My Summer Reads

I am completely unsure of how I found time to go to the library and book store much less to actually read a book, but I have some how. In fact I’ve read quite a few books thus far in the summer. My to read pile is much larger, especially now that Borders is going out of business and I’ve taken three trips totaling an amount I care not to disclose. Needless to say, it was a lot.

I’ve read:

Sweet Valley Confidential – Francine Pascal. I loved the Sweet Valley books when I was growing up, so when I found out (via twitter, where else?) that a new grown up version was coming out I immediately pre-ordered it on Amazon. I was slightly disappointed. I realized quickly how much I really didn’t remember about the books I had read so often as a child and thus it took me awhile to really get into the story. The beginning starts with Elizabeth and Jessica at odds with one another and not even in Sweet Valley. For me I found the story got better about halfway through. The only book I’ve ever disliked enough to not finish was Oliver Twist. Even if I dislike a book I tend to always read it to the end, clinging for the hope it gets better, with Sweet Valley Confidential I thought it did. If you’re willing to wait it out in order to be able to reconnect with the characters I’d do it.

A Bump in the Road – Maureen Lipinski. I had read this long ago, but re-read it when I found the sequel at the book store. A fun light read. Definitely not book club material, but you breeze right through it. Having grown up in Chicago and event planning being a small portion of my job, and of course the first unexpected pregnancy, I could relate to Clare.

Not Ready for Mom Jeans – Maureen Lipinski. I liked the sequel better as I could relate so much more to the struggle of deciding whether or not to go back to work stay at home. It’s definitely something I’ve debated many times and I loved having it play out in story form.

The Nanny Diaries – Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus. I read this long ago when the book first came out and have owned the sequel for years and decided to finally read it, so I wanted to refresh my memory with the original. I loved it again. Now, as a mother I felt much more pained seeing how terribly these park avenue children are treated by their parents. Knowing that so much of the story is true makes its all the more heartbreaking to imagine. You’re definitely rooting for Grayer and Nan throughout the story and desperately hoping the parents wise up.

Nanny Returns – Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus. I greatly enjoyed the sequel, as would anyone who loved the first. It was so interesting to see Nan all grown up and to see what happened to Grayer, and the Xes so many years later. Reminds you that people really never change.

The Pregnancy Test – Erin McCarthy. It was possibly one of the worst books I’ve ever read. It was so poorly written (and the plot so terrible) that I literally read parts out loud to my husband and laughed. If only I hadn’t returned it to the library I’d be able to delight you with it unredeemed awfulness.

Water for Elephants – Sara Gruen. I saw the movie first and loved it. Its rare that I watch a movie and then read the book, I tend to prefer to do it the other way. In this case I loved it. The book and movie I felt were very closely aligned that I could perfectly picture all the scenes as they unfolded. Well written, compelling characters, engaging plot, what more can you ask for? For the sprinkles on top, I loved being able to understand all the phrases written in Polish. Made me feel an extra connection to the story.

The Yummy Mummy – Polly Williams. Definitely a fun story, one I could relate to as I often feel like an um-yummy mummy. I wish someone would take me under their wing and make me up. Unfortunately, there is absolutely no way I could afford to do such a thing.

The Accidental Mother – Rowan Coleman. I liked this story a lot and have even bought the sequel, The Accidental Family, though I haven’t read it yet. Definitely a story you’ve heard before: career driven woman suddenly gets left two children when estranged best friend dies. Mishaps occur and somehow she pulls it together and learns to love and take care of the children realizing there’s more to life than work. I know it sounds like a movie we’ve all seen before, but Rowan does a great job of making you really care about Sophie, Izzie and Bella.

Mommy by Mistake – Rowan Coleman. There were so many compelling characters and storylines I was constantly hoping to find a few extra minutes to keep reading. You have Natalie, the main character and single mom pretending to not be so single. Her mother with whom she has an estranged relationship, a teenage mother, a mother who from multiple miscarriages is constantly afraid that something awful will happen to her child, a mother whose husband was unfaithful, her know it all sister-in-law and a dad in the mom’s group whose just trying to fit in. By the end of the story, you’re wishing you were friends with all these women and could tag a long to their baby group.

Jemima J – Jane Green. I found the book inspiring to actually get off my tuckus and try to exercise and revamp myself in the way Jemima does. She does what all women (well certainly myself) hope to do. Lose a ton of weight, get an amazing haircut, a whole new wardrobe and get hit on by an ex who doesn’t recognize you. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve replayed that fantasy. It was also fun remembering what it was like when the Internet first came out and the concept of internet dating and chat rooms was a whole new world.

Currently Reading:

I Don’t Know How She Does It – Alison Pearson. Saw the preview for the movie and I hope its as good as the book is thus far.

Marta blogs over at Lost and Forgotten. She is married, has two kids ages 4 and 10 months and lives in Minnesota.