I’ve been meaning for weeks to tell you what I read in July…
#26: Breaking Away by Anna Gavalda, translated by Alison Anderson - I was in Paris at the beginning of July and went to Shakespeare & Co. twice. The first time, I was completely overwhelmed and left with nothing. Knowing I wouldn’t forgive myself for not buying a French book, I picked this one up the second time I went. It is a small but fulfilling novella that was perfect for sidewalk cafe reading. There is also something great about being on vacation and really feeling like you’re breaking away from all the things you think you know.
#27: Any Human Heart by William Boyd - I knew Breaking Away wouldn’t last me very long so not knowing what else to pick out I did my usual game of asking the shopkeeper about the last good book they read. They guy at Shakespeare and Co. said this was it for him so I took his word for it. I started it in Paris then took it on to Prague and Amsterdam. It was perfect for that kind of travel because it follows a man throughout his life journeys and I felt like I was going with him. At some points I thought the book was a tad pretentious but never did it fail to keep me interested. I think I’ll always associate the book with my trip and reading along various European bodies of water.
#28: Persuasion by Jane Austen - I found this version of the book in Amsterdam and thought it was too pretty to pass up. I hadn’t read it before but I have to agree with my friend Stephanie here in that the book is just so silly. Everything about it! Why are all the characters sort of stuck up? Why don’t they just say what they mean? Why are there so many knowing glances? I don’t know, but I still liked it.
#29: People Who Eat Darkness by Richard Lloyd Parry - True crime fiction is such a weird genre to say you like, but I really do like it and this one is particularly great. It’s about the disappearance of a young British woman in Tokyo and the events that followed. The author takes in every detail of the multiple people involved to where I didn’t feel left uninformed. This was a 2 day read for me (that interesting!) but I’m pretty sure I looked strange reading about a psychopath on the beach.
#30: Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed - Just read it already. Everyone just buy it and give it to people you care about. I bought it for my sister, now you do the same. It’s one thing to read Dear Sugar online but it’s another to have the columns in your fingertips with frayed edges and underlined paragraphs. Just read it already.