Tuesday, July 16, 2013

2013 Summer Reads--It's not too late!

The SonCinnamon and GunpowderThe Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics
The Too Many Tomatoes Cookbook: Classic & Exotic Recipes from around the WorldThe Time Traveler's Guide to Elizabethan England

It is mid-July and if you haven't yet found your great summer read, or already finished one, you might find this list helpful to finish out the summer.

You have to read the hugely absorbing multi-generational tale of Texas The Son by Philipp Meyer. Meyer's novelistic skill is widely admired, but this is one of those books you will remember always and will come to define your understanding of southwest history in the nineteenth century. Told in the voices of three people, we see the "sides" to the long argument that is our history. Big in scope, this book gives us the time and space to begin to tease out life lessons and philosophies about the arc of human endeavor and development in the United States.

For a quick, easy fiction read filled with joie de vivre, I have to reprise a book I reviewed earlier in the season Cinammon and Gunpowder by Eli Brown. This is summer reading at the giddiest heights of fantasy. A cook, a pirate, a boat, and a conscience...the summer they all sailed together is now recorded for posterity. For the fun of it, buy this one.

A nonfiction must-read is The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. A nine-man rowing crew from Washington State wins the gold in the 1936 Berlin Olympics against all odds. The author interleaves happenings in Berlin with training in Seattle and races in Poughkeepsie in such a way that the action never stops and our interest never flags.

The book the too many tomatoes cookbook by Brian Yarvin comes just at the right time in summer when we anticipate a bumper crop of heirloom tomatoes and yearn for that deep tomato taste. Rather than bore yourself with the same old thing, try some of the fast, easy, and absolutely delicious choices Yarvin has discovered from around the world. You may find a new favorite or two--I did!

Finally, for those folks that simply don't have the opportunity to get away this summer, take a trip with Ian Mortimer in The Time Traveler's Guide to Elizabethan England. "The past is a foreign country..." [L.P.Hartley] and nobody does it better than Ian Mortimer. He takes you right in to imagine where you might stay overnight (and where you will pee), to how you might clean up without water after walking through muddy streets. The inns, the characters you will meet and what you will talk about, what you will do at night and eat for breakfast are all here and utterly fascinating. Take a walk through Elizabethan England. You won't want to live there, but a visit is bliss.

You can buy this book here: Shop Indie Bookstores

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