Summer Reading by

featured, To Read — By on July 6, 2012 at 9:08 am

Here at we love to read. When summertime rolls around we seem to increase the pace at which we are checking out books and loading up our Nooks. We’ve come across some great reads and thought we would share them with you.



What I’m reading right now:

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker. I think I came across this book from a friends Facebook Feed. I wasn’t really sure what it was about but she raved about it so I requested it from the library and have had a hard time putting it down since I checked it out.

On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, the environment is thrown into disarray. Yet as she struggles to navigate an ever-shifting landscape, Julia is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life—the fissures in her parents’ marriage, the loss of old friends, the hopeful anguish of first love, the bizarre behavior of her grandfather who, convinced of a government conspiracy, spends his days obsessively cataloging his possessions. As Julia adjusts to the new normal, the slowing inexorably continues.


Just Finished:

The Poison Study Series by Maria Snyder (3 book series: Poison Study, Magic Study and Fire Study) I have recommended these books to everyone I know. I absolutely LOVED this series and devoured the first book in 1 day. The first is the best of the series as the writing declines a bit with each book, but by then I was so hooked on the story I couldn’t get enough. I even read the short stories that go along with the series on the Authors website. If you like the Graceling series, you will love this.

Locked in a coffin-like darkness, there is nothing to distract me from my memories of killing Reyad. He deserved to die—but according to the law, so do I. Here in Ixia, the punishment for murder is death. And now I wait for the hangman’s noose.

But the same law that condemns me may also save me. Ixia’s food taster—chosen to ensure that the Commander’s food is not poisoned—has died. And by law, the next prisoner who is scheduled to be executed—me—must be offered the position.

*Note, there is a spin off on some of these characters in The Glass Series.

Next up on my To Read List:

Heading out to Wonderful by Robert Goolrick. Stumbled upon this while perusing GoodReads, and think it sounds great. Can’t wait to get my hands on it!

“Let me tell you something, son. 
When you’re young, and you head out to wonderful, everything is fresh and bright as a brand-new penny, 
but before you get to wonderful you’re going to have to pass through all right. And when you get to all right, stop and take a good, long look, because that may be as far as you’re ever going to go.”

It is the summer of 1948 when a handsome, charismatic stranger, Charlie Beale, recently back from the war in Europe, shows up in the town of Brownsburg, a sleepy village of a few hundred people, nestled in the Valley of Virginia. All he has with him are two suitcases: one contains his few possessions, including a fine set of butcher knives; the other is full of money. A lot of money.

Finding work at the local butcher shop, Charlie befriends the owner and his family, including the owner’s son, Sam, who he is soon treating as though he were his own flesh and blood. And it is through the shop that Charlie gradually meets all the townsfolk, including Boaty Glass, Brownsburg’s wealthiest citizen, and most significantly, Boaty’s beautiful teenage bride, Sylvan.

This last encounter sets in motion the events that give Goolrick’s powerful tale the stark, emotional impact that thrilled fans of his previous novel, A Reliable Wife. Charlie’s attraction to Sylvan Glass turns first to lust and then to a need to possess her, a need so basic it becomes an all-consuming passion that threatens to destroy everything and everyone in its path. 

Told through the eyes of Sam, now an old man looking back on the events that changed his world forever, Heading Out to Wonderful is a suspenseful masterpiece, a haunting, heart-stopping novel of obsession and love gone terribly wrong in a place where once upon a time such things could happen.


What I’m reading right now:

Still working on book 2 of Game of Thrones. It’s so good but is draining.

Just Finished:

Bringing Up Bebe- a parenting book about French moms. It was right up my alley. It was parenting combined with anthropological observation of the French culture. Their take on everything from eating to structure was intriguing.

When American journalist Pamela Druckerman has a baby in Paris, she doesn’t aspire to become a “French parent.” French parenting isn’t a known thing, like French fashion or French cheese. Even French parents themselves insist they aren’t doing anything special.

Yet, the French children Druckerman knows sleep through the night at two or three months old while those of her American friends take a year or more. French kids eat well-rounded meals that are more likely to include braised leeks than chicken nuggets. And while her American friends spend their visits resolving spats between their kids, her French friends sip coffee while the kids play.

Motherhood itself is a whole different experience in France. There’s no role model, as there is in America, for the harried new mom with no life of her own. French mothers assume that even good parents aren’t at the constant service of their children and that there’s no need to feel guilty about this. They have an easy, calm authority with their kids that Druckerman can only envy.

Of course, French parenting wouldn’t be worth talking about if it produced robotic, joyless children. In fact, French kids are just as boisterous, curious, and creative as Americans. They’re just far better behaved and more in command of themselves. While some American toddlers are getting Mandarin tutors and preliteracy training, French kids are- by design-toddling around and discovering the world at their own pace.

With a notebook stashed in her diaper bag, Druckerman-a former reporter for The Wall Street Journal-sets out to learn the secrets to raising a society of good little sleepers, gourmet eaters, and reasonably relaxed parents. She discovers that French parents are extremely strict about some things and strikingly permissive about others. And she realizes that to be a different kind of parent, you don’t just need a different parenting philosophy. You need a very different view of what a child actually is.

While finding her own firm non, Druckerman discovers that children-including her own-are capable of feats she’d never imagined.

Next Up:

Poison Study because Angie has raved about it! I also have another French parenting book on hold- “French Kids Eat Everything.”

Other notable recommendations:

50 Shades of Grey – Of course. What summer reading list would be complete without this. It’s not good writing and it’s complete smut but sometimes it’s just what we need.

Divergent/Insurgent – If you liked Hunger Games you will most likely enjoy this series.

Gone Girl – We have several friends reading this right now – putting it on our list of “To reads”

The Night Circus – We’re split on this one, several of our friends really liked it, several did not.

So, what say you BirminghamMommy readers.. What should we be adding to our Summer Reading list? We want some recommendations from you!



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