Summer reading list

Books I read this summer (and recommend)

For the preservationist you: The Last Days of Old Beijing: Life in the Vanishing Backstreets of a CIty Transformed by Michael Meyer

For the adventurous youthful side: Undress Me In the Temple Of Heaven: A Memoir by Susan Jane Gilman

For an all-out laugh (and very breezy, quick read): Laughing Without an Accent: Adventures of an Iranian American at Home and Abroad by Firoozeh Dumas

Your source of comedic relief on everything from unsolicited "help" on being a mom, to the old men's Christmas event at the YMCA (oh yeah, and a disastrous honeymoon on a cruise ship...): Bossypants by Tina Fey

For when you need to be reminded, we all start somewhere: On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

OK, everyone's read it. Darn it, it's SO good. Read it again: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

For the kid (and really, the adult) in you: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (yes, again)

For the crime thriller fix: The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson 

For adventure in the Brazilian Amazon, complex moral dilemmas, and mystery: State of Wonder by Anne Patchett


Books that I was enjoying, alas, did not finish (but still recommend!)

For a thoughtful analysis, crafted beautifully, on your missing father figure: Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama

For your do-gooder, "I want to change the world now" mood: It Happened On the Way to War: A Marine's Path to Peace by Rye Barcott


Books I read that were, eh...

Mostly trite gender analysis, of all our "little princesses": Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture by Peggy Orenstein

For when you want to hear a talented writer talk about his crippling childhood fear of Jesus, and his hatred of Fidel Castro: Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy by Carlos Eire