All that being said, you’ll understand that most of my “reading” was actually listening to audiobooks while I worked, but I had more than enough time to get caught up on some of the books that have been on my list for awhile.
First, here’s some background on my reading habits. I’ve always been a bookworm and there are no days when I don’t read at least a little bit. I would say that I use my phone for about 90% of my reading now, because it’s so easy to be able to check out or buy a book instantly and pull out my phone and read whenever I have a free minute (waiting in line, waiting for an appointment, etc). The rest of my family still prefers “real” books, and that’s fine, but if I bought every book I read we wouldn’t have room for people in our house! Also, we’d be broke.
I have the Overdrive app on my phone, as well as the Kindle app; both are free. I’ve linked my library account to my Overdrive app, so most of what I read (or listen to) is free from my library. They give me the option to download an eBook in either ePub or Kindle format, and audiobooks are in mp3 format. I actually like to check a book out in both formats whenever possible so I can read or listen depending on what I’m doing.
If I can’t get a book that I’m anxious to read right away, a lot of times I’ll buy the Kindle version from Amazon or I’ll use my Audible membership to buy it as an audiobook.
OK, finally moving on to my favorite books this summer:
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
As a white girl who grew up in suburbia, this one was an eye-opener for me. Every chapter tells the story of one generation of a family and moves from Africa during the peak of the slave trade to the present day US. It was haunting; I still think about the characters and their lives. This was Yaa Gyasi’s first novel and I can’t wait to see what she does next since she is supremely talented.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Where the Crawdads Sing was a great summer read and it’s easy to see why it was at the top of the bestseller list. It reminded me of a Pat Conroy novel in some ways; Delia Owens’ prose as she describes the North Carolina coast and marshes is similar to how he writes about the South Carolina low country. That comparison is a good thing; I love Pat Conroy’s books. There’s also a similar sad and dysfunctional family storyline, too. This book is hard to put down and definitely is one to take along on vacation when you have some uninterrupted time to just sink into it.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
I just read that they’re going to make this into a series with Reese Witherspoon (I love her). I stayed up late into the night to finish this one and it left me wanting more…always the sign of a good book! The story line is about an affluent family in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and the way their tenants (a somewhat mysterious mother and daughter) impact all of their lives. This was the first book of Celeste Ng’s that I’ve read but I’ve already put her other book on my list.
The Forgotten Seamstress by Liz Trenow
This was an endearing read about a woman in a mental institution who claimed to have worked for the Queen. As the layers of her story are revealed and found to be true, the story line runs concurrently in the present time with a surprise twist at the ending. It was also interesting (and horrifying) to read more about how cruelly mental patients were “treated” in the past century.
Elements of Family Style by Erin Gates
Erin Gates’ first book, Elements of Style, is on pretty much every blogger’s book stack, not only because of its content but because of its gorgeous black and white striped spine. Her new book has a blue toile spine and not only matches my living room (ha!) but also my design aesthetic–we have a very similar sense of style. This is a fun book to curl up with on a Sunday afternoon; there’s nothing groundbreaking in it that’s not in her first book, but I enjoy her images as much as I like to read her prose.
If you’ve read any of these books I’d love to hear what you thought of them; and of course I’m always adding books to my must-read list so please send suggestions!
On another note–don’t forget that if you’ve been considering a Roomba or a Braava robot mop, they’re on sale for Labor Day as part of iRobot’s big sale HERE. If a robot is doing your cleaning then you’ll have more time to read, right? 😉 Read more about my Braava mop and how much I love him HERE.
Thanks for stopping by!