On the way up to camp, we stopped at one of my favorite little Maine bookstores - Left Bank Books in Belfast. There, everyone picked up a new book (or two) for our week in the woods. Once I got everyone else settled into their choices, then of course I belabored over mine (see above for children tired of waiting for Mom, and eager to get to camp already). I decided to stop fussing about the ONE book, and instead got them all. I mean, a week at camp with limited knitting for me? Books it would be! I wanted to tell you about them too, in case one strikes your fancy for your next read...
The Lost Kitchen: Recipes and a Good Life Found in Freedom, Maine by Erin French. Of course, I know of The Lost Kitchen restaurant (though, no I've never been lucky enough to score a seat at the table there), but I didn't really know much of Erin's story. Part memoir, part cookbook, I was glad for a little backstory into the woman behind the famous space. And the recipes? The best kind of Maine cooking, if you ask me. Casually written, calling for few (and generally accessible) ingredients, and not too fussy. But letting the good ingredients do their thing. And the lovely photos in the pages - well, they exactly mirrored what I was seeing all around me in the woods of DownEast. I'm so glad I brought a cookbook into the woods with me to read!
Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change The Way You Think About College by Loren Pope. Thanks to one of you for recommending this one in the comments a few weeks ago, I'm so very glad I picked it up. We are deep in this conversation here at home, with a high school junior in the house. Lots and lots of talk about if, why, where and how. So much to consider and so much to still explore, but reading about these schools really did add a lot to those discussions in the woods, even if it was just me quoting from the book to anyone who was nearby - "Did you know that today's college graduate will have as many as seven career paths over the course of their working years?" Amazing!
There Is No Good Card For This: What To Say And Do When Life Is Scary, Awful, and Unfair to People You Love by Kelsey Crowe and Emily McDowell. Actually, this is the book I probably most annoyingly quoted aloud from to anyone around me. I picked this one up on the advice of Amy, whose book recommendations I always follow (she's a clever one, that Amy). This book, with humor and gentleness both, give such great life advice for those moments that are hard. Those moments when you want to do or say something but are stumped by how to be most helpful. I agree with Amy about this book being such a great guide for high school aged kids especially, though really for anyone!
What We Lose: A Novel by Zinzi Clemmons. And then there's this one, the book world I dove so fully into for a 24 hour period and then was sad it was all over. And do you know how I chose this book? I'm not ashamed to tell you that it was entirely because of the pretty cover. The kids were clearly ready to leave the bookstore and I realized I had nothing but non-fiction in my arms. I frantically searched the new releases for something I knew about or something I hadn't already read on audio, and found nothing. So I went for the pretty cover. Sometimes, you know, that's not such a bad thing because I really lucked out with this one (good cathartic cry included). I really enjoyed the short (and unconventional) vignettes she used to tell her story of loss, embracing adulthood, and identity. I don't often read a novel twice, but I would like to read this one again.
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Oh! I'd love to be back in that hammock with a book in my lap right now! Or on the dock while the kids are boating around me! I don't think that's going to happen today, but I am sure that one book or another will pass through my hands today and for that I'll be grateful. Always, always so grateful for the many rich, diverse, and helpful books that infuse our days.
And you? What are you reading this summer? Do share in the comments - that's always such a treat when we can talk books!