Encouraging people to evolve and create new opportunities at any age.

“June is busting out all over“

“June is busting out all over“  For me, memories of that old song bring recollections of many pleasant sensations:  the warmth of a blanket on the beach,  sounds of waves breaking on shore, the smell of suntan lotion (or baby oil – OUCH, remember that?) and the luxury of uninterrupted hours spent reading -  losing any sense of time, carried away by scenes my brain orchestrated in response to the words on the pages.  

Sadly, I just realized I don’t often allow myself the luxury of those getaways these days.  There is always some project I’ve planned to do, some task to accomplish.  I have two porches and two porch swings, but I am rarely in either of them JUST reading!  Last week, because of a respiratory "bug" I unfortunately caught, I was home resting.  And it wasn't easy!  In the brief minutes when I felt better, I began thinking of "things I need to do."  Thankfully, I resisted and gave myself permission to read, and read and read.

My friend, and website editor, Terry Gray suggested that we dedicate June's newsletter to books - ones we have been reading lately, and/or all-time favorites.  Our plan is that we'll start by listing some of our favorites, with short descriptions, and then ask y'all to PLEASE send us your favorites.  We'll publish them in the July newsletter.  
I’ll begin with my recommendations:
The Poisonwood Bible   by Barbara Kingsolver. This is my all-time favorite.  Kingsolver’s words flow like liquid silver.  Two "gifts" from the book:  enjoying her words - her craftmanship - and you will also, painlessly learn a lot about Africa, as told from the different perspectives of the heroine and her very different daughters.    
The Postmistress by Sarah Blake.  Action takes place in small town America and war-torn Europe in years around 1940.  Through the lives of three women, you 'll get an intimate picture of life on both sides of the Atlantic and the complex effects of war on ordinary people.

The Hare With Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal.  This book is described as a “graceful family memoir” and a detective story as the author discovers the history of his own family over five generations.  Before WWII, the author’s Jewish ancestors were extremely wealthy – their fortunes compared to the Rothchild’s.  Their empire was confiscated by the Nazis and at the end of the war, all that was left of their wealth was a collection of wood and ivory carvings, called netsukes.  The hare in the title is one of those netsukes. 
Giliad by Marilynne Robinson.  When I ‘m in England, I have a favorite bookstore.  I asked Carol (one of the managers) for a book recommendation.  Without batting an eye, she handed me this novel, saying it is her all-time favorite.  The narrator is a 76 year old preacher who lives in a small town in Iowa.  He ponders everyday events and relationships in such humility and honesty that they are both beautiful, complex and simple – all at the same time.  If Carol had described the theme, I doubt I would have bought it, and I would have been deprived of a wonderful experience.   
And last, but not least...
Olive Kitteredge by Elizabeth Strout. 

My favorite quote from the book:
“…….life was a gift ... one of those things about getting older was knowing that so many moments weren’t just moments, they were gifts.”   
“No matter what people’s lives might hold…..people were compelled to celebrate because they new somehow, in their different ways, that life was a thing to celebrate.”
Thanks to Pat Austin for these two series:

Mystery books by Louise Penney and mystery books by Donna Leon
Louise Penney’s are set in Toronto and Donna Leon’s are set in Montreal.  They are lots of fun to read and I enjoy learning about other cultures and places through the fictional format.
The Girl of His Dreams by Donna Leon.  The author takes you from hilarious conversations to tragic situations at the blink of an eye.  I have visited Venice and loved it.  After reading a couple the Leon books, I must return.      
So many good reads- we ran out of room. For more favorites:  Click here to see a bonus section with Terry's additional pick for summer reading.

And now- we'd like to hear from you.  
What are some of your favorites? What's on your reading wish list?

Send to:

Thanks and Happy Reading! 
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