Wow! July went by in the blink of an eye! I missed you all! I tried to keep up with reading blogs, but didn’t do great with that. But, I’m back! I’ll be blogging regularly again and that means I’ll be reading blogs regularly again! Being away for a break felt good, but I also felt a little isolated, too!
So, what non-children’s books did I manage to read in July?
Loving-Kindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness by Sharon Salzberg
An amazing book about the practice of loving-kindness and Buddhist thought and spirituality. I’ve been reading a lot of books on mindfulness, meditation, and Zen over the last 6 months or so and this one is one of my favorites. Sharon Salzberg comes across as approachable and human, and the stories she shares makes integrating loving-kindness into my life feel do-able.
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
A story involving a birthday party in a South American town for a Japanese businessman, a famous opera singer, terrorists and a hostage situation. AMAZING! Ann Patchett has made her way onto my all time favorite author list. Her writing is fluid and beautiful, and the story she paints captured my attention fully. I did not want this book to end! I now want to make my way through all her novels!
Nine Horses by Billy Collins
One of my favorite modern-day poets, Billy Collins, Poet Laureate, doesn’t disappoint in this collection of poetry. My favorite collection of his continues to be Sailing Alone Around A Room.
Happiness Is an Inside Job: Practicing for a Joyful Life by Sylvia Boorstein
A good read about mindfulness and meditation and happiness. Great follow up to Sharon Salzberg’s book! (I believe Sylvia was a student of Sharon Salzberg’s.) I hope to hear Sylvia Boorstein speak in person someday soon since I live close to Spirit Rock.
Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story by Dame Daphne Sheldrick
I have a degree in zoology and worked for years as an education curator at a zoo. I also worked as a keeper’s aide during an internship and volunteered as a raptor rehabilitator in college. I also love elephants. So, when I saw this book reviewed in the New York Times, I went out and bought it the same day. The memoir of Daphne Sheldrick, a British citizen born in Kenya. She and her family were pioneers and her life was absolutely fascinating – the hardships and the joys, the love of her life, her family, and the many animals she and her husband and their staff raised and cared for! It was after reading this book that I decided I wanted to go on safari in Africa and also visit her elephant orphanage – some day. I’m hoping to foster an orphan later this year!
Paris My Sweet by Amy Thomas
I love New York, I love Paris, I love sweets! I came across Amy Thomas’ memoir at a bookstore and knew I had to read it when I saw what it was about. New Yorker, writer, sweets-lover, and ad exec Amy Thomas is offered an opportunity to leave her beloved New York for equally beloved Paris. What follows is her experience while adjusting to a foreign city (something I’ve had experience with as an expat in Mexico City and Shanghai) and her exploration of Parisian sweets, along with comparisons to New York sweets. This book made me drool!
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
I’m almost finished reading this fantastic book. It confirms to me that Ann Patchett definitely belongs on my favorite authors of all time list (which includes Barbara Kingsolver). Former doctor turned research scientist for a pharmaceutical company, Dr. Marina Singh, is sent from her comfortable lab and home in MN to the wilds of a Brazilian rainforest to follow up on research being done by her former mentor and teacher. Marina is the second person the company sends, the first being her colleague who died while in Brazil. Ann Patchett’s writing is superb, lush, and mesmerizing!
What have you been reading this summer?
Come back for more Buzz on great children’s and teen books. I have some fab authors lined up for interviews! And yes, more give-aways!