This summer one of my favorite places to take Hudson on a super hot day was the library. Free, free, free, love it, love it, love it! I'm pretty sure we've checked out and read every single board book at our local branch. The summer reading program awards kids a free book once they've read (or had read to them) 15 books. We breezed through it and now we have a cute little record of some of the books we enjoyed during Hudson's first summer.
In addition to Hudson's favorites Ten Rubber Duckies and Curious George, I was able to read some really great and really awful grown-up books as well...
1. If Walls Could Talk: The History of the Home by Lucy Worsley
If you love history you will LOVE this book! This was hands down my favorite summer read and I was fascinated from the first page to the last; Worsley makes the history of the bathroom, living room, bedroom and kitchen entertaining and funny. I actually laughed out loud and was often pausing to say to Mr. Brady, "did you know that___insert some interesting tid-bit about toilets or prostitutes here____?" This was a fabulous book and I can't wait to read Worsley's other books: Courtiers and Cavalier.
2. The Hours by Michael Cunningham
Oh wow! I own the movie The Hours (one of my very faves) and have wanted to read the book for years...lets just say my high expectations for this book were absolutely exceeded...did I mention this book won the Pulitzer Prize? Being the quote junkie I am, I usually underline quotes that I want to return to in books, but because this was a library book, I restrained and turned down corners instead...when I was finished half the book was dogeared. Loved it!
3. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
I read this book in high school but I cared more about boys than literature at age 16...I appreciated it so much more this go around for 3 reasons. Twain had me laughing, reminiscing my own childhood, and imagining what Hudson will be like as he gets older.
4. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
I realized this summer that I had never read anything by Oscar Wilde and decided it was time to do something about it! This play was short, funny and sweet. Loved, loved it!
5. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
I'm actually a little embarrassed to say that I enjoyed this book. I didn't LOVE it, but I really liked it...especially the Eat and Pray chapters. What surprised me the most about this book was the fact that I could relate to Liz in her desire to find spirituality. After reading this book and deciding I need to do something to calm my own monkey mind, I start a meditation class in October.
6. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The overall message of this book is...follow your heart and dreams and what is meant to be will be...this book was dreadfully repetitive and condescending. Had it not been such a quick read I wouldn't have finished it...didn't like it!
7. Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
I should have heeded LeVar Burton's advise and not judged this book by it's cover...I had NO idea what it was about, but figured it was pretty, pink, and iconic so there must be something pretty special about it. The only thing is I couldn't make it past the first 50 pages of boring-ness...
8. Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James
I've read some awful books in my time, but this takes the prize as THE WORST book I have everrrrr read! I read it because I had to know what all the fuss was about...I was told it would make me feel empowered and sexy. But I ended up feeling sick, embarrassed and insulted. Insulted because I felt the author was shoving down my throat what she believes women want stirring up some anger for being labelled this way. According to this book, females want and should want...
Men who are very rich.
Men who are very powerful to the point of being controlling in their personal relationships.
Men who have private jets and penthouses.
Men who have never committed themselves to women before.
Men who are "bad boys" with issues.
Men we normal women would usually never be worthy of because we are not rich, skinny, blonde, nor well dressed.
The author made it clear that every woman's fantasy is to be THE ONE to change these men...mysteriously attract them, soften them, change their bad-boy ways, make them fall head over heels and eventually commit...whilst being spoiled with gifts like expensive computers and new cars; the woman's self respect and self esteem being built by the unexpected attention and praise of this MAN.
I CRINGED so often during this book...with the repetition of certain words such as "punish" and "down there". I could go on and on about my hatred for this book...but I have more Oscar Wilde waiting for me on my bedside table...Happy reading!