Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Some Books Are Worth Repeating and Other Summer Guilty Pleasures by Lori L. Tharps

Hello Girlfriends,

I don't know about you, but I've been living on the academic calendar, well, since I started kindergarten  many, many moons ago. Even when I briefly worked in corporate America, my internal body clock knew there was something amiss about getting up and going into the office between June 15 and September 1st. Now that I work in the hallowed halls of academia, summer really means a break from the routine. And for me, part of that break means catching up on all of the delicious paperbacks, 'women's fiction' and guilty pleasure reading I don't have time for during the academic year. Case in point, I'm just about half way through Rebecca Skloot's, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. I needed to read it for a class I'm teaching and because I thought I should. (It is a fascinating story.) But come June 1 or if I finish HeLa before then, here's what's on my TBR list for the summer of 2012.

32 Candles by our own Ernessa Carter. Yes, I read this fantastic, snarky, romance-with-a-twist when it first came out in 2010, but I'm ready to read it again. Of course, I'd like it if Ms. Carter would just pen another smart, romantic tale, but I'm happy to re-read 32 Candles while I wait.

Minding Ben  by Victoria Brown. Here's a book I'd never heard of until I met the author this spring at a conference. She approached me because she'd heard about my book, Substitute Me and as her book is also about a nanny in New York, she thought we might be kindred spirits. Minding Ben is about a nanny recently arrived in New York from her native Trinidad. The book deals with issues of race and privilege, culture wars and immigration and that oh so unique nanny culture in New York City.

Anna In Between by Elizabeth Nuñez. Quite frankly, I'd read a cocktail napkin if Elizabeth Nuñez wrote something on it. I love her writing and the stories she tells always seem to resonate with my life circumstances. This book is about a woman, Anna, who works in the publishing industry who has to deal with her aging parents, as her mother deals with a diagnosis of breast cancer.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I got into a circus phase earlier this year when I wrote a newspaper article on a local circus. Then it was like, faster than you can say Cirque du Soleil, I was obsessed with all-things circus. I read Water for Elephants, considered signing up for trapeze classes and contemplated running away from home to attend clown college. So, of course I have to read this book about magical lovers under the big top. I'd probably read it anyway though because like Ernessa Carter, Morgenstern is another Smith College alum and I must support my fellow Smithies!

That's a good list. I'm sure I'll read all four of those books and still have time for one or two more before fall. I'll be checking everybody else's lists for suggestions. And just out of curiosity, does anybody else out there read their favorite books over again? Or am I the only one? Which ones are worth repeating?

Lori L. Tharps is the author of the novel, Substitute Me. She blogs regularly at My American Meltingpot.com


  1. These look great, Lori! Can't wait to check them out.

  2. I definitely read my favorite books again. So many times it's embarrassing.

  3. I re-read 32 Candles too. The second time was for a book club. A few books I've re-read at least three times: Kindred, The Bluest Eye, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Locomotion, The House on Mango Street, etc. I'm probably going to re-read Hairstory because a natural hair book club has selected it for the June read (and I want to attend).

  4. I used to re-read favorites but now I read so many titles, I don't have time for re-reading. Not sure what the summer TBR holds just yet, but some recent titles I've recently enjoyed include:

    The Wedding Beat by Devan Sipher (from a NYT reporter about a reporter who covers the wedding beat while looking for love)

    Ten Plagues by Mary Nealy (Criminal Minds type suspense based on the ten Egyptian plagues in the Bible)

    When Morning Comes by Francis Ray -- Have to admit I'm pretty much a sucker for anything Francis Ray, but she elevates AA romance to a level reached by few

    Coming Home by Stacy Hawkins Adams -- one of those stories that makes you wonder what you would do under difficult circumstances, and when you're sure you know, it makes you think twice

    Just heard about one today, The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln by Stephen Carter. His books are thick and require a slower read, but they're very smart and insightful along with entertaining.

  5. Thanks so much for giving 32 CANDLES a re-read, Lori! I'll confess that I don't re-read -- mostly because my TBR pile is already threatening to crush my nightstand under its great weight. Though my husband would probably appreciate it if I started re-reading. We've had many a talk about my Amazon bills.