29 July 2012

what are you reading these days?

Summertime is peak reading time for me. I love it all,  chick lit reads for the beach, epic tomes to make travel times pass quickly, and riveting novels for an afternoon inside during a summer rainstorm.  What are you thumbing through these days? 

My most recent reads, with a few additions from Clover of course, from top to bottom are:

1. Big Dog and Little Dog. Clover likes to have us read this book at least 6 times in a row every time we open it. It's hard to resist his little voice asking, "Encore?" as we turn the last page.

It's a Book. Another current favorite of Clover's. Very cute. Has the word "no" on every other page.  As you might imagine, it's a huge hit with the toddler crowd.

3. Ma Vie pour un Oscar. Rated a great beach read by Elle magazine, I rate it a mediocre beach read.  It's the fictional, very thinly veiled adaptation of the author's life as the assistant to an unnamed Hollywood star.  The magic of google confirms that it is in fact, John Cusack, her former boss.  The star-system narcissism is strong, inescapable and the sole premise of the book it seems. It's a good read for putting the glitz and glamour of Hollywood into a more sad and solitary perspective.

4. Le Nœud en Huit, a great, quick read. The fictional story of guides that were hired to help nazi soldiers fleeing the country after the war and the lives that were shattered by the experience.  It takes place in the Alps, Saint Gervais even, before embarking to warmer climates. Written by a local mountain guide. Always fun to read something set locally.

5. She Walks in Beauty. A selection of poetry on marriage and motherhood curated by Caroline Kennedy. This was a gift from  my mom a while ago.  I pick this up often. It has some really great poems that speak straight to my heart.

6. The Brain That Changes Itself.  Not my typical beach read but so, so interesting. As someone previously unaware of the studies in neuroplasticity, I found the subject fascinating.  There is case after case of the brain's incredible capacity to heal and adapt. Mindblowing, in the best possible way.

7. Bringing Up Bébé. An American journalist in Paris (self-described as a reluctant expatriate)  presents the differences of raising a child in France rather than the United States. This book raised quite a bit of controversy in the USA.  I found it to be written with a lot of humility. It was an interesting comparison of the cultural differences in child-rearing between the two countries.   For me it feels like a bit of a cheat sheet of the expectations for raising a child in France. A well-researched handbook for things that I would have had to learn by trial and embarassing error on my own here.  She does make a few sweeping generalizations that I don't exactly agree with,  but that seems unavoidable in a book like this.  Like all parenting books I think it's important to pick and choose what works for one's family without feeling any pressure to implement everything exactly to the letter.

So, please spill your favorite titles in the comments! What are you reading these days? 

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