The Dog Days of Summertime!


I can't ever approach summer without this song playing through my head, or without getting serious about my summer reading lists.

Especially right now, during the Dog Days of Summer.  Interestingly this year, I caught some of my home family doing the same.

Maggie reading Alexander McCall Smith picture by Zoie Young

It's just too hot to do anything else!  Maggie is our Golden.  I guess that is why I am not surprised to find her with the Alexander McCall Smith book that I checked out from the library (Don't worry, she has perfect library book etiquette.  Maggie wouldn't dream of hurting anything, especially a library book.  We'll return it in tip top condition when we are done reading):

Trains and Lovers
I guess I will have to wait my turn, but am gratified to see that it is so absorbing.  I can't review it since I haven't read it, but suffice it to say that the book is basically conversations on a train, something that also reminds me of summertime!

What are you going to settle down to when it is too hot to do anything else?  I've talked it over with Maggie, and here are some suggestions:

1.  A Good Cry Book

You MUST read a good cry book every summer.  And watch a good cry movie.  It is a cleansing ritual that women and girls understand.  As luck will have it, this not to be missed book about some star crossed teen lovers by John Green will be a movie soon.  I loved this book featuring the spot on perfect teen voice of Hazel and her handsome beau Augustus.  This book shows that:  1) teen books aren't just about vampires or dystopian societies; 2) teens are so smart and so lovable; 3) cancer sucks and 4) love always prevails, love is always the greatest of these.  Oh yeah, and it proves that The Fault lies not In Our Stars, so take that Shakespear!  Buy the book, read the book, and give it to all the girls in your life.

The Fault in Our StarsThe Fault in Our Stars by John Green

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Maggie and I love this book so much, that we decided to post you a You Tube reading of the First Chapter by the author.  Enjoy!!

Here are some favorite quotes from the book:

 "As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”     

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”

 Yes, this is one of those books.

Ok, moving on to what else you should read during the Dog Days of Summer:

2.  A Good Book About Family 


3.  A Good Book Story About Something Important that You Should Have Thought About Before but Didn't!

Lucky for you, there is a great book out that takes care of both of these. And I just caught a glimpse of this on the Paris Public Library shelves!! (Someone run go check it out, it SHOULD NOT BE ON THE SHELF!!  And, by the way, The Woman Upstairs is in my audio queue, I hear it is great!  It should not be on the shelf either.)

We Are All Completely Beside OurselvesWe Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book hooked me and delivered.   It made me laugh, cry, and think.  It taught me something new and changed my mind about some issues.  It reminded me.  It gave me hope.  It made me wonder why I hadn't ever given a second thought to this subject.

Fern and Rosemary are two sisters who are separated.  As sister separations tend to do, this act unhinged the family, but there is hope for a brighter tomorrow.   Here is the publisher's summary on Goodreads:

Meet the Cooke family: Mother and Dad, brother Lowell, sister Fern, and our narrator, Rosemary, who begins her story in the middle. She has her reasons. “I spent the first eighteen years of my life defined by this one fact: that I was raised with a chimpanzee,” she tells us. “It’s never going to be the first thing I share with someone. I tell you Fern was a chimp and already you aren’t thinking of her as my sister. But until Fern’s expulsion, I’d scarcely known a moment alone. She was my twin, my funhouse mirror, my whirlwind other half, and I loved her as a sister.”

Rosemary was not yet six when Fern was removed. Over the years, she’s managed to block a lot of memories. She’s smart, vulnerable, innocent, and culpable. With some guile, she guides us through the darkness, penetrating secrets and unearthing memories, leading us deeper into the mystery she has dangled before us from the start. Stripping off the protective masks that have hidden truths too painful to acknowledge, in the end, “Rosemary” truly is for remembrance.

And since I found John Green reading his First Chapter, I thought I would also post  Karen Joy Fowler reading Chapter 1

I'm having a bit of trouble with this You Tube video, so click on the highlighted link above if it isn't working below.  I do have to say this, as an explanation:  the book doesn't start where you think it will, BUT it is a brilliant drop into our narrator's life that gives you a perfect picture of how her childhood shaped her.  Just keep that in mind.

Maggie says it's time to rest a bit, so we'll post more Dog Days Lists soon (yes, of Course we have more!!!).  In the meantime, we are wondering:  what makes your list??


Unknown said…
The Fault in Our Stars has been on my "to-read list" for far too long, after reading this review, I am pushing it to the top!!
Sydney Young said…
Sorry for the delay in response, we went to a heavenly spot on vacation where I had no internet access. You are going to just love it!!

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