Summer Reads

Porch swing and Middlemarch

It is becoming abundantly clear that I am not going to get all of my reading done this summer. Classes start in less than three weeks for me. Soon my nose will be back in the Norton Anthologies. *Sigh* I’m not ready!

Currently I am working my way through the Gormenghast Novels. However, I don’t want to rush them. I want to sit down and get to know every character and digest the book slowly. It is a heavy read, so reading slow is really the only option. It’s perfect for sitting out on my patio or porch swing, and just spending time with.

There are a few other books on my list to read this summer though. I am afraid that these books will go from summer reads to fall/ winter reads. (Possibly even spring!)

Last semester I had a class that made us read Middlemarch by George Elliot. What I did read of it, I loved. Unfortunately I had to sacrifice this book a little to make room for the extra work that I had going on. I am sure I am the only college student that has ever had to do that. So I want to re-read it this summer. I doubt I will be able to give it the attention that I want, so who knows when I will be able to finish it. It may go into Winter Break reading.

Two other books caught my eye recently as well.


The first one: Zen Under Fire: How I Found Peace in the Midst of War by Marianne Elliot. Marianne shares her story of being a human rights activist working with the UN in Afghanistan. There are plenty of personal reasons why I want to read this book. The one that I am willing to share over the internet is that as an advocate for peace, she was willing to go to one of the darkest, war-torn places and work. It is beautiful, and I wish we all had that kind of courage. Here is the description:

I am about to be left in charge of the office. 

I’m not sure I’m ready for the responsibility, so I double-check with my boss. He reassures me.“You’ll be fine, Marianne. As long as no one kills Amanullah Khan, you’ll be fine.” By midday, Amanullah Khan is dead.

Marianne Elliot is a human rights lawyer stationed with the UN in Herat when the unthinkable happens: a tribal leader is assassinated, and she must defuse the situation before it leads to widespread bloodshed. And this is just the beginning of the story in Afghanistan.

Zen Under Fire lays bare the struggles of a war-torn region from a uniquely personal perspective. Honest and vivid, her story reveals the shattering effect that the high-stress environment has on Marianne and her relationships. Redefining the question of what it really means to do good in a country that is under siege from within, Zen Under Fire is an honest, moving, at times terrifying true story of a women’s experience at peacekeeping in one of the most dangerous places on Earth. (Source)


The second one: Because We Are: A Novel of Haiti by Ted Oswald. This is a mystery novel. It is about a couple of kids in a Haitian slum, going off to find out who murdered a mother and her baby. This book really interests me. I am a firm believer that we learn about the world through novels. This novel is meant to teach us about or sometimes forgotten little neighbor. It brings to light the kind of life that some of the people in Haiti are forced to live.

When a mother and her infant are murdered on the outskirts of Cité Soleil, Haiti’s most infamous slum, two unexpected detectives emerge: Libète, a brash and headstrong girl of ten, and her brilliant but impoverished friend Jak.

Though made rough-and-tumble on the slum’s streets where gangs, police and UN peacekeepers have long battled for control, the murders stir Libète unlike anything she’s seen before. With the dead quickly forgotten as the community limps on in its grinding struggle to survive, Libète resolves to pursue the truth despite the costs, plunging headfirst into an insidious plot that will threaten her and everything she holds dear.

A profound journey set against the calamitous backdrop of modern-day Haiti, join Libète as she struggles to find herself and justice in an unjust world in Because We Are: A Novel of Haiti. (Source)

The best part. This book is a non-profit, and all of the proceeds go to help human rights organizations in Haiti. Money well spent.

These are some of the books that I am interested in this summer. I hope that I can make the time to give them the attention that they deserve.

Published by BrandieKnits

I am a reader of many beautiful things, a fantastic knitter and a lover of wine. I love writing stories. I am a daydreamer and very neurotic, but my husband married me anyway. Bless that man. Really, I am just a girl who finally figured out what she wants in life.

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