Thursday, June 7, 2012

Top Ten Summer Reads, June 2012 Edition

As our children sustain their marathon growth, my prayer this summer is a slowing and savoring of time. I've chosen reads guaranteed to spark conversations, build family values and create memories worth cherishing. I crave an opportunity to return to a childlike state of mind, where every hour feels like an eternity and each day is a shiny, treasured gift of Providence.

As always, our adventure begins at the library. 

Due to my OCB, I require numerous categories or my brain feels lopsided and uneven. Like that time I cut my own hair. Anyhoo, below is the type of to-do list which appears nightly on my ceiling as I lay in bed waiting for sleep (if this makes no sense to you, read this heelarious book).

Summer Olympics. Only 49 days away, sweet friends! The photobook is inspiration times inifinity. Arielle asked me to mention this must-have book, too. Pair with English bands like Duran Duran, Coldplay - and don't forget the Beatles (Paul McCartney is performing during the closing ceremony).   

A Classic Novel. I'm biting the bullet and reading this with a dear friend, right Carla? Otherwise I don't know if I'd make it out alive. Will we be wearing fur coats and drinking vodka at the end? Possibly. Don't judge.

Craft Project. This was a tough decision because of the endless choices at the library. Idealistic goal: smoochie new pillowcases for the entire family. Realistic goal: learning how to operate the sewing machine. Carl tells me not to get ahead of myself, since the said sewing machine has been in its box for the last two years. Does anyone know how to thread the needle? Hello? Anyone? Oh well, pair it with Kelly Clarkson and some lemonade and you have yourself a party. 

Historical Fiction. Synopsis from England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years and marry Anne Boleyn. The pope and most of Europe opposes him. Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell: a wholly original man, a charmer and a bully, both idealist and opportunist, astute in reading people, and implacable in his ambition. But Henry is volatile: one day tender, one day murderous. Cromwell helps him break the opposition, but what will be the price of his triumph?

A friend down the street is reading the second of this series and swears it is fantastic. I can't wait to get started. Love series reading? This one is amazing, too.

Photography.  I've been repeatedly borrowing Bryan Peterson's photography books from the library. Either I'm having a camera crush or my memory is as useful at containing information as swiss cheese.

Running Away to Home

Biography. "In thinking about her suburban life, epitomized by refereeing two arguing kids in a Target shopping cart whilst balancing a Starbucks, Wilson thinks, 'if this is the American dream it kinda sucks.' To refocus her family and connect with ancestors, she uproots her Iowa household and relocates to the mountainous, two-road village of Mrkopalj, Croatia..." 

After reading this quote I knew I'd want to read this aloud with my children. Looking forward to running away with this family, if only in my mind. 

Coffee Table Books. I love having new art books in the house, and this cover was summer perfection. Thank you, sweet library.

Devotional. "The first service that one owes to others in the fellowship consists of listening to them. Just as love of God begins with listening to his word, so the beginning of love for our brothers and sisters is learning to listen to them." 

I'm going to enjoy this read, and add him and her and her.

Fiction. Synopsis from In the 1970s, Larry Ott and Silas "32" Jones were boyhood pals in a small town in rural Mississippi. Their worlds were as different as night and day: Larry was the child of lower-middle-class white parents, and Silas, the son of a poor, black single mother. But then Larry took a girl to a drive-in movie and she was never seen or heard from again. He never confessed . . . and was never charged. 

Our book club pick for July. Hope it lives up to the hype.

Decor/Design.  There's only one thing I do worse than cooking, and it would be decorating. Well, that and organizing important papers like birth certificates and the insurance card for the car. Oh, and maybe time management. I'm finally figuring out that my lack of home design might have something to do with my lack of planning ahead. Details will always be at the top of my fave list (it inspired this), but Joy of Decorating is capturing my newly southern heart. Much more to follow.

Cookbook.  Much to my husband's disappointment, I actually read cookbooks rather than cook from them. In my defense, many of them call for ingredients I've never heard of - or they are too pricey for me to scrape off my children's plates into the disposal. When I do find a cookbook recipe that I love, I stick to it fanatically. Example: I tried to pass this off as dinner last week with a side salad {with resounding applause and seconds from the children}. But The Summer House Cookbook has food I'm growing here at home and at our local farmer's market. The kitchen and I are finding more common ground thanks to two invaluable resources: my children and the library.

Okay, so that was my top ten, well... eleven, for June. I can't help myself.

A huge thank you for all the readers that have emailed me asking what I'm personally reading this summer. I'll be out of town for a few days, but please come back and visit late next week for more summer collections for the kids.

What is on your nightstand for June?

xoxo Michele