Contact iPhone RSS Subscribe Bloggers Home

Summer Reads – the good, the bad, the girly, and the grossly

Share This Post

June 5th, 2009

n514975921 1046826 4328 300x400 Summer Reads   the good, the bad, the girly, and the grossly

I am, admittedly, a huge summer reader. Since I was little, I can remember passing entire summer days curled up in an armchair, rain hitting the windows, or sprawled in the grass, brushing ants from my legs, or shielding my eyes from the sun with my novel, splayed on a towel in my bikini… either way, summer reads have always played a big part of my vacation months.

This summer, I’ve already clawed my way through a number of books – or not even managed to – and these are the early summer reviews.

I’ve had a bit of a thing for books with an international, non-fiction focus this summer, but I haven’t been exclusive. So here, below, we have the good, the bad, the girly, and the grossly to kick off the summer months.

Although I have two picks for “the good” of the past couple of months, Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts is at the top of my list. It’s a bit of an older and a bulkier pick, but don’t be intimidated by the size of this one. The chapters are a good length, easily digestable, and the story is too good to miss. Shantaram is the true autobiography of an escaped Australian turned villager turned slum doctor turned second-time prisoner – well, I won’t tell you everything. But suffice to say, this richly-written book reads like a thriller. Although it may look it, it won’t take you the entire season to get through, and it’s well worth the time.

Mother to Mother, by Sindiwe Magona, may be a little harder to come by than international bestseller Shantaram. I found my own copy at my favorite bookstore in the world, located amongst towers and towers of piled-up books at JWD Books (or, at least that’s what the sign on the door says) on Barrington Street in Halifax, Nova Scotia. This book is a letter from the mother of an accused teenaged murderer from the township of Guguletu in South Africa to the mother of the murdered white girl. It is a brilliantly well-done portrait of life in South Africa from days of apartheid to today. An accurate an interesting portrait of society.

This summer’s “bad” is, unfortunately, Freedom in Exile, the autobiography of the fourteenth Dalai Lama. I tried to get through it, but it was extremely dry and far too factually-based. Although the anecdotes and historical information are interesting, it feels like a school book, and reads like one, too. Thumbs down.

Now, it may be a guilty pleasure, but Olivia Goldsmith’s 1996 copyrighted novel The Bestseller was the perfect “girly” respite after the Dalai Lama’s shameful attempt at biography. Although it runs a solid 705 pages, I got through it faster than I got through the first chapter of Freedom in Exile. It’s light, it’s shallow, it’s silly, and it’s perfect for a rainy afternoon when your brain isn’t down with doing any work. I enjoyed it, guiltily, and hiding its cover at Starbucks, but I did. Maybe you will, too.

And maybe you would also enjoy Chuck Palahniuk’s Choke, but this one is definitely my “grossly.” I was incredibly disappointed. I’ve always been a huge fan of Palahniuk’s books (so much so that I can spell his name without even looking!), but when I started reading Choke, I just couldn’t deal. Something about Palahniuk’s unabashedly blatant and sexy writing style coupled with a plotline revolving around sex adicts just burst my bubble from page one. It literally made me nauseous. I gave it fifty pages to change my mind, and then I called it quits. It’s a sad day when a 1990′s female Dean Koontz can win my heart this summer, but not one of my favorite contemporary fiction authors.

  • niki.

    I’m a huge Palahniuk also and I can normally stomach the worst of his writing no problem, but you’re right. Choke was too much. I felt dirty reading it, and was sorely disappointed.

  • BioBasics

    I adore the blog layout . How was it made. It is really good.

  • colon cleanse

    Is anyone else getting a javascript error?

  • Stacy Baruch

    i like your blog and article.thanks and bookmark it

  • Cristopher Adam

    Appreciate this post OP, however, I’d very much appreciate it in case you could embed a related video and in addition for some reason when i open this web page in Chrome, it looks not similar to although i do it with Opera.

  • old bankruptcy papers

    Still waters run deep.

  • domestic cleaning services london

    In case you are searching for the top cleaning services london this particular website is definitely the proper destination.

  • ATT Forum

    Awsome info and right to the point. I am not sure if this is really the best place to ask but do you people have any thoughts on where to get some professional writers? Thx :)

  • Ladbrokes Sign Up Bonus

    Wow! It’s like you understand my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, just like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with some pictures to drive the content home a bit, besides that, this is good blog. A great read. I will definitely revisit again.

  • Martha Horio

    Those worlds are miles apart.

  • mirc download

    Great! Thanks for post

  • natural hemorrhoid treatment

    You may have not supposed to do so, however I feel you have got managed to precise the mind-set that a lot of people are in. The sense of wanting to help, but not realizing how or where, is one thing loads of us are going through.

  • ilginç videolar

    great thanks \o/

  • discount supplements

    The brand new Sony Erikson New Sony Play Station Phone Unofficially Revealed!

  • William Hill Free Bets

    I’m impressed, I must say. Really seldom do I come across a blog that is both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. Your idea is important; the issue is something that not many people are talking intelligently about. I am very happy that I stumbled across this in my search for something relating to this.

  • Betsafe Bonus

    It is unusual for me to find something on the net that’s as entertaining and intriguing as what you’ve got here. Your page is lovely, your graphics are outstanding, and what’s more, you use source that are relevant to what you are talking about. You’re definitely one in a million, great job!

  • sex video

    great thanks \o/

  • mathias lowwest

    Thank you, I have recently been searching for information about this topic for long time and yours is the best I have discovered so far.

  • tweetattacks-review

    excellent info keep up the work! thankx

  • Francesco Hanserd

    Hi! Have a great day, Keep writing. and I will definitely keep reading.

  • Partybets Free Bet

    It’s rare for me to find something on the internet that is as entertaining and fascinating as what you have got here. Your page is lovely, your graphics are great, and what’s more, you use source that are relevant to what you’re saying. You are definitely one in a million, good job!

  • wrinkle cream

    1. Top-notchinformation it is actually. My mother has been awaiting for this update.

  • Jobs In Need Of Workers

    Hello.This article was really fascinating, particularly since I was browsing for thoughts on this issue last week.

  • approved-car-finance

    Interesting facts written on your site, most I agree with. Remember viewing a similar blog which I will try to post. Definately will bookmark in any case I look forward your next thought provoking blog post