Summer Reading

Thought you might like to know what I’m reading this summer. I would love to see more moms enjoy the summer by reading fun stuff—novels, especially. If you own The Writer’s Jungle, there is a reading list in chapter 17 for moms. 🙂

No Plot? No Problem by Chris Baty
Ever hear of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)? What started as a lark with a bunch of friends in 1999 has expanded to over 25,000 participants per year. His premise? Crank out 50,000 words in a month and you will have a novel. It may not be ready for publication, but the learning that accompanies such a commitment and feat will teach you more than all the novel-writing manuals you’ve ever read put together.

I’ve only just begun the book, but it’s another must read for writing coaches like me (and you). He’s got it – that “it” factor of coaching: the ability to inspire risky behavior because you can see how worthwhile the results are.

HIGHLY recommended for closet novelists and teens who love to write fiction.

The Secret Life of Bees and The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd
She’s one of my favorite contemporary authors. I reread Bees after reading her newest book (Chair). She has that rare ability to evoke place and time. Her writing is insightful and spell-casting. Both are set in South Carolina. Good summer novels if you’ve never read them.

A Woman of Independent Means by Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey
This book was big in the 1970s and my mom gave it to me to read. It is written as a series of letters over the life span of one woman starting in 1899. For those of us who are in mid-life especially, it is illuminating to read through the course of a single woman’s life, to watch her grow and adjust to hardships, to see how she manages the various changes she goes through in relating to her family, self and community. I loved it. Engrossing and worth a read. You’ll get a kick out of the language. And the main character’s a tad bossy. 🙂

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling
We will be in Italy when this one comes out and my kids are already plotting to buy several copies in the Charles de Gaulle airport on our way home (I can’t even begin to fathom the number of Euros that will cost us). Last book release, we traipsed down to our local B&N bookstore at midnight and bought three copies.

I hope to create dictation lessons from the whole series one of these days. I know the Potter books are controversial in some quarters, but honestly, I just love them too much to worry about it. Rowling has created a cast of characters whose loyalty, devotion, sense of justice, courage and friendship in the face of the evil of their time serve as models for all of us in ours.

And what an imagination!

The Color of Water by James McBride
I am enjoying this novel which is a tribute to McBride’s white mother. He is black and one of twelve children. I haven’t finished it yet, but the writing is powerful. It is written in the style of memoir so it is often found in the non-fiction section of your local Barnes and Noble. 🙂


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