Erin's Summer Reading List

Our friend Erin --who's moving to Jayhawk Country this fall -- is back with a list of great summer reads for y'all. Most of these are new to me, but I can tell you she's spot-on with her review of the Kingsolver novel, which I read a while back.  As always, you can keep up with Erin's sassy mix of religion, politics, parenting, and other things you shouldn't discuss at the dinner table on her blog, Irreverin, and on her Facebook page. -- HCW

I just read a book called The Orchardist that Amazon reader reviews assured me was wonderful!

It wasn’t. Actually…it was really wonderful until the last and then the ending just…wasn’t. To me, a story needs a good, round ending to make it worth the journey. When it doesn’t end right, I want those two weeks of my life back. Not to mention the $9.99 I paid for the download. (I’m looking at you, Gone Girl! Worst. Episode. Ever).

That said, here’s some other stuff that I’ve read lately and/or am reading this summer. With high hopes for better endings, here goes:

Flight Behavior, Barbara Kingsolver. Sure, it gets a little preachy about climate change. And ok, there’s this section about 3 quarters of the way through that REALLY drags. But I still found it worth the read. If nothing else, cause it was like a trip home to Appalachia. And much cheaper than a plane ticket.

The Round House, Louise Erdrich. Full disclosure, I didn’t love the ending of this one either. But, the rest of it was SO dang good, it was still worth the trip. Just be prepared to wish there were a few more pages. And, if you like it, go back and read The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse. (Yes, that’s really what it’s called.) It’s about the same reservation community, about two generations earlier. Not much direct cross-over, but some of the same names and places are mentioned. Also, it’s just a fabulous story. Woman disguises herself as a dead priest and proceeds to perform mass on the res for 50 years, without anyone knowing she’s not a dude? Awesome.

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess!) Fair warning: do not read this with other people in the room. You will embarrass yourself by laughing out loud. I literally—literally—hurt myself one night, because my family was all sleeping and I didn’t want to wake them with my hysterics. I like, tore something in my throat. It hurt so good…

For something TOTALLY different: The Contemplative Pastor, Eugene Petersen. In the midst of sharing sad news with one church and celebrating with another—all while planning a cross-country move with two young children—it’s a blessed reminder that I’m on a spiritual journey here. And, that the world’s definitions of ‘pastor’ are not the boss of me. Good stuff.

My husband downloaded Ready Player One (Ernest Cline) and then stole my kindle for a week. Since it’s basically the first book he’s read since the last Harry Potter, I figure it must be pretty great. Sounds like the Hunger Games, but for dudes and techies. I’m neither, but imma read it anyway.

My friend Stephanie said I had to drop whatever else I might be reading and start The Fault in Our Stars (John Green). I read the first few pages last night, and am already in love with the heroine, Hazel. I’m pretty sure she’s going to die, but hey—I’m into books with crummy endings, right?

And besides—death does not always make a bad end. Sometimes, dying is much better than just wandering away…

Happy page-turning, folks. Let me know if there’s something I’m not reading, but should be!