Friday, July 1, 2011

June Book List

June has been a great month for reading!  The kids are out of school, Gracie spent a week at camp, and the boys are busy with lacrosse practice and football workouts.  My house is not clean, but I've read some good ones.

Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier.  As I've mentioned in previous months, I'm a big fan of Tracy Chevalier; however, this book was harder to get into than the others.  I'm not sure if it was the subject of fossils vs. the art that she normally features, or if it was the missing modern perspective.  I truly enjoy the back and forth between the object's origins and how it is viewed in the present.  Nevertheless, it was interesting to read about an uneducated young woman making history in the scientific community.

Outrage:  The Five Reasons Why O.J. Simpson Got Away With Murder by Vincent Bugliosi.  Have I mentioned before that Mr. Bugliosi, while not my first true crime author (Joe McGinnis holds that place in my heart) is the only one who has ever truly scared me?  No matter how many graphic descriptions I've read of smothering, bludgeoning, dismembering, and stabbing, nothing has ever given me nightmares like Helter Skelter!  This book is aptly titled, since Mr. Bugliosi's fury flies off the page, and no one is safe from his scathing ire.  I loved every minute of it, since it dealt with critical legal issues (not guilty vs. innocent is my favorite) and the courtroom drama as it might have unfolded had he been the prosecuting attorney.

Foreign Correspondence by Geraldine Brooks.  I was listening to Frances at Off Kilter Quilt talk about books - who knows good writing better than an author? - and she mentioned two books I truly loved by Geraldine Brooks:  March and People of the Book.  I don't know if I never realized that she has written other books or if I merely got sidetracked, but I have remedied that by putting in requests from my local library for the others.  This one is a little different because it is a memoir about Brooks' pen pals from her childhood in Australia, but incorporates the history and graceful writing of her other work.  It's an interesting glimpse into how and why a somewhat average girl from the suburbs of Sydney became a reporter covering war-torn countries I could barely locate on a map with friends on six continents.

Beyond All Reason:  My Life With Susan Smith by David Smith.   I was seven months pregnant with my oldest child when I watched Susan and David Smith's first press conference begging for their children back.  I took one look at the TV and said, "I hope their mother didn't kill them."  My husband was shocked that I could even think such a thing, and even more shocked when it turned out to be true.  I wasn't psychic; I literally held in my hands a copy of Small Sacrifices, the horrific story of Diane Downs, while I watched the press conference.   Even halfway through the book by Ann Rule I recognized that Smith and Downs were sisters from another mother.  David Smith's book is no Ann Rule, but it did provide me with some background to the story that I never knew before. 

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.  I have heard about this book, and now the movie, for awhile and never got around to reading it.  I just happened to stumble across it in the library, and then couldn't put it down.  Just the idea of it, wondering what was going to happen next or how events might tie together bothered me when I wasn't reading.  When I read books like this one, I am always in awe of an author's ability to envision these stories and all the little loose threads that weave together in the end.

That makes thirty-two books in twenty-five weeks! I'm more than halfway done.  I know I'll be grateful for this burst of summer reading when the start of school or the holidays roll around.

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