I cannot tell you how excited I am for the summer! During the hustle and bustle of the school year, I struggle to find the precious time to relish a good book! I am always on the hunt for a great story that will capture my heart and imagination. I peruse the New York Times Book review and pepper my literary friends like Jennifer from Bacon on the Bookshelf and my college bud, Sissy, at Parnassus Bookshop for suggestions. For me, the best stories are redemption stories, with love always thrown into the mix! Following is my “Summer Stack.” Some I have already enjoyed, others will accompany me on my family adventures this summer. My hope is that you will find yourself on a beach or back porch this summer lost in a great story! You can also check out Farrell’s Bookshelf on the Bread and Honey blog for other books that I have loved!
A Gentlemen in Moscow by Amor Towles
Every now and again a book comes along that transports you to a different time and place and with a character that sticks with you long after the final page. In the case of Amor Towle’s, A Gentleman in Moscow, I found myself happily sequestered in the Interpol Hotel in Moscow after the Bolshevik Revolution with a Count. It is so beautifully written, the sentences smooth and transporting.
The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
Last Summer, my mother, mother-in-law and my husband were all enchanted and moved by this work of nonfiction. It has been named the All-school read for my son Charlie’s school. My mom says this is a true story of love, courage and redemption. The author will be coming to Nashville this Fall.
Last Bus to Wisdom by Ivan Doig
Seeing that my family will head West this summer, I thought this well-received final book by the accomplished storyteller, Ivan Doig, must make the list.
Sirius, The Little Dog Who Almost Changed History by Jonathan Crown
Nicki at Parnassus Bookshop says this quirky novel is a fun read! Apparently, a dog named Sirius lives quite an extraordinary life during World War II. First, with a Jewish family of intellectuals in Berlin, then her crosses the Atlantic and wags his tail in Hollywood among the starlets, to somehow finding himself back in Germany at the heel of Hitler. Sounds clever and fun!
A Poet of the Invisible World by Michael Golding
In an interview, when asked the theme of The Poet of the Invisble World, Golding replied, “Life is a journey and love guides the way.” The novel unravels the tale of Nouri, a boy born with four ears, whose life becomes this magical journey of discovery through religion, love, poetry, struggle and redemption. I am excited about this book because it feels like Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman
The Marriage of Opposites is Alice Hoffman’s rendering of the life of the Impressionist painter, Camille Pisaaro. Hoffman knows how to set the mood and draw you into her creative world. Forbidden love, island magic and the birthing of a creative spirit makes for a magic carpet ride! I am a fan of Hoffman’s storytelling!
The Bridal Chair by Gloria Goldreich
The first time I saw Marc Chagall’s painted ceiling at the Palais Garnier in Paris, I knew he was an artist after my own heart. The way Chagall captures the world in all of its magic and mystery, possibilities of hope, love, and redemption feels beautifully transcendent. This past Summer I saw a exposition of his work set to music that was remarkable. Chagall was a Russian Jew who came to Paris to follow his dreams, escaped Hitler’s terror to America, and lived his final days in the south of France. He was a man who loved the color of love! A friend recently recommended this novel told from the perspective of his only daughter Ida. Ida gave her life to her father’s work. I am taking this book with me this summer!
Love Lives Here by Maria Goff
I had the pleasure of hosting a man I truly admire, Bob Goff, the author of Love Does in my home last month. He is this incredibly generous, adventurous, fun-lovng and heroic man. But his better half is Sweet Maria and she has just written her own book, Love Lives Here, which speaks to how we can create meaningful and whimsical lives focused on the things that matter. I have a feeling Maria will point us in the right direction of how we can better live this one beautiful life God destined for each of us.
Happy Summer Reading!