Sunday, July 5, 2009

Beach Reads and Libraries

This is one of those moments where I wish that our blog was on LiveJournal so I could have that little icon at the top that would state my mood. Because, you know what? I'm crabby. I'm antsy. I'm sick of refreshing my freaking e-mail and we all know how I feel about Sunday nights.

In short, I'm really not someone you want to be hanging out with right now.

So far I've been staving off the depression/insanity by reading. I've flown through the stack of books that I checked out from the library a few weeks ago including: The Gemma Doyle Trilogy (awesome), The first two books in Diana Peterfreund's Secret Society Girl series (entertaining), The Late, Lamented Molly Marx (flawed) and now I've started The Time Traveler's Wife.

The thing about The Time Traveler's Wife is that Laura has been begging me to read it for years and I just can't work up the enthusiasm. I'm a few chapters in and I'm already annoyed. If there is a plot, I hope it shows itself quickly because just having this dude who flips back and forth in time naked and talks to himself and his future wife when she's 6 is not entertaining. At all. And it sort of gives me a headache. Laura is going to be so pissed when she reads this. The only thing that pisses her off more is when I rip on The Red Tent.

So, please, please, please leave me some good book recommendations in the comments. I'm looking for summer books. Nothing too serious, but highly entertaining. I'd really love to be reading South of Broad by Pat Conroy or Roses by Leila Meacham. For some reason I'm craving a sweeping family saga. Maybe it's the lack of quality dramatic TV in the summer months. Oh, and it can't be anything too new because I'm going to have to check it out from the library. This purchase and my need for a laptop has trumped my bookstore budget for the time being.

And speaking of libraries, one of the truly amazing things about Cleveland is our library system. It's amazing! I can order books on-line and they'll be on a little shelf right next to the self-checkout waiting for me within a day or two. Not to mention all of the classes, story hours and services they have available to members of our community.

Every time I walk into the library my chest gets a little tight. Free books! I realize this makes me a huge nerd, but the library has got to be one of my favorite places on earth. It's just so comforting knowing that no matter how awful life gets, you'll always have the library and books and librarians; a place to get lost for a few hours.

Unfortunately, our library system is in danger of losing funding, so if you have a minute, take a second and send an e-mail to one of our senators and tell them to fight for our books!


Grey Street Girl said...

You know, I didn't quite like the Time Traveler's Wife. I finished it, but I got a little irritated with it too. I gave it 2/5 stars on Goodreads - I just checked.

My favorite books seem to be mostly memoirs. So, that doesn't match up to what you've requested for recommendations, but have you read any of David Sedaris' books? Or, have you read Eat, Pray, Love? Any of those are great summer reads, I think.

Good luck on finding something fun!

Fennimore said...

I thought I saw someone else blog about the Time Traveler's Wife. If anyone can refresh me on who did I'd appreciate it.

You might want to try the Quantum Prophecy (Born to be Hero's) books.

We used to believe in libraries, When we first got married. But now our book collection has trippled in a short 8 years. I hate to see it when we make it into our 90's.


Kimberly Derting said...

What about The Other Boleyn Girl or something really old and smutty like The Mistral's Daughter (if I remember right, since it was AGES ago, I totally loved that brand of smut!)??? Or some tawdry historical romance like Whitney, My Love...always good for an easy pick-me-up.

For something a little less, I dunno, skanky, Water For Elephants. L-O-V-E-D IT!

Icy Roses said...

The Other Boleyn Girl is fabulous and historical. I love it. I love everything by Philippa Gregory. I'm iffy on the Wideacre series because while I'm open to incest (NOT IN REAL LIFE), she pulled it off in a weird way.

Not to pimp it endlessly, but if you haven't already: Percy Jackson. Very funny. Very action-packed.

Peaches series by Jodi Lynn Anderson. This is the epic opposite of what I like to read, so it is pretty much what you will probably like to read. I enjoyed it for what it was worth, a fun summer book about modern teenage girls on a Georgia peach farm.

Wow, only after you asked this question, did I realize how much literary fiction I read.

I love The Time Traveler's Wife to pieces, and it was the only book I bought for college that I ended up thinking was worth it. I love literary, avant garde stuff. But alas, we all have different tastes. :-)

Tess said...

I am SO with you today! Man, I've picked up some real stinker-of-a-books lately and I'm sick of it.

Hated Time Travelers Wife, btw. Hated it. B-o-r-i-n-g. And, don't let anyone talk you into that stupid 'Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society', either. That was a complete waste of my $12 costco bucks.

See? I'm a mess! i'll be watching these comments for some good suggestions...

Solvang Sherrie said...

I guess my tastes are more like Laura's because I loved The Red Tent and The Time Travelers Wife :0

Have you ever read Blind Your Ponies? My book club did that a few years ago and across the board everyone loved it so that might be a good one. When I heard the title, my first thought was "I hate Westerns!" but it's not a Western. It's about a teacher and these students he coaches and it's really good.

I also enjoyed Loving Frank last summer. It's a good beach read. Ooops, sorry, no beach in Cleveland. Vacation read? :-)

Libraries ROCK! Ours might be closing on Mondays for the same reason. Of course, being in California with no budget, means a lot of things might be closing, and not just on Monday. Including the beach :(

Anonymous said...

We just got a new library that is amazing!!! And I LOVE IT! and Lisa - you and I are a lot alike. I love literary fiction - but I struggled with Time Traveler's Wife and the Red Tent!

sraasch said...

Dude, they're making Time Traveler's Wife into a movie! It looks way cute, but I could never get through the book.

YAY Gemma Doyle Trilogy!! Best trilogy ever. I heart Kartik.

Shelli said...

here are a few:

brand new emily - a girl hires a PR rep to improve her school image - light and fun! (the author interviewed on my blog today!)

elsewhere and peony in love - about death

evermore - paranormal

ally's carter cammie morgan series - fun and adventurous

shiver - twilight meets werewolves. very good

Danyelle said...


I would panic if my book funds ran out!

ElanaJ said...

Lisa, I'm so relieved! We must be twins or something. I read the first like 50 pages of The Time Traveler's Wife and was like, "What?" I never picked it up again, I thought it was so lame. (Don't hate me Laura! We can be twins too, 'kay?)

And I love libraries as well.

Sadly, I don't have any reads for you right now... I can't remember what the last thing I read was. I read 10 books in like 10 days there in June and I've sort of zoned out now.

Hardygirl said...

Love me some library!

You should just go and browse. That's what I do.

Agree about Phillipa Gregory. Victorian smut is great stuff, and her books are easy reads (and you're learning history).

Tom Robbins is always fun. So is Ann Tyler (but I hated her latest).

And, I'm with you. I want to be reading Pat Conroy's latest. Right now. Seriously, why can't his publisher get that book out already??? We all needed it for the beach.


Lisa and Laura said...

Ok people, I'm 200 pages into the freaking The Time Traveler's Wife and I want to shoot myself. I'm in too deep. I can't stop without knowing what's going to happen, but it's SO FREAKING LONG. WHY!? I officially hate Laura.

Eva - Just ordered a Sedaris book. He's one of my favorites and I haven't read his most recent book, so YAY!

Fennimore - Hmm...not sure who's been blogging about the Traveler, but I'd love to read it. People are obsessed with the book and I just hate it. And I LOVE that you guys collect books. Books make me so happy. I dream of someday having a library of my very own.

Kimberly - Ooh, Judith McNaught! Does she have any new books? I think I've read all of her older stuff. Must go check this out. And I love Philipa Gregory too. There's something about historical fiction that just makes me happy. As long as there's no freaking time travel.

Icy - I really like literary fiction too. I usually like to alternate serious books and soapy books. Keeps me balanced. I'm totally adding your suggestions to my list.

Tess - Those Potato Society things look just awful. I almost spelled potato with an "e." There's something wrong with me.

Sherrie - I read a review of Loving Frank and it sounded absolutely fascinating. Adding it to my list! You rock even though you enjoy time travel.

Christine - I want to adopt you as my new sister. Laura has officially lost the title after forcing me to read this book.

Shelli - Awesome books! I've heard Shiver is AMAZING. Adding them to the list!

Sara - Karik? *swoons*

Danyelle - I love libraries. I'll be so sad if they're forced to make cuts.

Elana - Another Time Traveler hater. Love it. We should start a club!

SF - Browsing is a fabulous idea. I think I'll dedicate some time to that tomorrow. Such a luxury to walk through the library and just grab whatever catches your fancy!

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