Friday, June 24, 2011

Summer Reading Anyone?

Wait, a blog posting about books and reading? I thought this was a decorating blog? Well, it is, but it's my blog, and I love to read and I want to share some amazing books that I have read recently in hopes that you, awesome and wonderful readers, will share what terrific books you've read recently with me!

First things first, I have to thank my parents for sharing their love of reading and books with me. It is definitely one of the best gifts they gave me. Their home is full of books, magazines, newspapers, and other reading material. I have found memories of going away on beach vacations and everyone in the family curled up either on the beach or the sofa reading!

I am hoping that I passing along this love of reading and books to my students and my children. For my own kids, we read at least twice daily: before 'quiet time' (it's nap time for our 3 year old and rest time for our 5 year) and at bedtime. I was wonderfully surprised the other day to wake up and hear our 3 year old outside our bedroom in the 'reading corner' looking through books 'reading' them. He stayed out there for at least 30 minutes, allowing me to go downstairs first and have two cups of coffee while watching the Today show. That never happens! What a gift! All in the name of books!

Our reading corner (a little space in the upstairs hallway that needed to be something):

Okay, back to summer reading. I actually love to read all the time but I do have more time this summer to read as I am hanging out with my kids most of the summer before their school year starts in August then this momma is back to work and my reading will have to wait until bedtime.

Here are some great books that I have read recently:

I just finished Ann Patchett's State of Wonder. It's my first Patchett book and I am now reading her bestseller Bel Canto. In State of Wonder, Ann Patchett writes a literary page turner about a research pharmacist who is sent to the South American jungle after her colleague dies. There are ethical dilemmas, cannibals and a main character with a past. I really enjoyed it!

I was interested in Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken because of the true story of survival, resilience, and redemption. The main character survived so much and is still alive today. Hillenbrand was able to interview him. It is hard to decide which aspect of "Unbroken" is more remarkable -- Louis Zamperini's life story or Laura Hillenbrand's telling of it. In fact, the two are inseparable.

From Kate Morton's The Forgotten Garden takes root in your imagination and grows into something enchanting--from a little girl with no memories left alone on a ship to Australia, to a fog-soaked London river bend where orphans comfort themselves with stories of Jack the Ripper, to a Cornish sea heaving against wind-whipped cliffs, crowned by an airless manor house where an overgrown hedge maze ends in the walled garden of a cottage left to rot.

From Cutting for Stone by  Abraham Verghese  This brilliant novel revolves around what is broken -- limbs, family ties, trust -- and the process of rebuilding them. It starts with the birth of twin boys to a nursing nun, Sister Mary Praise Joseph, in a small hospital on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; an event which no one had expected: "The everyday miracle of conception had taken place in the one place it should not have: in Sister Mary Praise Joseph's womb." The delivery rapidly becomes a debacle when it's clear that Mary Praise Joseph can't deliver her baby normally; the last minute arrival home at "Missing" (the Mission Hospital) by Indian obstetrician Hema saves the children, but their mother dies and their presumed father father, surgeon Thomas Stone, disappears into the night.

Okay, let's see how I throw some decorating into this blog about's my attempt....

Everyone has to have a place to read, right? Where do you most often find yourself reading? Do you have a favorite spot?

Here's my favorite spot to read in my bedroom (remember this room is currently receiving a "room make-over" so it will look quite different very soon):

Millie the cat is waiting for me to come back and read:
(You can't really tell in this photo all of her missing fur on her back- this move from Virginia to North Carolina has totally stressed her out, poor kitty!)

I also like to read here on the sofa with the blue blanket that is on the back over me but mostly end up falling asleep:

My philosophy is that everyone needs a special comfy place to read. Here's our 3 year old Brayden's spot to read stories with us and his book shelf:

Here is my husband Steve's reading corner:

Here is another of my favorite spots to read, outside on the screened-in porch with a cool glass of lemonade:

Here's our 5 year old daughter Bryce's favorite spot to read and she has a closet with shelves for books:

Here are some more shots of our book corner:

Dear friends, I would LOVE to hear from you on what some of your favorite books are. I am always looking for my next great book! Please share with me!

Happy reading, decorating, & living-


  1. Hi Megan! I followed your post from Clover Lane, you will LOVE those Kate Morton books, I recommended them to Sarah myself. I am adding some of yours to my list. Glad to have found your blog!

  2. Hi Erin-
    Thanks for the comment. I am currently on my third Kate Morton book- The Distant Hours. I loved The Forgotten Garden and House at Riverton. Have a great weekend-

  3. Hi, I just came across your blog from your post on YHL. I love to read and just finished, "Bossypants" by Tina Fey (it was hilarious) and "Long Drive Home" by Will Allison (gripping, page turner). I've read a few that you listed above and have a few of the others on my Kindle to start soon. Enjoy and happy reading!

  4. Good morning Lori-
    Thanks for the reading recommendations of Bossypants and Long Drive Home- I'm adding both to my summer reading list. Awesome!
    Have a great day!
    Megan :)

  5. LOVE READING.... and you blog! So glad to find another Blue-fanatic!... If you haven't read The Help yet, it is great...coming out in a movie soon I hear and also, 19 Minutes by Jodi Picoult ?sp) is a gripping, heartwrenchig many little time, but thanks for your suggestions, I am writing the on my list!


  6. Diana,
    I LOVED LOVED LOVED The Help and I can't wait to see the movie!!!!! I also read 19 Minutes by Jodi Picoult (she's a great writer, isn't she?). Give me some more titles that you've read!!!! I love getting recommendations. Happy reading-

  7. I sent my book list to your email. Please let me know your thoughts. Print it out and use as reference. READING IS MY LIFE!!!

  8. Barb- I got your book recommendations list. Thank YOU so much for sharing it with me! I can't wait to get started on it! That was so sweet and thoughtful of you to share it with me. Happy reading! Megan