Tiny Beautiful Things – Cheryl Strayed // I am a huge fan of Cheryl Strayed. Her book Wild was the only book I managed to read when I was in the hospital. This book is a compilation of her Dear Sugar advice columns and I enjoyed the brutal honestly and empathy in her replies. Sometimes the book read like a memoir as Strayed incorporates her own experiences in her responses to various troubled souls. So many good stories and life lessons in this book. Plus, she uses the phrase “magic sparkle glue.”
The Universe Versus Alex Woods – Gavin Extence // I picked this one up at the airport on the way to Portugal, wanting to feel the pages of a book in my hand for a change. And for a completely random choice, I really enjoyed this book. Its unusual beginning had me hooked and its heartwarming story will remind you about the important things in life.
My Life in France – Julia Child // Child says, “The pleasures of the table, and of life, are infinite.” And, reading her story, you see how right she is. What struck me about her story was how in the face of sometimes difficult circumstances, she always found the positive in a situation and dug deep within herself to find the determination and resourcefulness to change things for the better. If you’ve seen the movie “Julie & Julia” you’ll be familiar with the story, but it’s worth reading Child’s own account. You’ll be inspired to get cooking!
Bird by Bird – Anne Lamott // This is a great little book about the practice of writing, about techniques and strategies to get words on the page. But it’s also so so funny. Lamott is full of witty anecdotes that make this more than just a “how to” book on writing, it’s also a commentary on life. On perfectionism she says “What people somehow (inadvertently I’m sure) forgot to mention when we were children was that we need to make messes in order to find out who we are and why we are here.” Plus, it includes the best story ever about plant care.
Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead – Sheryl Sandberg // This book has received a lot of press, both positive and negative. For me though, this book hit me straight in the gut, maybe because I’ve been a working mom in a tech company culture similar to Sandberg. I get that Sandberg has resources that most of us don’t, she even says she gets that. And I get that what works for one family doesn’t work for another, everyone’s situation is different. But what she does have to say about the evolution of gender stereotypes at home and in the workplace and the impact they have on working women is bang on. And, it’s had me doing some soul-searching.
Zog – Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler // I’m a huge fan of all Donaldson and Scheffler’s books. The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom, Monkey Puzzle, and others have been staples in our house. And it’s a bit different to add a children’s book here, but this one really struck a chord with me. I won’t spoil the ending, but it’s the kind of fairy tale I can really buy into. One that I’d read my daughter (if I had one) over and over again.
What’s on your Summer reading list?