Thursday, June 26, 2008

Summer book reviews!

Okay, so I've been a little bit of a slacker in the reading category lately. Usually summertime means all kinds of reading for me. But actually I just finished my first book of the summer, and I thought I'd give you a review (as well as my booklist for comments).

The book I just finished is called "The Land of Mango Sunsets" by Dorothea Benton Frank, and though the title sounds like it could be a little bit of a slease book, it's really not. It's about a middle-aged woman who decides to turn her life around after some unfortunate circumstances, and in the process she rebuilds her family. It's a book about connecting, and re-connecting, and honestly I finished it and wanted to call my mama. It's touching and sweet, but there were several occasions where I literally laughed out loud! (Josh thought I was crazy because I kept giggling.) And I wouldn't forgive myself if I didn't state that there are a couple of "scenes", you know the ones I'm addressing, but they're tactfully and humorously done. Nothing too Danielle Steele-ish about them. Another reason I think I enjoyed this book is because it's set in NYC as well as the lowcountry of South Carolina. Having been to Hilton Head and other SC locales, I could envision the low country that she so beautifully described. I'm a southen lit kinda girl anyway. I like reading about places that I'm familiar with, as well as its culture. So while I didn't LOVE this book, it was an entertaining read, well written, and humorous at times. There. That's my 2-cents worth! :D

Now for my summer reading list. I'd love to know if you all have opinions and thoughts, or any recommendations know I like Southern lit. Okay, here goes:

*The Mermaid Chair (very popular, I know)
*Secret Life of Bees (also popular)
*The Kite Runner
*Waltzing at the Piggly Wiggly (can't resist that title :D)
*The Last Summer of You and Me (written by the author Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants)

So there you have it. My list. I know I've got some really popular books up there, but I also want some GOOD books. Not just to read them because everyone else likes them. That's why I haven't gotten into the Twilight series (yet). I just don't know if I'd like the whole vampire thing. But I'm sure some of you will try to twist my arm.

And lastly, this is my favorite book to read to Caroline right now. We get a book a month for free from the state of TN (thanks to a reading initiative started by Dolly Parton), and both the girls get a free one in the mail each month. THIS one came last month for Caroline, and I just LOVE it!

Mmmm,I LOVE Children's Lit! It's definitely my favorite thing to teach in school. Llama Llama Red Pajama is so cute with it's rhyming words, expression-filled artwork, and such a true true lesson. A synopsis is that Baby Llama gets tucked in bed by Mama Llama. She leaves the room, is doing dishes, and Baby llama decides he wants a drink. Sound familiar? When he doesn't get his way, he gets scared, pitches a fit, and finally mama comes back in to remind him that Mama will never leave him but has other things she must do too. (During the fit pitching, we always tell Baby Llama that he's being a "bad boy") But it's sweet, and endearing, and I love that I get to read with expression. It totally keeps Caroline's attention, and we both just adore it!

Happy reading!


Lisa said...

oh The Last Summer of You and Me was really really good. :) You'll like it - but you may want to have a few tissues around.

Lyn said...

Deanna- I am sure those other books on your list are top-notch, but I am BEGGING you to put them aside and hit the Twilight series ASAP!! You will not be disappointed! They are totally fun and you will want to BE a vampire by the end of them. Seriously!!!!

Ronda S. said...

Hi Deanna!! Stopping by to say "hi"! I dont do alot of reading , although I love to! I need more time!!

Morgan said...

I've read every one except the Piggly Wiggly one and would recommend all of them! Kite Runner, be prepared. It's tough but one of those books that you just need to read! Last Summer, bawled like a baby but still really, really good! Mermaid Chair, love it! I own all of them, would definately read them again. Oh, and I second the Twilight series nomination, you won't regret reading them before anything else!!

Michelle Lanning said...

Umm Deanna - I am not into the vampire thing myself -- but this is something unexpected and a lot different than you might think -- but hey didn't you like Harry Potter?

Shirley said...

Sounds like you have some great books to read. Super program for the free children's books too. I'll have to let my dd know about that. Love the recent pics you posted!

Melanie said...

When I seen the cover of the book, I first thought Mills and Boons type book but it sounds really interesting.

Llama Llama Red Pajama sounds like a great book, I love reading to Lillee.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the book recommendations!!

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the book suggestions. Awesome that your girls get a book a month..

Brandy said...

you should check out, i swear it really gets me wanting to read more and more!!

Laura S. said...

cool book list. i want to try to get some more reading done this summer.