books i read last month...

what a great month of reading...all hits and no misses!
1. a multitude of sins by richard ford
i got sick the night richard ford was speaking at the philly free library...like i was there, doing my volunteer gig, all ready to man the microphones during the Q&A...but i had to rush home instead. yuck. ok, sorry about that tangent, what i wanted to say was that before i felt so ill, i thought richard ford was an amazing speaker. and his new book canada sounded wonderful, but sadly, the waiting list for it was/is still too long. what i did find on the shelf was this book of his short stories...which are mostly about infidelity. have been dealt the blow of infidelity recently (over-share?) these stories did not rub salt in the wound, but rather presented a fair picture of why and how people can and do hurt each other. i can't wait to read more of his books.

2. to be sung underwater by tom mcneal
oh boy, i needed this book...a world to get lost in. i actually said out loud as i turned to the last page: "no, no it can't be over." i don't want to give too much away, but at it's core this is story about a woman in her mid-40s (judith) wondering if she made the right BIG decision to leave her small town in nebraska and the boy there who loved her for a new start in california. the narrative slipped back and forth between judith's present and her past in a way that lets you become immersed in all the wonderfully complex details. bottom line - just read it ASAP.

3. the power of habit by charles duhigg
i am a nut for brain science right now. and i also appreciate the chance to learn little tidbits about human behavior that make good small talk fodder! if you don't already know that you are creature of habit, you will after reading this book.

4. the flight of the maidens by jane gardam
this was my "beach read" of the month...or rather my poolside read. it takes place during the summer of 1946 and centers around the experiences of three young women from yorkshire, england who are about to head off to college on scholarship. they (hetty, una and lieselotte) have been under the shadow of WWII (and WWI - since it is mentioned many times in the story) for as long as they can remember and it seems like they want to (1) have fun and (2) be in control of some aspect of their lives. Their experiences seemed believable and (spoiler alert) i found it refreshing they were all not obsessing over the men in their lives. yes, there were guys, but they were secondary...the most important thing was their education and using this summer before school to embrace their independence.

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