Tag Archives: summer reading

Summer reading | 2017

I used to love getting a summer reading list every year as a kid.

summer reading 2017

Yes, I am no longer too cool for a Kindle… and no, kale chips do not photograph well.

Until the summer I had to read Lord of The Flies.  Like… why?  I am still creeped by that book.  Semi-related: I thought Game of Thrones was called Lord of the Thrones.  And I referenced it aloud.  To people who actually read the books.  Or maybe they just watch the show? No judgement from the lady who has watched all the Harry Potter movies, but barely made it through a chapter without getting confused.  

I gave the first Harry Potter book a valiant try, but just couldn’t get into it.   After mostly paying attention to the movies, I still don’t understand why HP turned into a baby snake and died on a train platform.  Or did I get that wrong, too?  

Anyway, Lord of the Flies, Lord of the Dance, Lord of the Thrones… none of these titles are on my summer reading list this year.  

And while I certainly don’t want to wish time away, I am looking forward to a time when I can read on the beach without fear of both my children joining another family, eating a dead crab, stepping on a fish-hook, needing stitches, getting swept out to sea, and/or discovering that the ice cream truck sells… ice cream.  

For much of this summer, my reading time was confined to that fleeting 20 minutes between the house being quiet and settled and me crashing headlong into bed.  But I’ve recently been making an effort to read books during the time I’d normally be reading the Internet (which was a surprising amount, when I actually took account).

And because my list is fairly short and possibly uninspired, I’m sharing the highlights from our kids’ summer reading list too.  We have read some really good books this summer (and Grace earned her 3 hours of summer reading prize from our local library, she was so proud!).

2017 Summer Reading | Grown Up Lady Edition

  • Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer Suffice it to say, this is neither a light nor uplifting read.  But it is fascinating and illuminating and very well written.  Also, I think you know my political leanings (once I was being interviewed for a cable access show in Boston and I was mistakingly introduced as Elizabeth Clinton and it was basically the greatest on camera moment of my life), and my obsession with politics in general, but there was so much in this book that I just didn’t know.  It was an excellent replacement for reading about the current state of our union on Twitter.  Disclaimer:  If you find yourself on the other end of the political spectrum (or maybe, to take it like 900 steps further, you’re cool with morally bankrupt billionaires hijacking our democracy)… you may want to read something else.  Like, say, Lord of the Thrones.
  • The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton This was a fairly fast read for me (I stayed up way past my bedtime, caught up in the suspense), and a very good one at that.  And then I went down a major learn everything about Dutch miniatures rabbit hole.
  • A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline Another really beautiful novel surrounding a work of art, though this one is inspired by a real painting (Andrew Wyeth’s Christina’s World).  This one took me a bit longer to get into, but I really enjoyed it once I did.
  • Everyday Detox by Megan Gilmore Yes, this is a cookbook.  But it is one of the few that I read cover to cover, including the introduction (I am going to re-think skipping introductions from now on).  Many of these recipes have become summer staples, including the quinoa tabouli and dairy-free strawberry lime sorbet.

Next up: Saints for All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan (I love everything she writes… and #funfact: Her dad went to BC with my parents); At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier; The Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante (I’ve had all three on my Kindle for ages, but sort of keep forgetting to start them).

2017 Summer Reading | Preschooler + Toddler Edition 

  • Ribbit by Jorey Hurley The most beautifully illustrated book.  Super simple, but perfect for talking about metamorphosis (if you’re into that sort of thing) with Grace or just making frog noises with Nicky.
  • Scaredy Squirrel makes a friend and Scaredy Squirrel has a birthday party by Melanie Watt Super silly and fun series — Grace (who tends to be somewhat fearful and anxious in new situations) really liked the endings to each of these.
  • Edmond, the Moonlit Party by Astrid Desbordes Come for the really sweet story about being yourself and reaching out to make friends… stay for the owl who makes his own amazing costumes and arrives at a party dressed as a seagull.
  • Hap-pea all year! by Keith Baker We are enamored with the peas series.
  • The Best Days are Dog Days by Aaron Meshon This is, hands down, the summer favorite.  After renewing it twice from the library, we need to order our own copy.  The story and illustrations are so perfect — and not just because they feature a little girl and her French bulldog who bears a striking resemblance to our Clark.
  • Sloth Slept On by Frann Preston-Gannon Hilarious ending.  And we know I love sloths.  And mail.
  • All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon Not necessarily a summer reading book (because we read it every night, often twice), but it is such a beautiful, calming, encouraging book… so well worth a mention no matter the season.  Marla Frazee’s illustrations are heavenly.

Not listed: Every, single book about trucks and construction currently available in print.  But trust me, we’ve read them.  And they’re mostly good.  Also, Grace has been using this preschool workbook and really loves it.  We’ve been working mainly on the pre-reading and writing activities, but it’s full (315 pages!) of well planned content.

Time to Lord of the Dance my way over to that stack of books on my bedside table.

Also On Tap for Today:

What are you reading this summer?  Am I a bad person for the whole Harry Potter thing?  At what age can you trust little people on the beach?

Today: What to pack for three days in Maine.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]It’s very simple, really.

Three bathing suits.  Two novels (one should have a lobster on the dust jacket).  One pair of peace moccasins.

Also On Tap for Today:

What are your summer getaway essentials?

Today: The non-dairy queen.

[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]Weather like this has me craving a Blizzard.  The ice cream treat, not the weather event.  There is only so much Lactaid a girl can take, though.  Fortunately, there are all kinds of frozen non-dairy “ice cream” available these days.

All it takes is three simple ingredients (four if you include the punchy straw): almond milk, mint chip non-dairy frozen dessert (also made with almond milk) and ice.

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your favorite summer treat?

Today: Stormy weather.

It rained buckets in Southie this evening.

Excellent cameo, Clark.

The thunder boomed and the lightning flashed and smoke billowed from the kitchen.  That last bit had nothing to do with the weather (and everything to do with me burning the potatoes), but it heightened the drama, don’t you think?

His and Hers

Crunchy (it’s almost) summer salad

  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and cubed
  • 3-4 slices of Bermuda onion
  • Approx. 1 teaspoon bleu cheese crumbles
  • 1 generous sprinkle of dried cranberries
  • Drizzle with extra light virgin olive oil
  • Season with fresh ground pepper

Speaking of summer, I posted my summer reading list.  Please add your recommendations and reviews! (And before you ask, yes, I am aware I am slightly behind the times on the whole reading Harry Potter thing).

Also On Tap for Today:

What’s your favorite summer-time side?

Today: Get lost.

After the two and a half hours of sleep I LOST last night (get it?), I’m feeling like a holey Dharma Initiative jumpsuit.    I’m worn out.

In case…

  • a) you haven’t yet watched last night’s series finale bonanzarama or
  • b)  if you hear one more thing about that dang show, you’re just going to scream

…I will keep my ramblings on the topic short and sweet.  I went to bed extremely confused, but upon further consideration, I really loved how LOST ended.  I especially appreciated the balance of Jack’s opening and closing eyes at the series start and end.

According to Twitter, last night’s episode brought people to tears.  I believe it, but Stonewall Jackson here did not cry.  I thought about it, though.  Especially when Vincent bobbed and weaved through the bamboo forest one last time.  When I peace it, I hope that, instead of plopping down next to me, Clark embraces his new-found freedom and heads to the nearest Polkadog Bakery and pigs out (on something other than the low-cal treats I insist the chunky monkey eats).

Now that the best show on Earth (besides the Red Sox, and the nightly news with Brian Williams) is no more, I have… welp, even more time on my hands to waste.  With Memorial Day Weekend just days away, I am fully embracing the start of a new season (of life, not television).  Technically summer doesn’t begin until June 21st, but technically, I don’t care.

I am most looking forward to:

  • Our week at the beach in Deleware with friends 🙂
  • Swimming! (I may even sneak in a dip tonight)
  • Races, races, and more races
  • Relaxing at the Cape with the family and the Frenchie
  • Summer reading!

Sure, we grown-ups may not get a summer-long vacation, but we do get to write our own summer reading lists.  And we can sip fruity cocktails.  If we want.

Also On Tap for Today:

What are you most looking forward to this summer?  And if you’re LOST-obsessed too, what will you miss most?