These are my feet on Labor Day. I had just dropped my daughter off at the pool so that my little fish could get in a couple more hours of swimming with her Daddy. It was the last day of the season for the pool. Her brothers were tired of swimming and at home device-ing. I opted to go home and do laundry and life stuff rather than sit in the sun and feel the sadness of summer being over. This past one was the first summer in nine years when I had three capable swimmers and dared to do some reading poolside (while also sneaking glances at my peeps, obviously). It was glorious. I can't face an exhaustive overview of my summer reading, but I happened to read four books I loved in the last few weeks of summer. I'm linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy to share Quick Lit reviews of my last breath of summer reading.
Cara Nicoletti is a hip twentysomething Brooklyn butcher, baker, blogger, and author of Voracious: A Hungry Reader Cooks Her Way through Great Books. I'm a forty year-old suburban mom of three, room mom, cub scout coordinator, and children's church leader. And yet, I feel like Nicoletti and I are kindred spirits. I too am a hungry reader. Our taste in books is very similar, and I really like how she writes about books and food in an honest, accessible way. Her passion is cooking and baking in ways inspired by her reading. Most of her recipes were beyond what I would attempt at home because I am no longer ambitious in the kitchen and my kids are picky eaters. Yet, I enjoyed reading the recipes and love how she is a voracious reader in all senses of the word. I ordered my own copy of Voracious because I am obsessed with the gorgeous cover, the beautiful illustrations throughout, and the thick paper of its pages.
I am totally cribbing from my GoodReads review here: "I think most readers will give All Together Now three or maybe four stars. Maybe they'll think it's cheesy or kind of lame or too dang sunshine-y at the end. Maybe they are right. All I know is that this book made me happy. It has so many of the threads I love: strangers become friends, community bands together, woman learns her own strength, fresh start in life/career, good guys/girls "win," music is a bridge, and more. Plus, I just cannot resist a British setting. I imagine All Together Now has been (or will be) optioned for film. I can already picture my mom and sisters and I laughing, crying, and singing along. Rolling your eyes? That's fine. Haters gonna hate." Clearly I was in an odd spot when I drafted that one, but I stand by it as a five-star read for me. Find more of my interesting but uneven reviews on GoodReads -- I'm booksandcarbs there.
In one of the blurbs on the back cover of Elisabeth Egan's A Window Opens, J. Courtney Sullivan compares its protagonist, Alice, to Kate Reddy and Bridget Jones.* I didn't connect to Alice quite as much as to those other fictional friends of mine, but I thoroughly enjoyed this story of a wife and mom trying to figure out "what all" she can have and "what all" she wants. The fact that Alice is a reader and book lover and is (sort of) working in the publishing world added to the appeal of this novel for me. Very worthy read!
Gorgeous weather outside these days, but it's back to the real world of to-do lists, volunteer commitments, packing lunches, chauffeuring, and homework supervision. I'll still find and make time to read, but summer is very much over.
*Kate Reddy of Allison Pearson's I Don't Know How She Does It and Bridget Jones, who needs no introduction. Also, check out J. Courtney Sullivan's novels if you haven't: Commencement, Maine, and The Engagements.