for those who are in or around sane

Wednesday, July 9

june books

there's nothing quite like a lazy summer day, sitting under a tree reading a book. or, in my case, sitting on a beach chair on a patio, rooftop deck or towel on the beach in the sun - soaking up all that vitamin d my body was deprived of during that ridiculously long winter.

forever in blue: the fourth summer of the sisterhood, by ann brashares
the past few summers i've picked up the habit of snagging my mom and sis's copies of the traveling pants series. when they read, books are left laying around the house in well-lit areas, tempting me to crack the cover and indulge for a few hours. occasionally i get to do just that. the past month allowed me to saunter through the 4th and final book in the series. the four girls survive their first year at college and find themselves spread apart for most of the summer - their main connection is the circulation of the pants.

bridget gets into romantic trouble, tibby gets into romantic trouble, lena gets into romantic trouble and carmen becomes an actress. i must ask why carmen gets the shaft when it comes to boys - she's never the one with a crush or pursuer. perhaps that's why she's my favorite character - at least, she's the one i can identify with the most. i love how the girls fight, apologize, support each other, get into antics and open up in their hearts. a pretty good closer to the series.

the house of the spirits, by isabel allende
book club book! this is the first one for my gal club that i suggested. i had a hankering to read some magical realism, and my coworker sara suggested allende's works. i chose this one because it received much critical acclaim and i wanted a good summer-hot-weather story.

allende weaves the history and politics of an unnamed south american country through the lives and loves of three generations of women: clara the clairvoyant, blanca of perseverance, and alba the bold. The most prominent male influence in all three of their lives is clara's husband, the volatile esteban trueba.

i was completely engrossed in this epic tale of love, innocence, prediction and survival amid an alternating world of beauty and atrocity. i worried about this novel becoming a feminist manifesto(a?), but blanca has two brothers and a lover who play a part in the reconciliation of male/female compassion, strength and resolve.

i must say, this would have lent itself to a killer book club discussion, but alas, schedules conflicted and almost no one finished the tome in time. my pull for rooftop margaritas and enchiladas still brought the gals to the door, but our conversation tended toward the chatty/gossip that a bit of tequila will influence. regardless, it was a fabulous choice and i'm happy to share that here.



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