Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Summertime...but the livin's not easy when you're trapped in a sinking car.

It seems like I'm reading a whole bunch of summer related books all in a row. Which is nice. I love summer. Of course right now the heat index is 113 so I am enjoying summer from inside the comfort of my home and the air conditioning. I still love it though.

I really was interested to read Black Water, which is kind of a novel loosely based on the Chappaquiddick incident. And I think the book is good. I was slightly disappointed that the book was more like a series of short essays or streams of consciousness from the woman stuck in the car, rather than a novel that held all together. I did enjoy it though, just a little more "English class" and less "interesting novel" than I expected.

I think Bleak House is next. Is that a summer book too? Something tells me it won't be a quick beach read. Dickens and I have not gotten along very well in the past.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Happy Summer!

Mike and I agree that June is one of our favorite months of the year. Weather is great, and there is the promise of the whole summer ahead. Vacations are on the horizon and everything seems a little more relaxed, a little more fun.

We celebrated the first weekend in June this year by spending some time at the pool. The large pool was pretty cold, but the kiddie pool was just the right temperature to splash around with Peanut. It was fantastic.

Eilis Dillon's book The Bitter Glass is also about the beginning of summer. The MacAuley kids head to their summer place ahead of their parents, but the civil war in Ireland causes them to be separated from their parents in Connemara. I liked this book a lot. It was an easy, quick read but managed to raise some questions about the historical context of the novel, the motivations of the characters, and what Ireland was like at that time of history. It isn't necessarily a fun summer beach read (definitely sad) but enjoyable nonetheless.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Not the Black Dog that I am used to.

The Black Dog that I am familiar with is a very touristy restaurant and shop that is fun to visit when on the Cape. We buy T-shirts and various other items there. I try to get a T-shirt of a different color each year. Peanut really likes them - so much that if I am wearing a Black Dog shirt, she asks to wear a "doggie shirt" too.

Ian McEwan's Black Dogs is a lot more sinister, suspenseful, and scary. It is the story about how a young woman's run-in with these huge animals (she thought they were donkeys initially) changed her life and her outlook on the world. The story is told kind of back and forth, so you don't actually get to find out what actually happened when she encountered the dogs until the very end of the book. There is a lot in here about Communism, the fall of the Berlin Wall, Nazi Germany, and other important events affecting Europe in the 20th century as well.

I really enjoy Ian McEwan's writing. Good stories that also really make me think.