6.09.2010

A Little Summer Reading (And Writing)…


First up what we're reading...

Audrey has been buried in the Spring issue of Anorak (a gift from Christine), which is pretty fantastic really...fun stories and activities -- she's totally digging it.

We're also working down the list of Summer reading books from her school librarian. Her reading has really taken off lately, and it's thrilling to observe. She furrows up her brow when she reads, silently mouthing the words as she traces her fingers along the page... You can see the wheels furiously turning in that little brain of hers.

I was such a bookworm as a kid, with most afternoons buried in a book, totally immersed in another little world. It changed me. I love watching her enter this phase.




I'm in reading mode too and have just finished No Impact Man which I loved (more on that later) and Garlic and Sapphires...also completely fantastic. I would highly recommend both.

Now I'm in the midst of reading Columbine for our couples book club, which is, needless to say, incredibly heavy. I need something light (but great) to counter it. I was thinking Prodigal Summer. Has anyone read this? Thoughts?




Ok, now onto the writing. I've recently started writing a fun new monthly column in Dallas Child Magazine (my first one is above), and I wrote an article for the Summer issue of Dallas/Ft.Worth Edible Magazine about a new restaurant at the Dallas Farmers Market...

As a side note -- I'm so excited and honored to have these little opportunities to occasionally write pieces for print publications, as if you would have asked me when I was in college what I wanted to do for a living, I would have said "write for a magazine or teach..."

Suffice to say, I did neither of those things, and despite the fact that I love my actual job, I've always wondered what life would be like had I actually pursued the career I envisioned having in my younger years.

These little writing assignments sort of give me that chance -- a bit of a pseudo "second act" if you will... It's good stuff.

27 comments:

Estelle said...

Well done on your "second act". That is wonderful news.

Maggie ~ The Freckled Citizen said...

Prodigal Summer is one of my favorite novels. In fact, I re-read it every spring/summer! The characters are like old friends.

Mi Piace Kate Design said...

Prodigal Summer is a beautiful book. There are some sad parts, but so much detail in the story you'll feel transported!

Mary said...

I loved Prodigal Summer as well - one of my faves. I just finished Poisonwood Bible and could easily read more Kingsolver. I have a big stack of unread books on my nightstand though. Gotta figure out what's next!

sk said...

I absolutely loved Prodigal Summer. I remember the summer that I read it. I left it at work when I went home on a Friday and the next morning I went and bought another copy because I just could not fathom waiting until Monday to continue the story! Hope you like it too. I don't think it's the lightest novel there is, but it's very engaging and beautiful-- perfect for summer.

sk said...

Also-- if you haven't already, you really must read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. It's the best book I've read in years!

For summer reading, I also recommend anything by Ellen Gilchrist-- especially The Anna Papers. I'm partial to that one because it was the first one I read and now I have every one of her books!

Congratulations on your articles! That is so neat.

mrs boo radley said...

LOVED Prodigal Summer. (Is there an echo in here?) Read it 3 years ago this month...actually listened to it on CD--BK narrated. AMAZING. And yes, I agree with SK, perfect for summer!

Laura_theSCOOP said...

Excellent opportunities for you! I'm so excited that your talents are going to reach even further to different audiences. Well done, lady.

I recommend Half Broke Horses - not too light, not heavy, just a fascinating story about a stubbornly determined woman. It might resonate because of the twists and turns that lead her through different (and highly unusual, for a female of her time) careers and locations.

Kristen said...

My husband teaches college students and he gave them Prodigal Summer as an optional reading. He told them "read this one if you like sex." Almost all of them chose it, needless to say.

We listened to the CDs as well on a vacation drive - love the Kingsolver narration!!

Jenn said...

I'll be the note of dissent here - I read Prodigal Summer and didn't love it. But I also didn't hate it. I love the way Kingsolver writes, and it was still worth reading.

Also, I second sk on the Guernesy Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - I devoured that one in two days, which is a feat for someone who rarely has two minutes to rub together, much less hours.

TX Girl said...

I second SK's recommendation. I loved Prodigal Summer. It was awfully beautiful.

YYZ said...

Hmm. Prodigal Summer was not my favourite Kingsolver. I'd recommend The Bean Trees series, instead. I felt like she'd gone too mainstream in Prodigal Summer-- it felt like to me like she was writing to sell books, but her other work felt like she was writing to tell stories. PS is missing her way with words, her wonderful, wry turn of phrase.

I'll be interested to hear what you think of it!

(If you only have time for one, though, go with Guernsey! It is WONDERFUL!)

Stephanie said...

"It's never too late to be who you might have been." George Eliot

and it seems to me you ARE a writer (i love reading your blog) and a teacher (you're a mom-the most important teacher a child ever has!)

p.s. i too wanted to be a writer and a teacher. i taught for 8 years before my kids and I'm hoping to find a way to a second career in writing somehow, someway, some day...

Simply Mel said...

Loved Prodigal Summer, but then again, I love anything Kingsolver writes!

Isn't it great when doors open wide and you find yourself doing exactly what you love? Congrats!

Kate said...

I love Prodigal Summer! I just got around to reading it a few months ago and devoured it in one day.

BECKY said...

I didn't care for prodigal summer- just read it a couple months ago. could barely finish it. i recommend a beautiful light but thoughtful book called the school of essential ingredients- read the summary on amazon- it's a delightful fast read. especially since you enjoy cooking...it might just be the perfect book for you.

Ana Degenaar said...

Wonderful news and recommendations! - I need to visit the bookstore soon :)

Anonymous said...

I haven't read Prodigal Summer, but The Bean Trees and Poisinwood Bible are two of my favorites.

Right now I am reading American Wife and I totally recommend it! I have been loving it. I race to the gym everyday to get on the bike and read it (that's my only reading time!)

cvjn

Issysue said...

The Bean Trees is a forever favourite of mine. Prodigal is on my must read list. You should also check out this website called shelfari.com. It's a site where you can list all the books you've read, get recommendations from other readers. It's great, and kinda addictive!

Elle Sees said...

Columbine was one of the best books I read last yr. I was so surprised how the media got nearly everything wrong! And how we all believed the media!

Pretty Mommy said...

That's so exciting!! Congrats!!
I just finally read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo...not my normal fare (ie - intelligent fluff...is that an oxymoron?) but super engrossing on the edge of your seat stuff...I always go back to the GOOP list from last summer...lots of good reads!

anie said...

I read PS a while back and really enjoyed it. Also loved the Bean Trees. The Potato peel book, not so much.
PS is a great summer read~a lot of beautiful imagery, some sadness, memorable characters.
Good work on your writing as well! How fun!

kalanicut said...

Lovely J,

You are teaching and writing for your happy & appreciative readers everyday on your fab blog. You're already there, sister! Now it just needs to make you a million dollars, right?!

Congrats on the continued writing successes! Very exciting. You deserve them and readers are lucky to have you.

Torrie said...

Congratulations on having the opportunity to write for these publications. Your writing is lovely and eloquent and you have so much to offer the world with your thoughts, experiences, ideas, etc. I know this is soooo old, but one of my favorite books (long before the movie came out) is Bridget Jones Diary (as well as the sequel, Edge of Reason). I laughed out loud and loved her style of writing and her humor.

Joslyn said...

thanks for all the kind words and reading suggestions!

you guys ROCK!
xox

Kristin said...

congrats. that's great news!

and I'm just curious... if you don't mind sharing... what do you do for a job? you seem so hip, that i'm imagining it must be something cool.

Joslyn said...

kristin -- for my real job I'm in charge of the corporate website for a software company.

not so cool i'm afraid ;-)
but a fun job nonetheless!