Thursday, August 14, 2014

My Summer reads ~~~~~~

What are you reading?

I'm half way through an incredible book - definitely not pretty - in fact a very painful story to read.

behind the beautiful forevers
by Pulitzer Prize winner Katherine Boo

If you've traveled to India, especially Mumbai,
you will want to read this story. 
Although I did see some disturbing sights around the city,
this book opened my eyes to what I didn't see when visiting 
there a couple of years ago.

"This book is both a tour de force of social justice, 
reportage and a literary masterpiece."
_____Judges Citation for the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award

"Reported like Watergate, written like Great Expectations, 
and handily the best international nonfiction in years."

"There are books that change the way you feel and see: 
this is one of them."
______Adrian Nicole Leblanc

"Pure, astonishing reportage. . .
an unforgettable TRUE story, meticulously researched 
with unblinking honesty."
______The Christian Science Monitor

"Extraordinary. . .moving. . .Like the best journeys, Boo's
book cracks open our preconceptions and constructs an
abiding bridge - at once daunting and inspiring - to a world we 
would never otherwise recognize as our own." 
______National Geographic Traveler

If you would like to have this book, leave me a comment in this post only.  I'll draw 
a winner next weekend then mail it to you as soon as I've finished reading it.


Do you read short stories?

I like to keep this type of book nearby when traveling-----here, there, everywhere; but specifically for times when waiting for appointments, flight departures, a coffee break alone with nobody to chat with. . .moments in time that needn't be wasted by just waiting for something.

My current book of short stories is extraordinary and by a wonderful writer.

Brief Encounters with Che Guevara
by Ben Fountain

I was directed to this book when in Mr. B's Bookshop 
in Bath, England. Knowing nothing about this Dallas
author - acclaimed and awarded for his first novel, 
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (which I've yet to read)-
I took a chance and purchased it.
These are amazing short stories.

"Exceptional. . .Each of these eight stories is as rich 
as a novel. . .heartbreaking." 


Waiting to be enjoyed again - 

- one of those all time favorites we each have - and I'm anxious to pick up my copy for what has to be the fourth time. Of course I've watched the incredible movie even more times. 

Out of Africa
by Isak Dinesen

My old, much-loved copy was printed in 1965. It's a bit 
dog-eared and stained inside from a folded 1992 
newspaper article. It details Karen Blixen's
(she wrote under the pen name Isak Dinesen)final refuge 
in her childhood home in Rungstedlund in the northern 
suburbs of Copenhagen, Denmark. 
She lived there the last 31 years of her life - it's 
where she wrote this book about her heartbreaking years on 
her coffee farm in Kenya.
If only I'd had time I would have visited Rungstedland, 
now a museum, in June when in Copenhagen.
Meanwhile, a journey in the not too distant future has once 
again put this wonderful story on my book list.


  1. I would be interested in reading the Out of Africa book sometime. I remember the movie and the beautiful photography in it! I think I would pass on the other books. I've been reading some wry mysteries lately. Gosh, I love my Kindle!

  2. I would love to read Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo!!
    I just finished a book that you may enjoy called A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley; it's about a 5 year old Indian boy who becomes lost in Calcutta, adopted by a family in Australia, and 25 years later returns to India to find his family!! A true story!! Thanks! Jeanne from Ohio

    1. Sunday - Hi Jeanne in Ohio!
      I looked up that book you read - sounds interesting. They made it into a movie some years ago but it doesn't appear to be available on Netflix unfortunately.
      You win the book Jeanne so please get in touch and share your mailing address - my e-mail address is in my profile.
      Look forward to hearing from you - Mary

  3. Oh a new journey, now I am curious. I would love reading Out of Africa, the movie is still one I remember so well.
    The book from INdia sounds a bit heavy for me right now. I am reading a book by Susan Wiggs, a light author with
    a bit of romance when I need something light. Then I must pick up some tea history books and study up for the class
    I am teaching in October. Books are never too far away and short stories are wonderful for travel.

  4. Mary...I'm so sorry I have been remiss. Maybe I just owe you an email, but I was really delighted to catch up on your last few posts. As always, I have that jaw dropping experience when I see your pictures of those large "cats"! Truly awesome and fascinating, but knowing your proximity to them, even with a zoom lens, just sends shivers up my spine!!

    I also want to thank your for taking the time to do the little tour where we wrote about how we started blogging, etc. I don't like to put people on the spot with that sort of thing and you were very nice and wrote a wonderful post as I knew you would. I started to leave a comment a few days after you wrote it and my internet just kept disconnecting. Major overhaul coming...for now I get a better connection in the family room.

    I've always been a fan of short stories. I'm somewhat sad when one ends but then become absorbed in the next! I can't remember the last one I particular author stands out in my head.

    Hope all is well. The fig galatte looks scrumptious! I think I've mentioned before that I've never had a fig. I look at them in the grocery and my mind draws a blank as how to prepare them. Maybe I have bad memories of the Fig Newtons my mother tried to offer us!! ;-)

    Love to you!


  5. I normally only seem to read during the summer months. While in Durango, I picked up a few. My son made fun of me for reading The Fault With Our Stars because he said it was teenage girls, but I knew all sorts of people who were reading it so thought why not? Plus it was a movie, which I never did get to see. The book was easy to read and relate to, and made me cry. So I give it a thumbs up. Haven't gotten to the other books I bought and I have a stack about 4 feet high stuck between the cupboard and the wall in my bedroom ... must get to those at some point. :) I take crochet with me when I need something to do while waiting. Doesn't take as much concentration and if I get interrupted mid-stitch, doesn't matter. :) Have a fabulous Friday. Tammy

  6. Thank you for the recommendations, Mary. I will have to think about the first, as I have just finished a very hard read - my sister's third novel, out in September. One dark and difficult book is all I can manage with all that's going on here!
    Several years ago I fulfilled a long-held desire and visited Karen Blixen's Rungstedland. I hope you get there someday.
    I have been collecting and reading the mysteries of Ann Cleeves - I think you might like them too!


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