Summer is typically the time of year when I read the majority of what I consider my enjoyable books. However, adapting to a new career change (and reading books that are work related) has made it a little more difficult to read books that are for fun as often as I would like. A few weeks ago I realized the only way I was going to get into the routine was to get started and I’ve now completed three. (I give kudos to those of you who have double digit books.)
Here’s a brief overview of my summer reading.
I actually read this over Memorial Day Weekend. I have been a big fan of Giuliana and loved that she was so open about her cancer and infertility struggles. However, over the years I feel like she has changed. I’m not sure what I was hoping for in this autobiography but it left me feeling even more ambivalent. Although she begins with her childhood and moving to America, I truly feel she provides only a surface view of her life. Despite the title, her childhood was not that crazy and she has had a privileged life. This truly isn’t what I expected for someone who has been so open in regards to all of the medical procedures she has endured. I believe one of her coping mechanisms is to laugh at things and I believe she attempts to do this in her book. I’m still somewhat of a fan (and will continue to follow her), but not as much as I used to be. Sadly, I feel celebrity does change people and I think Giuliana is one of them.
The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand
I discovered Elin Hilderbrand a few years ago and I have read the majority of her books. Some circles call her the “queen of the summer read” and I can tell you that you will not be disappointed. All of her novels take place on Nantucket Island and this year’s novel focuses upon Madeline and Grace, two best friends, and their families. The story allows us to see that appearances are not always what we think. Madeline is a writer who is under deadline to submit her second novel. She is struggling with writer’s block until Grace begins to tell her the details of her affair with her gardener. Feeling pressured from her editor, Madeline begins to write the story of her friend’s affair.
Meanwhile we learn that life for Grace and her real estate mogul husband are not what they appear as he struggles to financially support the family (and soon discovers an illegal solution.
There are always so many things to love about Elin Hilderbrand’s books and one of them for me is that she continues to weave previous characters from other books into her current stories. Even though each story focus upon new characters, the backdrop of Natucket feels familiar and as if you know the place and people. I should note that I do find this funny considering that I am a southern girl who loves southern writers and had never thought of Nantuckett Island.
If you are looking for a great book to read at the pool, beach or your back patio, this is the book to read. I truly didn’t want to put it down and always find myself wondering what happens to the characters after the books is finished. I reviewed The Matchmaker last summer and feel guaranteed there will be another book review next summer.
The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins
I have to admit that I do choose books based upon reviews from multiple sources. This book was on multiple lists and it felt like everyone was reading. Thus, I made this a choice after reading The Rumor.
Many outlets compare this book to Gone Girl. I want to state that although there is a psychological aspect and suspense to it, I loved Gone Girl (and all of Gillian Flynn’s books) so much better. The characters in the book are not likeable. However, the story continues to draw you in and forces you to want to learn more.
Rachel is an unemployed alcoholic who rides the train as if she is going to work each day. Her train ride takes her by the houses of her former home with her ex-husband and his new wife and child as well as new neighbors who she creates a background story for. When one of the neighbors goes missing, Rachel feels obligated to tell the police what she has seen from the train.
The plot includes several twists and I am glad that my fellow twitter supporters encouraged me to keep reading when I questioned why I was following a story about people I didn’t like. This could best be described as things aren’t always as they seem. Although I didn’t like the characters, the story kept pushing me forward and I had to find out how it ended.
Just in case you are interested what I am reading for my work life; I’m reading the following
The Social And Anxiety Workbook – I use sections from this book almost daily with clients
Teamwork in Palliative Care – I’m only at the hospital two days a week and although it’s like I”ve always worked with my team, I feel everything can become better.
DSM 5 Made Easy This is basically the Cliff Note’s version of the Diagnosis Manual every clinician uses. I’ve had my DSM 5 for over a year and it’s nice to have a smaller version to reference.
The Life Changing Method of Tidying Up – As a transition counselor, I often have to help clients decide what to do with their stuff. I’ve been reading this book off and on because it has become so popular. Although I don’t agree with everything, I feel there are some great points.
What have you been reading this summer?