Summer Reading List

On the off chance that anyone cares about what I’m reading or what I recommend, I am making a summer must-read list with some of my favorites. All books have made me abandon real life in order to sit and read for hours on end. Enjoy!

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. The story is told by lab terrier mix Enzo, who tells about his life with his master Denny, who risks his life savings to follow his dream of racing. The book has a happy ending (promise!) and really brings home the feeling of the bond between man and dog.

Leaving Unknown by Kerry Reichs. After Maeve Connolly gets fired from her job, she decides to load up her pet bird and drive from east coast to west, stopping in towns along the way with particularly unusual names. She breaks down in Unknown Arizona and by the time she can afford her car repairs, she’s developed relationships with the town’s quirky residents and longs to stay, but feels she must complete the trip she started and move on to L.A. I liked it not just because of what a different story it is, but also because Maeve’s bird is named Oliver, which made me think of my kitty (and if Oliver could talk, I bet his mouth would be every bit as foul as the bird’s).

Augusta, Gone by Martha Todd Dudman. This true story is incredibly heart-wrenching, even to me who does not have kids yet. Dudman writes about her teen daughter’s descent into drugs and overall crazy behavior, until she finally hits the breaking point and sends Augusta away to get help. Even though I was by no means as out of control as Augusta, it really gave me insight as to how my mom must have felt as she dealt with the more difficult parts of my adolescence.

Bitter Harvest by Ann Rule. This is another true story, a chilling account of Dr Debra Green and how she murdered two of her three children in a house fire in 1995 in Prairie Village, Kansas. Prior to writing about the fire itself, Rule writes about the troubled marriage of Green and Dr Mike Farrar, Green’s brilliant mind, and her childlike mental state despite a through-the-roof IQ. Not a light read, but gripping.

I’ll add to this as I read more. Happy reading!

Shiiiiny Shoes

When I was 19, I went shopping at the Ontario Mills Mall with my friend Jen. Among the stores we browsed was Skechers, where we fell in love with what we would deem our “shiiiiny shoes” (you have to draw it out when you say it). They were white sneakers with two shiny colored stripes on each side. Mine were blue, Jenn’s were gray. Of course, my shiiiny shoes are long dead, as I am murder on white sneakers.
But now, I have new ones.
Saturday was cold, rainy, and boring, so I found myself in the Lady Foot Locker at the Everett Mall. I was actually there because I’d glimpsed a pair of pink Adidas earlier in the week and was thinking I needed to own them. Much to my disappointment, the pink shoes I’d sought were not nearly as cute up close and I didn’t really want them.
And that’s when I spotted them….the shiiiiny shoes.
Adidas makes a very similar style of shoe as my old Skechers, but sports three colored stripes each side instead of two. They are called Adidas Superstars and I loved them in high school. But on Saturday in Foot Locker, I found the ONLY shiny silver ones I’d ever seen. I was thrilled. And they were on sale, so of course I just had to have them.
I love my new shiiiiny shoes. If I weren’t poor as all hell I would buy Jenn a pair so she could have shiiiny shoes again too.