Friday, May 27, 2011

What? It's summer?

The Pacific Northwest has not gotten that message yet. In fact, we have had so much rain this spring that the Columbia River has surpassed flood stage. Spring has occasionally teased us. This morning when I went into my second grader's school to teach music, the sun was out and the weather looked glorious. When I left 40 minutes later, the skies had opened up and rain was falling in buckets. It's rained steadily ever since then, frequently with great force. Apparently this is typical "La Nina" weather, and everyone I know is complaining about it. Our rhododendrons and apple trees are just finally starting to blossom, near the end of May! We haven't wanted to put our bedding plants in the raised beds yet for fear of drowning them. (On the other hand, they are NOT doing well in the house either.) But then I read about the heartbreak and tragedy in the midwest and the south, and I feel that I cannot complain. A little rain is nothing compared to massive flooding and tornadoes.

At any rate, I realize that spring is almost over in most of the country, and summer is approaching. The New York Times has come out with its recommendations of this year's summer books. Do any of them look interesting to you? I've listed here the ones I'll be adding to my list.

The Tattooed Girl: The Enigma of Stieg Larsson and the Secrets Behind the Most Compelling Thrillers of Our TimeThe Girl with the Sturgeon Tattoo: A ParodyThe Girl with the Sturgeon Tattoo, by Lars Arffssen. Now this one I'm definitely going to be reading!! It's a parody, due in late summer, of the very popular Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series. Or if you don't want parody, there's always The Tattooed Girl: The Enigma of Stieg Larsson and the Secrets Behind the Millennium Trilogy.

Exposure: A NovelNow this one, Exposure by Therese Fowler, seems particulary topical, given the amazing openness (and stupidity) displayed by today's teens via the internet and texting. A girl snaps a cell phone photo of her boyfriend, naked, and you can guess what happens next. Apparently the novel is based on something that happened to the author's own son.

Faith: A NovelI've seen advertisements for Jennifer Haigh’s Faith a number of times on Goodreads. It's about the family of a Boston-area priest who is accused of pedophilia. Scandal+Catholicism=I'm all over it.

The American Heiress: A NovelThe American Heiress, by Daisy Goodwin, is about an American girl from a rich family who snags a British title. Think Edith Wharton and if you saw "The King's Speech" recently, Wallis Simpson.

This is the one I'm most curious about, though:

Super Sad True Love Story: A NovelSuper Sad True Love Story, by Gary Shteyngart. I heard the author being interviewed on NPR yesterday: he has won the Wodehouse Prize for his novel. I've never read anything by him, but he sounded terrifically amusing being interviewed. As his prize, he will be receiving a pig named after his novel.

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