Because I Want to Make Sure They’re Mentioned…

You guys know how summer is! At least, if your summer is anything like mine. The summer starts, and the days stretch out before you, and you go check out a pile of library books and open one and then…something happens. The great summer time suck, and suddenly it’s August and the books are way-overdue and you’ve read about 1% of all the great books you wanted to read. In order to try and keep this from happening this year, I wanted to make sure I mention all the books I’ve had the chance to start but, because of the very nature of summer, might not actually finish. I want to disclaim up front: NOT ALL OF THESE BOOKS ARE BAD!!! Some of them are great! I haven’t even officially abandoned all of them, but just want to guarantee at least a blog mention. So with that, here’s the books so far this summer I haven’t finished yet but really hope I do!

So far so good on my first Allende novel. I wanted to start with Eva Luna but this is what my library had and so, here we are! I’m only about 30 pages in to this one, and one of the central characters -a slave girl named Tete, has just made her first appearance. That’s not to say it’s been slow till now, though! We’ve met Toulouse Valmorain, his prostitute/companion, and the woman who is to become his future wife, a Cuban. The novel takes place in Haiti right before the Haitian revolution, and promises to span decades and distance, from Haiti to New Orleans and beyond, before the book is done and I can’t wait! The book is translated, which I always fear takes away a small bit of something, but short of becoming fluent in Spanish, I’m loving it so far! 4/5

Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Cape Town is the first book I’m reading for my public library’s armchair explorer adult summer reading challenge. Paul Theroux, who has spent a number of years of his life in the African wilderness teaching English to various tribes, decides he wants to go back to Africa, one to write a book about it and two because he just plain wants to travel. I find this honesty refreshing – it’s not often you’ll find a travel memoir written based on the premise of simply wanting to travel! I haven’t gotten much farther in to this one, so I’m hesitant to give judgment, but based on that premise and the fact that it’s in Africa, I feel comfortable making at least a slight leap of faith: 3/5

I mentioned Jonathan Safran Foer’s book Eating Animals at the end of a recent review, and I can promise you this is one I’ll definitely be finishing! In fact, I can pretty much guarantee you that this book will be making the “Most Important Books of My (and Probably Your) Life” list. I’m only about 30% of the way through, though, which is why I’m not giving it it’s full review quite yet. The book, inspired when Foer realizes he’s going to be a daddy and wakes up to the fact that food is important if he’s going to be giving it to his children, focuses on a number of things. At the heart of the book is an expose on factory farming and mass agriculture, and this part is full descriptions of the horribly, filthy, degrading and cruel things humans do to animals. This part gets my goat, and if you ever want to get in to it with me, lets debate factory farming. But Foer also focuses on how important food is to storytelling (and storytelling to food) and the fact that farming and food haven’t always been like this in America/the world. This part was perhaps the most refreshing, and I can’t wait to finish this book so I can give you guys the full word! Major5/5

This one might just have to be my first official abandon of the summer. And it’s not for lack of being awesome. The writing is casual enough to read like a story, and the history (medical, cultural, literal and artistic) of cancer is absolutely fascinating. But this book is ABSOLUTELY MASSIVE! Seriously, I’m 200 pages in and only in the early 1900s of the history. That means another 110 years to go. Damn. And it’s just too hard to stick with it, knowing that, when I have all the great books above to get through as well. Hopefully I’ll be able to come back to this one, but here’s hoping 4/5 (although abandoned).

What’s your summer reading like? Do you find yourself suddenly without time? What books do you have to abandon, despite how good they might be?

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