My mother had a severe book addiction. She needed a “hit” everywhere she went. She was so hardcore that she would do several books at the same time. There was the book-club book, the one she was supposed to be reading. Depending on how interested in that book she was, she’d go a few pages before setting it aside and “taking a break,” which meant reaching for the book she really wanted to read. If that book was a little intense, there was sometimes a different book on her nightstand, something more compatible with falling asleep. And there was always a book in her purse, because who knew when you would be waiting for something somewhere?
Although I love to read, I have never been the reader my mom was. Even now, my days are so full that reading is relegated to evenings. Lately, though, that evening reading has begun earlier and earlier, and I’ve been fortunate enough to bury myself in some great books this summer. I’ve enjoyed each one.
This was the summer I discovered Simone St. James, and I gobbled up The Other Side of Midnight in June. The post-war texture of 1920s England combined with the supernatural and deft writing was right up my alley. I would have poured myself directly into St. James’s The Haunting of Maddy Clare, except that this would have required prying the book from my husband’s hands. I had to wait several weeks for that one (and listen to my husband’s “Hurry. Read it. I want to discuss.”), but it was worth it.
While I waited I finished up a nonfiction book I’d begun in spring: Past Imperfect: History According to the Movies. This one was edited by Mark C. Carnes and discussed the factual differences between historical events and how they’ve been portrayed in the movies. (Every once in a while I like to wear my geek hat.)
Next came Beatriz Williams’s newest, Tiny Little Thing. I love getting lost in this author’s big, tasty stories, and this one did not disappoint. It was a great summer read that kept me up way too late each night, but isn’t that what July is for?
I took a break from fiction next and enjoyed Modern Romance, by Aziz Ansari. It managed to be both humorous and true, and I still haven’t figured out whether it’s a snapshot or an indictment.
After this I breezed through Hope Out Loud, Kristina Riggle’s novella sequel to her novel The Life You’ve Imagined. A reader doesn’t always get to see “what happens next,” and the shorter length was the perfect accompaniment to a glass of wine on a hot summer evening. What fun!
Jami Attenberg’s Saint Mazie made me want to find a book club. Any book club. Pronto. There’s so much to discuss here, and it’s all so intriguing.
The best part is that there are still books waiting on my nightstand. I am currently reading Eliza Graham’s The One I Was. Next up will be Jami Attenberg’s The Middlesteins, followed by The Other Daughter (Lauren Willig) and (if I can grab it from my husband, of course) Silence for the Dead (Simone St. James).
Lots of great reading ahead of me. I wish the same for you.