Summer is for reading. At least it is for me. It’s also about hot, humid weather, cookouts, Harley rides, and maybe a road trip or two. When I was a kid, I spent all day at the pool and then all night riding my horse. Since I don’t have a pool or a horse, I don’t get to do those things. It’s tough being an employed, tax paying adult some days. We have a room in our house that we want to turn into a sitting room or a second living room. I’m on the hunt for a good reading chair. I haven’t found it yet but when I do…it will probably be super expensive and I won’t buy it anyway. Here’s a list of books I’ve read while dreaming about sitting in my perfect chair:
Educated by Tara Westover. This book is an incredible memoir of a woman who was raised by survivalist parents in the mountains of Idaho. Her parents didn’t believe in the government, medical care, or education. Here’s an example of how sheltered she was- she didn’t even know what the Holocaust was until she was in college. She didn’t even get a birth certificate until she was 9 years old. She never attended school and spent her days working in her father’s junkyard. Since they didn’t believe in medical care, when her mother had a traumatic head injury, she didn’t go to the hospital. No one protected her from her abusive brother, even when he turned violent. She managed to get into college and now has a PhD. I thought this took place during the 1970’s or something but she’s younger than I am! It’s an incredible read- go get it.
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. This is another book about a girl with survivalist parents, but this one is fiction. Leni is an only child of a Vietman veteran and a well meaning, but weak mother. The family moves up to Alaska, where the cold winter has a harsh effect on her father’s temper. It’s a story of domestic violence, survival, and growing up and moving on.
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. This book was recommended by Reese Witherspoon’s book club. Since Reese would be best buds with me if we knew each other, I took her advice and read it. It’s about a family with four children and about their relationships with each other. One of the kids starts a fire in the house and the book is about the events that led up to it. There’s a lot of sub plots in it as well so sometimes it gets hard to keep track of. Honestly, the ending of this pisses me off. It’s like the author got tired of writing and quit. I don’t mind it when there’s a few questions at the end of the book, but this was just odd. Up until then, the book was pretty good.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. This is another book recommended by Reese’s book club. It’s a murder mystery regarding a girl who is abandoned by her entire family before her tenth birthday. She learns to live on her own and provide for herself but never receives a formal education. (What is it about me and liking books about survivalists? I’m not exactly a “live off the land” kind of girl. I’m perfectly fine in my cushy subdivision.) When a popular member of the community is found dead, she becomes a suspect. This book was so good and the ending was surprising in a great way. Reese Witherspoon just announced that she’ll be making this into a movie and I’m already excited. I’m already curious as to who would play Kya, the main character. I picture Jordana Brewster for some reason. This book is a must read!
Life Will be the Death of Me by Chelsea Handler. I love Chelsea Handler. She smart, opinionated, and hilarious. After spending her life interviewing celebrities, she realizes she isn’t content and starts therapy. Things Chelsea and I have in common- we’re both 8’s on the Enneagram, we both have a lot of opinions, and we both love dogs. This book has a lot of serious subject matter but manages to be kind of light hearted and funny at the same time. It’s a reminder that we all have a place in this world and that our past sometimes holds us back. It’s also a great reminder that it’s never too late to get involved and help others.
I need some good recommendations, so if you have any, let me know! I can’t believe summer is half over already. We didn’t do anything super special for the 4th. Just went to TJMaxx/Homegoods and found a cool piece for our table and then went to Greystone Country Club to watch fireworks. I thought they had a great show and I really like Greystone Country Club. They have a pool so I’m trying to convince James we should become members. Then I can fulfill my goal of laying out by the pool and reading. Of course, working full time puts a damper on that. Maybe someday The Real Housewives of Little Rock will come calling. However, I don’t have enough Botox or plastic surgery to be on that show. Plus, I’d be horrible on reality TV. I’d be the villan within the first 10 minutes of the premier. For sure.
I was going to include a recipe with this blog but I totally just copied The Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Strawberry Salad Wrap. Because reading and eating are two of my favorite things. Whoever decided that strawberries go with feta cheese is a genius. They deserve a Nobel Prize or something.
** The opinions in this blog are all my own. I am not compensated for this post. Unless you read one of these books and feel the need to pay me. I’m totally cool with that. **