Bookends: July 2016

July was hot here. Of course, New England heat isn’t as hot as Utah heat or Arizona heat or the heat southern California had earlier in the summer, but we complain about it because we don’t expect it. Cold we revel in. Snow? Bring it on. But we don’t know what to do with heat but run our air conditioners and drive everywhere because it’s too hot to walk.

Not being a native New Englander, I walk in any weather and complain about both the heat and the cold. But more than the weather, I complain about driving. Man, do I hate driving around here. Except it does provide one of the only outlets for my creativity as it inspires myriad assemblies of swearwords never before heard by human ears. You know how in music there are only seven notes (plus sharps and flats) but an essentially infinite number of unique compositions? That’s how my swearing is when I’m behind the wheel. I’m a maestro of malediction. A virtuosa of vulgarity. An expert at expletives. It’s a skill that makes my children’s homeschool education rather more well-rounded than I would like and part of why we walk as many places as possible.

At any rate, here are the f***ing books I read during July:

Grown-ups’ Books:

The Parasites by Daphne du Maurier (SBC July selection)

Atlas of Unknowns by Tania James (SBC June selection)

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff (audiobook)

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak (audiobook)

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante (first of the Neapolitan Novels)

Kids’ Books:

Greenwitch by Susan Cooper (audiobook, third book in the Dark is Rising series)

The Grey King by Susan Cooper (audiobook, fourth book in the Dark is Rising series)

Otto of the Silver Hand by Howard Pyle (read-aloud)

Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland by Tomie dePaola (read-aloud picture book)

Across a Dark and Wild Sea by Don Brown (read-aloud picture book)

Marguerite Makes a Book by Bruce Robertson (read-aloud picture book)

Currently Reading:

  • In Zanesville by JoAnn Beard (audiobook)
  • Searching for Meaning by James T. Webb
  • The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan (The August SBC selection—Read along with us at our Goodreads Group!)
  • The Histories by Herodotus (for my Cavalcade of Classics, as a never-ending read-aloud with my daughter)
  • The Last Days of Socrates by Plato (read-aloud with my daughter)

My To-Read List for August:

  • My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
  • Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • In One Person by John Irving
  • Sir Gawain and the Green Knight translated by J.R.R. Tolkien (read-aloud with my kids)
  • Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (audiobook)

What have you enjoyed reading in the past month? What’s on your to-read list for August? Do you swear when you drive, or do you keep your language clean?

7 Replies to “Bookends: July 2016”

  1. What have I read? Well, being a Religious Educator in the UU tradition, it is only fitting that I have continued some reading for credentialing purposes: Essex Conversations, Not For Ourselves Alone (editors Burton D. Carley and Laurel Hallman) and the Our Whole Lives Curriculum for grades 7-9.
    Do I swear in the car? Well, after a meeting tonight I certainly organized my thoughts well using one particular adverb beginning with the letter “f”. Generally my creative language takes a tour of Europe in the vocabulary used, but tonight it was just plan, good old-fashioned ‘murican English.


    1. What did you think of Not for Ourselves Alone? It’s on my to-read list, and I actually thought I owned a copy, but I can’t find it now so perhaps I just thought about purchasing it and never actually did. Another on my list is Eboo Patel’s Interfaith Leadership: A Primer, which I know is on my bookshelf because I just saw it while looking for Not for Ourselves Alone.

      I know some German swearwords and would love to expand my swearing vocabulary even more, but in times of stress, I find that the curse-words of my mother tongue are the nearest at hand. And sometimes the best way to summarize a meeting is with words beginning with “f”.


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