer reading

I used to be a big reader. I almost always had a book in my hand. The past few years, though, I haven't really been into it - most of the time, I don't even want to read a magazine! I think grad school killed my love of reading for a while...

Anyway, I'm starting to get back into it, mainly because there's not a whole heck of a lot to watch on TV lately and we're still too cheap to get cable or satellite!

So what am I reading?

A month or so ago, I read The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. It's a book for younger readers, but also a great read. As a collector of books for little ones and older kids, I was thrilled when a dear friend thrust it into my hand and told me I *had* to read it. She was absolutely right!

After that, I read Girl with a Pearl Earring. Fascinating novel about the fictional story behind an actual painting. Beautifully written, if you can get past her clunky use of similes (but that's the English major in me talking)...

Then, I picked up Devil in the White City. This book is not for everyone. Mamazuzi, this book is definitely not for you! But if, like me, you are both fascinated by the minds of psychopaths and love history, this is an excellent read. It's the true story of the building of the Chicago World's Fair, and the serial killer who took advantage of it.

I just finished Don't Try This at Home, a hilarious look into some of the world's most famous chefs' biggest kitchen disasters. Warning - strong language in this one! But a great read, nonetheless.

Now I'm reading Twinkie, Deconstructed. It's about where food additives come from. I'm only on chapter four, but already it's made me laugh out loud in places, and shudder in horror in others. On the whole, though, I suspect it will have the same effect that Fast Food Nation had on me - it will just make me hungry. Not at all the effect that these books are supposed to have!

Next on the list, moving away from nonfiction for a bit, is The Smoke Jumper. I actually started it over the weekend, but then I picked up the Twinkie book at the library so I set it aside for a while. It's by Nicholas Evans, the same author who wrote The Horse Whisperer, a book I really enjoyed.

But, I've also put another book on hold at the library, so if that comes in first, The Smoke Jumper will have to wait a bit longer. That book is Isaac's Storm, by Erik Larson, the same guy who wrote Devil in the White City. What can I say, I really like this guy's style!

Anyone reading anything good?


Kimmer said...

I love Girl with a Pearl Earring. I also really liked The Lady and the Unicorn, also by Chevalier. Burning Bright, her latest, not as much.

I've got Devil in the White City on the top of my "to read" pile, but don't know when I'll be able to start. I'm glad I can renew it on line!

I liked Life of Pi quite a bit. I was on a mindless thriller kick for a while, and Preston/Childs series about detective Pendergast did the trick nicely.

I've also become a huge fan of George RR Martin's Fire and Ice fantasy series (it's being developed for HBO, woo hoo!), but waiting for the next one is really hard.

Most of my reading lately has been homeschooling books, trying to get my summer plans set up. I have a feeling I'm being too ambitious with my goals, but I don't want the summer to fly by like it did last year.

kbeeps said...

I'm not a fan of fantasy (or sci fi, for that matter), but I'll have to check out the Preston/Childs series. I do like mindless thrillers!

Once I got started on Devil in the White City, it was difficult for me to stop. Good thing I was on vacation at the time! :-)

Do you homeschool year round, or just to supplement in the summer time?

Kimmer said...

We homeschool year round. We had to do a LOT of review last fall, especially in math, and I'd rather we just stay on top of things this summer. I'd also like to get some other bonus stuff in, like German and Geography, but we'll see how that goes.

I still haven't started any of my new books yet--maybe I'll have time over the weekend.