Reads for the Road – Summer List part 2

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As it turns out, four books isn’t enough to last a whole summer of cabin trips, long drives, and whole days spent in airports. So, for you dear reader, some more reads for the road. A little bit of travel literature, one of Hemingway’s classics, a new novel, and a memoir I can’t put down.

1. My Life in France by Julia Child and Alex Prud’homme

My Life in FranceFor the love of food and experiencing a new place with gusto, I can’t stop reading this book. This is the memoir of Julia Child’s life in France, where she fell in love with food and found her ‘true calling.’

Co-written with her nephew, Julia is magnanimous in these pages. The descriptions of life in Paris have whetted my appetite for food, travel, and good writing about sucking the marrow out of life.

This memoir is laced with wonderful stories about the French character, the world of food, and the way of life that Julia embraced so wholeheartedly. Above all, she reveals the kind of spirit and determination, the sheer love of cooking, and the drive to share that with her fellow Americans that made her the extraordinary success she became.”

2. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

The Sun Also Rises“The quintessential novel of the Lost Generation, The Sun Also Rises is one of Ernest Hemingway’s masterpieces. A poignant look at the disillusionment and angst of the post-World War I generation, the story follows characters as they journey from the wild nightlife of 1920s Paris to the brutal bullfighting rings of Spain with a motley group of expatriates. It is an age of moral bankruptcy, spiritual dissolution, unrealized love, and vanishing illusions.”

Because, well, I need more Hemingway in my life. After all, 22 years of his life were spent spending time hunting, fishing, and writing in Idaho.

3. We Are Called to Rise by Laura McBride

We Are Called to RiseThis debut novel was written by the aunt to one of my oldest and dearest friends. I’d been waiting for its release this summer…

“With this novel, Laura McBride dismantles the American dream. Set in Las Vegas, our most opulent nowhere, a long-running marriage collapses in a single moment. A boy’s family crumbles in a clash of cultures. Soldiers return from bad wars detonated—the pins pulled on their fragile minds.

Still, they must all somehow move forward out of these losses, into futures for which they have no assembly instructions. Strength is simply their last available option, they’d rather not have to come up with it. And it is precisely this—the reluctance with which they become their best selves—that makes this such an emotionally powerful story.”

4. A Year in the World: Journeys of a Passionate Traveller by Frances Mayes

A Year in the WorldAnother book in my quest to “study” travel journalism, “A Year in the World is a celebration of the allure of travel, of serendipitous pleasures found in unlikely locales, of memory woven into the present, and of a joyous sense of quest.”

I haven’t yet read Mayes most famous book Under the Tuscan Sun so I don’t know what to expect, but in the first few pages she says that what’s to come condenses her ‘wanderjhar’ – her year of wandering. And that’s what this last year of my life has been: my wanderjhar, my year of youth spent gallivanting the world.


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