Wednesday, June 18, 2014

reading in summer

There is just something about picking up a book when the days are warm and sitting outside reading with a glass of iced tea.  Sounds exactly like what I used to do before I had children.  They're getting to the age where I can do it more and more, but other things in life have gotten in the way.  Like my etsy shop.  But my way around it has been to use Audible.  I'm a member, so I get lower prices on the books to listen to over my choice of electronic device.  Plus the monthly fee includes one book.  It's definitely not as cheap as a library book, but it helps.

I have loved reading as long for as I can remember.  It's probably my favorite way to while away a free hour or two.  Reading is the reason I majored in English Literature.  I figured I'd spend 4 years reading and reading (which I did, but I didn't factor in the amount of time writing papers and essays.  Ugh.).  But it's been a challenge since having Rowan.  Fletcher has always been an independent child, and will play on his own.  I remember when I was pregnant with Rowan, I craved books like a pregnant woman craves food, and devoured them one after another in rapid succession.  Fletcher and I would make twice-weekly trips to library, and I would read at least 3 books a week.  I could not get enough.  And then Rowan happened.  A placid, sleepy baby that let me keep my book habit going as she would drowse and nurse.  But when she got old enough to interact, my book time was over.  She became even more demanding of my attention, and would barely look at toys in favor of interaction with another human.  In other words, she was/is an extrovert, and I had to change my way of mothering after becoming accustomed to mothering my introverted boy.  I tried to sneak in reading, but the only time I'd have was nap time, which I used for chores, and right before bed, where I'd drift off to sleep after just a page or two.

But there was light at the end of the tunnel.  Rowan got old enough to go to school, and hurrah!  I had time to read again!  But then I opened my etsy shop, and that time got eaten up with stitching.  Watching tv shows was a lot easier to do with stitching, but just not as gratifying.  Enter the audiobook!  A life saver.  I still pick up an actual book I can hold in my hands here and there, and I sometimes read a downloaded book on the ipad, too.  But I always have my phone on me, so it's easy to bring out and plug in my earbuds and go.  I still can't really "listen" to the books when Rowan is around, unless she is totally immersed in a movie or art project.  She continues to thrive on constant interaction, and I continue to try and give it to her!  It's rough on an introverted mama, and by the end of the day I feel like I might snap if she asks just one. more. question.  But we all manage, and this summer has been just fine.  The programs at the library have been so stellar, and some days we go twice a day to get into both age groups.  The littles love books, and I can only hope it stays that way.

So I thought I'd share what I've been reading/listening to this summer.  It's been a far cry from 3 to 4 books a week, but it's been enough to fill that summertime longing I feel for books.

David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell// Life after Life by Kate Atkinson// Wild by Cheryl Strayed

I'd definitely recommend all of them, but I particularly loved Life after Life.  I was so sad when it ended.  So sad. Malcolm Gladwell always makes things like statistics and dry information seem so interesting to me!  David and Goliath felt very similar to his other books, but still interesting enough to recommend.  Wild was probably my least favorite of the books I've read so far, but I still enjoyed it.

And here are my books that are next on my summer reading list.

This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper// The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt// A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis

I've heard great things about Tropper's novel, so I'm excited to dig in.  I've also heard great things about The Goldfinch, but it seems so incredibly dense, that I've put it off.  And I've had a few people recommend thumbing through A Grief Observed to help gain a little perspective on what has been a painful season in my life.  I've shied away from books on grief for the past 6 months, but it might be time to confront it a little.  Maybe.

I have other books on my list, too, but I don't want to overwhelm you!  So if you're a reader, please, PLEASE share with me what you've been reading/ what you're looking forward to reading this summer!  Next month we'll be staying with my parents in their house just a walk from the beach of Lake Michigan, so I have fantasies about laying in warm sand, dipping my toes in icy water, and getting lost in a good book.  But that's a pretty silly fantasy since I'll have a 4 and 6 year old with me!

*I am getting absolutely no compensation from Audible.  I just love it.  That is all.


  1. I love books too, and also studied English lit. And also have an introvert boy followed by an extrovert girl. And also fall asleep after a couple pages. I so dream of reading great books this summer too. I am reading Studio Saint-Ex, a fictional book about Antoine de Saint-Exupéry...and have been doing so for months. It's a great book, I just can't seem to settle myself down to read. I always bring a book down to the beach when we stay with my parents on Lake Erie, but my dear girl usually asks to go back up to the cottage for something after about 5 minutes. ;) I hope you get to read everything on your list girl! :)

  2. Yay for summer reading! I'm SOOOO glad you liked Life After Life. I think we really can be real life friends now, hahaha! I am looking forward to reading The Goldfinch too, if I ever get it from the long library wait list. Interested to hear what you think! I'm currently reading Tell The Wolves I'm Home and I love it. But it's slow going because I'm too busy right now. Ugh.

  3. I always think of you when I'm book browsing. You're a voracious reader! And you give me hope that one day I'll be able to pick up where I left off too. We go to Barnes and Noble a LOT, but alas, I still wind up fantasizing about the books I'd like to read while sitting at a Thomas the Train table reading about Elmo and zoo animals. Ha! But I wouldn't trade it! Thanks for the report! :)

  4. I am definitely going to invest in some audio books, these all sound good. I actually listened to David Sedaris's last book after you recommended it, I was dying to read it and never had the time but was able to listen in little spurts. Such a smart idea. We shall see what miss Ruby brings to the table as she gets older, I may not be spending a lazy day reading for a while ;)

  5. Great post, Ruthie. I miss reading a lot. I've tried to keep my book club breathing but everyone is too busy with kids/work/life that we haven't actually read anything in a while. Well, that's not entirely true. I tried reading Donna Tartt's other book - A Secret History - but I never finished it. I think I'm going to try Life After Life though. I've heard a lot of good things about it. Just another one of the those times I wished we lived closer and we could dish about books over coffee. XOXo


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