I had originally planned to do a post about my summer reading. Because I have been working so hard on Dames, Dishes, and Degrees and just posting about that, the blog about my reading kept getting postponed.
Now it is Fall so I have produced a new plan. I will just tell you about some of the twelve books I read from the end of June until September 19. The book ranges from the ridiculous to the sublime. My brain is often so full of the manuscript and revisions that, in the evening, when I am trying to relax, I want to read unexacting books.
In that vein, I read a Hannah Swensen mystery, Christmas Cake Cupcake Murder by Joanne Fluke. The Hallmark movie series, Murder She Baked is based on the Fluke books.
As you may remember, a while ago, I watched all of Murder She Wrote with Angela Lansbury. There have been almost sixty spinoff novels that the series inspired. I read Skating on Thin Ice by Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain. Obviously, I picked that one because it was about skating.
I also read Maggie’s California Diaries by Ann M Martin. It is about characters from the babysitter’s club series. These three books were all easy reads and there was nothing unpleasant to think about.
I also read several nonfiction books which were ostensibly more serious and maybe more taxing. Three of them – They Called Us Girls; Stories of Female Ambition from Suffrage to Mad Men by Kathleen Courtenay Stone, All Stirred Up: Suffrage Cookbooks, Food and the Battle for Women’s Right to Vote by Laura Kumin and Educated American Women: Self Portraits by Eli Ginzburg and Alice M. Yohalem.
I read these books for insight into how to organize my manuscript into a publishable book. They Called Us Girls and Educated American Women were okay. All Stirred Up was terrible. It was a mishmash of recipes and rehashed history. Reading these three books was not that helpful an exercise, so I have put on hold reading more books for that purpose.
My favorite book from this reading journey was Small Marvels: Stories by Scott Russell Sanders. I loved this book. The writing was particularly good, and the author conveyed the humanity of the characters beautifully. Both funny and sad, Small Marvels shows that ordinary people can do extraordinary things by the relationships they have and what they do for and with the people in their lives. I could have kept reading more about Gordon Mills and his family. I was sorry when it ended.