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Being a part-time-working, household-keeping, daughter-chauffeuring, blogging mother keeps me pretty busy. When I’m not doing the above, I’m trying to spend time with Emily and work on some other projects. I have a blanket that I started for Emily, with hopes that it will be done by fall/winter. Fingers crossed. [I’m not known for my quickness with my knitting.] With everything on my plate, I’d like to work one more hobby/activity in there.
One of my all-time favorite hobbies is reading. I used to HATE reading. I would do everything to avoid it. It wasn’t until I was a sophomore in high school that I found out how important reading really was. [Thank you to J.K. Rowling for her magical Harry Potter series … she’ll never know the impact it had on me.] With so much time wasted on hating books, I needed to make up for lost time. And I’m still trying to do that. So, even if it’s only an hour or so a day, I’m going to add reading to my day/week.
With this in mind, I’m going to make my own summer reading list. I plan on getting through these books this summer. [Fingers crossed.]
Eat Pray Love by: Elizabeth Gilbert
Synopsis: “By the time she turned thirty, Elizabeth Gilbert had everything a modern, educated, ambitious American woman was supposed to want—a husband, a house in the country, a successful career. But instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she was consumed with panic, grief and confusion. She went through a divorce, a crushing depression, another failed love and the complete eradication of everything she ever thought she was supposed to be.
To recover from all of this, Gilbert took a radical step. In order to give herself the time and space to find out who she really was and what she really wanted, she got rid of her belongings, quit her job, left her loved ones behind and undertook a year-long journey around the world, all alone. Eat, Pray, Love is the chronicle of that year. Gilbert’s aim was to visit three places where she could examine one aspect of her own nature, set against the backdrop of a culture that has traditionally done that one thing very well. In Italy, she studied the art of pleasure, learning to speak Italian and gaining the twenty-three happiest pounds of her life. India was for the art of devotion, where, with the help of a native guru and a surprisingly wise Texan, she embarked on four months of austere spiritual exploration. Finally, in Indonesia, she sought her ultimate goal: balance—namely, how to somehow build a life of equilibrium between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence. Looking for these answers on the island of Bali, she became the pupil of an elderly, ninth-generation medicine man and also fell in love in the very best way—unexpectedly.
A memoir of self-discovery, Eat, Pray, Love is about what can happen when you claim responsibility for your own contentment. It is also about the adventures that can transpire when a woman stops trying to live in imitation of society’s ideals. This is a story certain to touch anyone who has ever woken up to the unrelenting need for change.”
Jane Eyre by: Charlotte Bronte
Genre: Classic Fiction/Literature/Literary Fiction
Synopsis: “Jane Eyre is an extraordinary coming-of-age story featuring one of the most independent and strong-willed female protagonists in all of literature. Poor and plain, Jane Eyre begins life as a lonely orphan in the household of her hateful aunt. Despite the oppression she endures at home, and the later torture of boarding school, Jane manages to emerge with her spirit and integrity unbroken. She becomes a governess at Thornfield Hall, where she finds herself falling in love with her employer—the dark, impassioned Mr. Rochester. But an explosive secret tears apart their relationship, forcing Jane to face poverty and isolation once again.”
The Good Mother Myth by: Avital Norman Nathman
Synopsis: “In an era of mommy blogs, Pinterest, and Facebook, The Good Mother Myth dismantles the social media–fed notion of what it means to be a “good mother.” This collection of essays takes a realistic look at motherhood and provides a platform for real voices and raw stories, each adding to the narrative of motherhood we don’t tend to see in the headlines or on the news.
From tales of mind-bending, panic-inducing overwhelm to a reflection on using weed instead of wine to deal with the terrible twos, the honesty of the essays creates a community of mothers who refuse to feel like they’re in competition with others, or with the notion of the ideal mom—they’re just trying to find a way to make it work. With a foreword by Christy Turlington Burns and a contributor list that includes Jessica Valenti, Sharon Lerner, Soraya Chemaly, Amber Dusick, and many more, this remarkable collection seeks to debunk the myth and offer honest perspectives on what it means to be a mother.”
When Calls the Heart by: Janette Oke
Synopsis: “Nothing in her cultured East Coast upbringing prepared Elizabeth for a teaching position on the Canadian frontier. Yet, despite the constant hardships, she loves the children in her care. Determined to do the best job she can and fighting to survive the harsh land, Elizabeth is surprised to find her heart softening towards a certain member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Book 1 of the bestselling Canadian West series.”
Hello Stranger by: Lisa Kleypas
Synopsis: “A woman who defies her time
Dr. Garrett Gibson, the only female physician in England, is as daring and independent as any man—why not take her pleasures like one? Yet she has never been tempted to embark on an affair, until now. Ethan Ransom, a former detective for Scotland Yard, is as gallant as he is secretive, a rumored assassin whose true loyalties are a mystery. For one exhilarating night, they give in to their potent attraction before becoming strangers again.
A man who breaks every rule
As a Ravenel by-blow spurned by his father, Ethan has little interest in polite society, yet he is captivated by the bold and beautiful Garrett. Despite their vow to resist each other after that sublime night, she is soon drawn into his most dangerous assignment yet. When the mission goes wrong, it will take all of Garrett’s skill and courage to save him. As they face the menace of a treacherous government plot, Ethan is willing to take any risk for the love of the most extraordinary woman he’s ever known.”
This summer I’m reading books all by female authors. I actually didn’t realize they were all female authors until I comprised my list and took a look at the finished product. It made me smile to think that books that are on the top of my list are written by strong females. Whether I’m reading a book about a woman’s road to find her own inner peace or a book that debunks the social media notion of a “good mother”. It’s nice to know they are all books by strong female authors.[Nothing against male authors … some of my favorite books are written by men … so I am in no way throwing shade at them.]
I look forward to sharing my thoughts about these amazing books with you after I read them. Stay tuned for my review on “Eat Pray Love” by: Elizabeth Gilbert … very soon!