My Summer Reading in Review (2016)

Now that the sun has set on yet another summer, I wanted to take a few minutes to reflect on my summer reading endeavors. As usual I entered the summer with pale skin, a full heart and  intentions of reading six books over 10 weeks.

But then life happened.

I failed to read my intended six books and only read four. But don’t fret the summer wasn’t a complete bust. I did things. I got that tan, finished fourth in my fantasy baseball league, created this website, watched hours of Impractical Jokers and attempted the Ney- Ney.

Here is a quick summer reading recap:

1. July, July (Tim O’Brien)-  I’ll admit I’m a huge O’Brien fan and have enjoyed everything he has written. July ,July detracts a bit from the war-time violence O’Brien dispels in The Things They Carried and In the Lake in the Woods yet J,J still explores O’Brien’s common theme– the haunting nature of the past– yet in a more pedestrian and domestic way.

Favorite Line- “They agreed that human life mostly erased itself the instant it was lived. they agreed , too , that out of their own combined time on earth, which only amounted to more than a century, only a few scant hours survived in memory.”

2.Just Kids (Pattie Smith)-If your  into memoirs or considering writing your own this is a must read. Smith  examines her years as a struggling artist and her relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe in such a vivid and subtle way that at times this book reads like poetry. Smith puts on a clinic on how to effectively  mix sensory imagery and  simple yet haunting sentences.

Favorite Line: “I crave honesty, yet found dishonesty in myself.”

3.The Mysteries of Pittsburgh -(Michael Chabon) – Chabon scares me. His vocabulary is more expansive than mine. His sentences are complex yet polished and his thematic examination of masculine sexual identity takes some testicular fortitude to write about. What I liked most of Mysteries was the unexpected. Maybe I’m naive but I didn’t see the twist coming. And when it happened I had to put the book down few a few days so I could digest. Stylistically and thematically, Mysteries may be  the closest thing to The Catcher in the Rye that I’ve ever read.

Favorite Line: “No doubt all of this is not true remembrance but the ruinous work of nostalgia, which obliterates the past , and no doubt, as usual, I have exaggerated everything.”

4.The Art of Work (Jeff Goins)- I found Jeff Goins on Twitter. I was soon turned on to his website and then to his new book The Art of Work. Goins is a self-help author who in The Art of Work combines amazing stories of average people chasing down their dreams with his own insight and experience.  This book is great for any adult who is looking to get something more out of their life… which, I got to believe that is all of us.

Favorite Line: “Life is too short to do what doesn’t matter, to waste your time on things that don’t amount to much. What we all want is to know our time on earth has meant something.”

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