July reads

In the summer I get to squeeze in more reading-what-I-want.  It’s usually a funky mix.  Here’s July’s stack of books:

*  A little non-fiction:  The Sociopath Next Door by  Martha Stout, Ph.D. {because I find psychology fascinating.}

*  A little romance {because for me, plane reads are a lot like beach reads.  My sister and I share the same love of a well-written romance novel with spunky characters; that and chocolate are our guilty pleasures.  When I arrived at her house for our mother’s birthday trip,  she handed me the latest Julia Quinn romance.  Good sister.  Fun book.}

*  Some forensic mystery {my favorite fast reads}:   I picked up Down River by John Hurt because the Bluestockings {the fabulous book club that I hang out  with once a month} read The Last Child by him and I enjoyed the writing.  I’ll be reading more from him. Have had Jefferson Bass books on the “To Read” list for at least a year, and even had the first two from my favorite bookseller George at Eagle Eye Book Shop . Mmmm, I  found them {the books not the store!} a little contrived, but so full of interesting forensic details, that all was forgiven.  {George, I’ll be by soon to pick up the rest!}  The Monster of Florence by Preston & Spezi is another book that’s been in the stack.  Started it on the plane home from the birthday extravaganza.  I found it an interesting match to my non-fiction book on sociopaths.

* With the Bluestockings:  The Help by Katherine Stockett.  We met at my house this month so, I oven-fried some chicken; made a bunch of southern-style vegetables; served with cornbread and cheddar cheese biscuits and finished off with a Carmel Cake.  I’ll mention again, that I critique book club books a little differently than books for pleasure or for school.  There are “good discussion” books and books that are “good reads”.  This one was both.

* Anna Karenina is in the stack because I’m reading it to discuss with a friend who wrote several papers during her senior year of college.  {After over 20 years, I had to re-read it just to remember characters, much less be able to discuss it!}

*  As usual there’s  a cookbook in the mix.  I picked up a copy of Sweet Tea, Please by Vicki Prescott, at an art gallery in Oriental, NC where the Bluestockings were visiting one of our own.  {She-who-has-moved-but-has-yet-to-miss-a-book!}  Great recipes and fun vignettes in between.

*  And to top it all off, The Thomas Merton gift book is a handful of writings on solitude.  It hasn’t made it off of my desk to the boys in AU.  I may just have to get a second copy.