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, May 30, 2012

What Are YOU Reading This Summer?

Hi Peeps! Happy Summer! I hope everyone had a GREAT Memorial Day weekend - we sure did. We spent the ENTIRE weekend sunning our buns at the pool - reading and enjoying the first of what I hope will be many lazy summer weekends. I am already loading up the Kindle, getting ready for some GREAT summer reads - more on that later. First - as promised - some of Busy Momma's suggestions for some amazing summer reads.... here we go!

My NUMEBR ONE suggestion for the summer is: Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan. I stayed up late to finish it last night and I was so sad when it ended - it was that good. It is the story of 3 generations of an Irish Catholic family who spend their summers in a cottage on the beach in Maine. It's got everything a good beach read should have - family drama, humor, unbearable tradgedy, secrets and of course - lots and lots of hope for the future. It was such a beautiful book, one filled with some unexpected turns and populated by female characters with relatable, cringe-worthy flaws. I could go on and on - but this one is a must read. I give it 5 out of 5 starfish! (I'm really ready for summer - can you tell?)

Another amazing read is: The Sisters by: Nancy Jensen. This one is just terrific. It is the story of 2 sisters, separated by a tragic misunderstanding, destined to live 2 very seperate lives. It speaks to us about the impact our decisions have on our lives and how some decisions, once made, can never be un-made. And how all of our decisions have consequences - some unintended. It is a story of survival against the odds and how life really does "go on". I can promise you this - once you pick it up and become involved in the story of these 2 girls, you won't be able to put it down. You will just have to keep reading - well into the night - to see what becomes of these 2 remarkable sisters. This is another 5 starfish read.

And in keeping with the theme of sisters...try reading The Weird Sisters by Elanor Brown. I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 starfish. This is the story of 3 sisters, raised by their emotionally detached Shakespeare OBSESSED college professor father and their mother - who is suffering from breast cancer. The sisters are all called home to help care for their ailing mother. The story itself is wonderful. These three woman are so different that sometimes it is hard to remember that they are, in fact, related! They are beautifully written, complex characters. Named after 3 of Shakespeare's most complex female characters: Rosalind, Bianca and Cordelia, they call themselves "The Weird Sisters" - a reference to the 3 witches in "The Scottish Play" - Macbeth. The opening line of the book is: "We came home because we were failures." Need I say more? How can you NOT read on? I only gave it 4 out of 5 starfish because there is one thing about this book that annoyed me - and here it is: this family communicates by quoting the Immortal Bard himself. For example - the sisters learned about their mother's illness in a "letter" sent by their father. And by "letter" I mean - the guy copied a page from one of Shakespeare's plays and highlighted the following lines:
Come, let us go; and pray to all the gods/For our beloved mother is in her pains.
This is how they all learned that their beloved mother was in the thoes of breast cancer. And this is how this guy handles EVERY important interaction with his family. While facinating - it gets really irritating - especially as you get to know and really like all three of these women. You just want to chuck the complete works of William Shakespeare at this guy's head and scream "GET A CLUE!" Which is what makes it such a great read I guess - it just pissed me off at times! If you are a fan of the Bard - you'll love it. If you've never read anything of Bill's since high school and didn't really get it then - I might skip this one.

If you have not yet read The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins - get thee to a book store STAT! I know that it is considered Young Adult - but the themes are universal and the story is engrossing. This is another one that you'll be reading by flashlight - I promise. It's got everything ANY reader - male or female - needs. Plenty of action and adventure, surprises that you really can't anticipate, a love triangle - but not a ton of mushy "Twilight"-y drama, political intrigue and real issues that will get you and keep you thinking about the story long after you finish the series.

I have 2 by a GREAT author that you should try on for size this summer. If you like grand, sweeping, epic tales - think Jane Austen or Downton Abbey - only easier and quicker to read - try reading The Forgotten Garden and/or The House at Riverton by Kate Morton. The Forgotten Garden was my favorite of the two- probably my favorite book of the past year. 5 out of 5 starfish! It starts out in the early 20th century with a little girl being told to hide on the docks of London by a woman only introduced to us as "The Authoress" and to await her return. Well - you can imagine what happens as the little girl crouches behind some barrels and becomes intrigued by a group of boys and girls playing on the gangplank and follows them - onto a steamer bound for AUSTRALIA! This is another story that follows 3 generations of women - but it is a mystery. Who is the little girl? Who is the Authoress and how did they find themselves in that position on that particular day? The answers to these questions will truly take your breath away. 5 out of 5 starfish.

For something COMPLETELY different - try World War Z by Max Brooks. OK - hold onto your Pinot Grigios ladies - this one is about a zombie war. (No - PC hasn't hijacked the blog - although he DID suggest the book.) And it is REALLY good. It is actually being adapted into a movie. It is the story of what happens - or what really could happen - to our world if faced with a global crisis. It could be any crisis - nuclear, biological...Max Brooks - yes, son of Mel - chose a zombie apocolypse as his particular allegory. This one is a page turner - I swear. Not too gross, and it gives you cause to think - hmmm - what if????? I'm giving it a 3.5 out of 5 starfish.

And, for one of my tried and true suggestions for the summer - I can always go back to my summer  boyfriend - Mr. Pat Conroy - for a sure-fire, satisfying summer read. I read Beach Music this past year - and man oh man - he did NOT disappoint. It's got everything you'd expect of a Pat Conroy novel...except this one splits its setting between Rome and the beautiful beaches of Sounth Carolina. Every time I read a Pat Conroy novel, I leave it saying: "Oh that one was my favorite". But I think this one just might take the title. It's not a quick read - but you don't want to read Conroy quickly. What a waste that would be. His prose is like poetry. It sings with the life and beauty of South Carolina and in this case, Italy. You can see and smell and taste the story if you take the time. LET YOURSELF take the time!!! This is a great one to pack up and put in the beach bag! 6 out of 5 starfish!

So - what's loaded on the Kindle,you ask, for my summer reading pleasure? Well, my next read is called The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani. This one looks great - the story of 2 young lovers separated by war - this is one of those sagas that carries them across continents, across 2 World Wars and into the most grand and glorious situations one can imagine. I'm DYING to read Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness. It comes out on July 10th I believe and it is the 2nd book in the planned All Souls trilogy. If you read last summer's "What are YOU Reading This Summer?" post - I suggested A Discovery of Witches the first book in the trilogy. While this is a trilogy about witches and vampires - I will justify reading it in 2 ways: 1. this is NOT your daughter's Twilight. It is well written, and a sweeping historical drama and 2. It's the freaking summer and I can read about vampires if I want to! I am in the middle of listening to Defending Jacob by William Landay. If you like courtroom dramas and crime thrillers - this one is for you! It's the story of a DA investigating a murder at his son's elite prep school only to discover that his own son is the #1 suspect. So far - it's intriguing, not formulaic at all and makes me want to stay in the car and drive a bit slower so that I can listen for a few more minutes!I've downloaded The Marriage Plot  by Jeffrey Eugenides because it has received rave reviews and it intrigues me. What the Nanny Saw by Fiona Neil looks good and of course, my other go-to summer author is Elin Hilderbrand so I downloaded The Castaways. If you like Cape Cod - you can NEVER go wrong with a Hilderbrand novel. I read The Island this winter and it was AMAZING. If you've never read her - give her a try. Speaking of Cape Cod, I also think I'm going to try Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead. It is the story of a Cape Cod wedding - told from the perspective of the Father of a very preggo bride-to-be - and all of the drama that promises to unfold! If that doesn't scream summer read - what does??? The Red House by Max Haddon looks interesting,  as does The Dovekeepers  by Alice Hoffman.

I think that's about all I can handle in one summer. So - what about YOU guys? What are YOU reading this summer? I love to hear what everyone else is reading...so share! Inquiring minds want to know!

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