Friday, May 28, 2010

My Summer Reading List 2010

With Memorial Day weekend ahead of us, I wanted to share a list of a few books I intend to check out this summer, either in book or audio form. The summaries are adapted from Goodreads. Feel free to share your comments if you have suggestions or have read any of these! What's on your reading list?

Sister of My Heart: Set in Calcutta, this novel follows two "sisters", beautiful Sudha and passionate Anju, bonded together by love yet torn apart by a family secret. This one was recommended by a dear friend and I am already reveling in the author’s gorgeously lyrical prose.

School of Essential Ingredients: Highly rated by a fellow foodie on Goodreads, the plot of this novel is set up as follows: "Once a month on Monday night, eight students gather in Lillian's restaurant for a cooking class... Over time, the paths of the students mingle and intertwine, and the essence of Lillian's cooking expands beyond the restaurant and into the secret corners of their lives, with results that are often unexpected, and always delicious." Sounds delightful!

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie: Murder mystery set in Britain, anyone? "In his wickedly brilliant first novel, Debut Dagger Award winner Alan Bradley introduces one of the most singular and engaging heroines in recent fiction: eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, an aspiring chemist with a passion for poison. It is the summer of 1950—and a series of inexplicable events has struck Buckshaw, the decaying English mansion that Flavia’s family calls home..."

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: Or how about a trip to a hot, steamy Southern city? "John Berendt's Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil has been heralded as a "lyrical work of nonfiction," and the book's extremely graceful prose depictions of some of Savannah, Georgia's most colorful eccentrics... "

Prodigal Summer: I recently found a copy of this one at Goodwill. It seems to be the sort of literature that asks to be read in the seasonally appropriate period. I haven’t read anything by her since Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, but I’m excited to revisit this author. "Barbara Kingsolver's fifth novel is a hymn to wildness that celebrates the prodigal spirit of human nature, and of nature itself. It weaves together three stories of human love within a larger tapestry of lives amid the mountains and farms of southern Appalachia. Over the course of one humid summer, this novel's intriguing protagonists face disparate predicaments but find connections to one another and to the flora and fauna with which they necessarily share a place."

Madame Bovary: I need to read another great work this summer, as my goal was to read three this year. This classic French novel sounds a lot like Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, which I found very interesting in school. Furthermore, it's so famous that I feel obligated to see what all the fuss is about. "One precious quality distinguishes Flaubert from the more or less exact observers who pride themselves on conscientiously reproducing reality, and nothing but reality: he has style." --Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve


  1. The only one I've read is The Sweetness at the Bottom of the pie (as in I just returned it to the library a couple of days ago). And I totally loved it. Very fun and makes you absolutely adore the main character, Flavia.

  2. That reminds me I should compile mine. I have always wanted to read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil but now I really think I might. Book club anyone?


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