Welcome to One Busy Momma! The Blog for Busy Moms by one Busy Mom.....

Welcome to my blog. One Busy Momma is my space to rant about my life and the things that happen in it. I have a crazy life - and instead of focusing on the crazy - I like to focus on the funny. Because if I focused on the craziness - well, I'd have been shipped off to an institution long, long ago. And while, I'll admit, there are some days when being institutionalized sounds PRETTY GOOD compared to making ANOTHER diorama at 1am - I'd rather be right where I am - in my messy house with my not so perfect kids making crooked dioramas in the middle of the night.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

So - What are YOU Reading this Summer?

God,  I love Summer. Even though I can do without the heat and humidity Maryland has to offer, I really do love those "lazy" summer days. I am enjoying a week of having nothing to do and no where to go. Granted, I am half way through that week...but I'm enjoying it! I love sitting by the pool, soaking up the sun and getting my read on. So far, I've managed to read one book and I started another.

Yup - I LOVE summer reading! I feel like there is so much more time for "fun" reading in the summer - don't you? Now, I do realize that I am a total dork. But, I embrace my inner literary chick! I have always read my summers away. In fact, the ladies at our local library used to warn me that I'd better slow down because if I wasn't careful I'd "read every book in the library and run out of new books to read!" Now, while THAT never happened - I have read quite a few books over the past 30 or so years. Some good, some not-so-good and some REALLY great. So, I thought I'd share some of Busy Momma's favorite titles in case you might be looking for a great summer read.

I am the type of reader who enjoys getting completely immersed in a book. So immersed in fact, that my children tease me that they know I've found a really great book if they have to remind me to do things like feed and water them. So, in the interest of time, I am only listing  a few of those books that have captured my whole heart, soul and imagination and swept me away into a world of the author's creation. My hope is that some of you will respond to this post by letting me in on a few of YOUR favorite summer reads.  So, without any further ado...away we go...

I have to start with the book I just finished: A Discovery of Witches by Deborah E. Harkness. It was terrific. It kept me up until late in the night, quickly turning pages to find out what would happen next. It was well written, and although it is about witches and vampires - it is no Tween Lit book. The main character is a professor who is doing research about alchemy and ancient alchemy manuscripts. She also happens to be a witch, descended from a long line of famous witches. Her world changes when she is able to summon an ancient, bewitched manuscript that has been "lost" for thousands of years. She meets a mysterious vampire who takes an intense interest in her - but is he really in love with her or with what her powers and the bewitched manuscript might be able to do for him and his fellow vampires?

If you are looking to get swept away in a story that takes place in a beautiful city, introduces you to amazing characters and keeps you up until the wee hours of the morning - then you'll want to read South of Broad by Pat Conroy.
Pat Conroy is one of those authors who can just pick you up and deposit you in another time and place. His descriptions of South Carolina are so beautiful, you will swear you can smell the salt marshes as you are reading. He is a master of the written word. He creates characters that will never leave you and stories that you will continue to think about long after you finish reading them. South of Broad is one of those stories.

Another favorite of mine is Fortune's Rocks by Anita Shreve. You might be familiar with Shreve's work if you read The Pilot's Wife. Shreve actually wrote four books about the same house and it's occupants at different points in time- Fortune's Rocks is the first in this quartet. The heroine is a 16 year old girl whose life and the world she lives in is about to change as the twentieth century dawns. It is an unforgettable story about how life can take unpredicatable turns and how even the least likely among us can triumph over seemingly unsurmountable obstacles.

Looking for a classic? Maybe something you were supposed to read  in high school - but read the CliffNotes instead? I spent a few days last summer reading Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert , and I LOVED it!  Now - hear me out...while it's not a quick and easy read - it's really not that difficult. Not NEARLY as challenging as Jane Austen. AND it has EVERYTHING you'd want in a summer read - first love, love lost, disappointment, regret, infidelity, death, poison, betrayal and good, old-fashioned bodice ripping! I dare you to pick it up. If you do - you'll be hooked. I promise!

Another classic that I somehow managed to miss is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Last year was the 50th anniversary of this classic tale - so I decided to give it a try. The only regret I have about reading this book last summer is that I didn't read it earlier! It is such a great coming of age/end-of-innocence story. It should be required reading for every middle schooler on the planet!

Many of you might be familiar with Sara's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. If you haven't read it - it is really a must. I'll warn you - it is NOT the "feel good" book of your summer - but it is one of those stories that you'll never forget. It is the story of an American writer who finds herself in Paris writing an article about the 1942 Paris round-ups and deportations when thousands of French Jews were arrested, held against their will and deported to Aushwitz. Her research leads her to a story involving a little girl, her brother and a key that changes all of their lives forever.

If you're a crafty gal, or even if you're not - you might want to try The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs. This is a quick and easy read that will suck you in from the get-go and leave you wanting more of the ladies from Walker and Daughter - a lovely little knitting shop in New York City. In fact...it just might inspire you to take up a new hobby!

And, finally - if you need a good laugh - pick up Bossy Pants by Tina Fey. If you can - download this one on your IPod so that you can hear Tina Fey read her own words. This one was so funny, I laughed until I cried. And I mean LAUGHED - you know - the "I'm laughing so hard I peed myself a little bit" laughing that only Tina Fey can provoke. So if you DO download it - stop by the CVS and get a box of Poise pads...you're gonna need them.

There are SO many other great books that have touched my heart: The Help by Kathryn Stockett, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, My Sister's Keeper and Nineteen Minutes by the amazing Jodi Picoult, Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand and anything that Jennifer Weirner has ever written - but especially Good in Bed and it's sequel Certain Girls. If you are one of the 14 people left on the planet who has NOT read The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo trilogy...get thee to a book store - STAT! And of course the entire Harry Potter series is a must read as well. ( I predict that Potter will become a cultural literacy classic - a book that has become so beloved, so universally read that anyone unfamiliar with the series might just be seen as being culturally 'illiterate.)   I'm sure when I hit "publish" on this post 15 more amazing books will pop into my head and I will be kicking myself over not listing them!

Last but not least - here is my reading list for the rest of the summer. While I don't know if I will get through them all by the end of the summer...fall is just around the corner - and I just love curling up with a hot cup of tea and a good book on a crisp, autumn afternoon....

The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy; Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz; One Summer by David Baldacci, Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner, The Last Letter From Your Lover by JoJo Motes; Silver Girl by Elin Hildenbrand, The Distant Hours by Kate Morton, Rescue by Anita Shreve, What Alice forgot by Liane Moriarity and The Very Thought of You by: Rosie Alison.

So - now you know what I'm reading this summer - what about YOU????


  1. Just completed the City of Ember, interesting. Next up J. Robert King Angel of Death. Then....a few others. Love summer reading!! XO Enjoy. Thanks for the list!

  2. Jenni_Is "City of Ember" worth it? Isn't that a Children's Lit piece? I'm thinking that it won something...

  3. House Rules - Jodi Piccolt - saw it coming but didn't know why until the end

  4. have you read the books I gave you at Lane Christmas yet?

    Last summer I read Elin Hilderbrand's The Island! That was really good. Haven't really picked anything up yet this summer...

  5. Hey Leenie - I haven;t read them yet. I'm letting Ktie read them as her summer reading free picks. She seems to be enjoying them!

  6. OMG - that was one of my FAVORITES! K - you will LOVE it!