What Are You Reading This Summer

OK, it’s already the middle of August and I feel like the time of summer reading is passing me by. I have been very slow on reading this year, I’m not sure what it is but I need some motivation and plowing through a few fun, perfect beach-read books is just the thing to get me moving again. As it happens, I will find myself on a beach in a few days, for only a few days — but that should do it.

So my wonderful readers who seem to devour books like candy, please let me know what your favorite beach-worthy book was this summer. I want to fill my giant beach bag with suntan lotion, twizzlers and books (and also magazines, I am a magazine junkie but that’s a different story). I would also love if you would share with me what makes a book that perfect beach read to you.

… and yes, in case you were wondering, I did already read all three Fifty Shades.

Thank you so much. Happy reading!

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading

Back to blogging means back to Book Journey’s fabulous weekly posting “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” I always found this a good way to help set me up for a good week of reading, and get some great new ideas of books to read thanks to your comments.

Book I Completed:
Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay

Books I Am Reading:
The Map of Lost Memories by Kim Fay
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

A little bit about why these two books. For The Map of Lost Memories, I got it as an Early Reader’s copy from LibraryThing. The book is due out on August 21st, so I will not post a review or any thoughts until then.
For Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, I am currently training for my first half marathon, which I am so excited about, so this book seemed like a great one to add to my “shelf” (in this case my e-book collection). I’m not that far in, but so far so good.

What about you? What are you reading this week?

Review: Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay

For nearly two years, a book has been holding my favorite bookmark hostage. Back in 2010 I requested an ARC via a Shelf Awareness ad, which I excitedly received. When I started on the book, I placed my bookmark inside – and now two years later I finally have that bookmark back.

The book was Russian Winter written by Daphne Kalotay. So with a start like this, and two years to complete you must be thinking – it is either the longest book ever written or possibly the worst and trust me, it is neither. In fact, once I finally made the commitment to read and finish it a few weeks ago, I became so absorbed in the interwoven stories that I didn’t want to put it down.

Russian Winter takes the reader into post-WWII Communist Russia and the world of the ballet, and converses that with the present day centered on a jewelry auction. I hate to write too much and give anything really away but the story, especially Nina’s life in Communist Russia, her rise in the ballet and the choices she had to make to follow her love of dance are so beautifully written and heart-wrenching.

Two semesters ago I took a course with a reading list that included classics of Russian literature, including Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, and while obviously on a different plane, Russian Winter certain had the depth and feel of a Russian classic. So while the book has a slow build, it is so worth it to soldier on, you will be rewarded with a beautiful story.

But, as a little word of advice on this hot August day as I plan on my own reading lists for my upcoming beach weekend – this might not be the book to lounge by the pool with, but it is definitely a curl up in your favorite reading chair with a cozy blanket and warm cup of tea kind of book. And maybe you want to keep a box of tissues close by.

Happy Reading!

*As noted, I received this ARC from HarperCollins via a Shelf Awareness ad back in 2010.*