What I do when I'm supposed to be packing
Best $6 I've spent recently and some rambling thoughts

What I read on my summer vacation

August 1

Hey there. Long time, no blog. Life, people. Summer.

School starts Wednesday. Wednesday. And there are still four skirts I need to hem. Ahem. But otherwise we are set and ready to go. I hope (fingers and toes crossed) to be back here a bit more frequently. Not as if that would be hard. Geez. I have been a slacker.

But, I've been reading a lot. Tons, actually. The amount of pages turned may inversely correspond to the amount of blog posts this summer. Or not. Who knows? Here's what I've read on my summer vacation:

Orchid House by Lucinda Riley

Gillespie and I by Jane Harris (Small coincidence, huh? My Jane Harris gave this to me for my bday)

The Marriage Plot by Jefferey Eugenides

The Newlyweds by Nell Freudenberger

In One Person by John Irving

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner

Bowling Avenue by Ann Shayne

A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny (7th in a series - all mysteries, best read chronologically)

Eight Inspector Montalbano books by Andrea Camilleri (again, mysteries that are best read in chronologically - these are not necessarily listed in order. There are also a few (5 or so?) that come before these that I had already read):  The Age of Doubt, The Patience of the Spider, The Potter's Field, The Track of Sand, The Wings of the Sphinx, The Paper Moon, August Heat, Rounding the Mark

That's 17 books since my birthday. I'm impressing myself.

That pile up top? 5 are mine, 2 are Fatty's. 1 of mine we will both read. Bonus points (and maybe a prize?) for anyone who can figure out whose are whose.



Heather Smith Jones

I'll take a stab, your guessing games are always fun. Fatty's are "the tiger's wife" and "the lonely polygamist"?
And wow, that's impressive. I believe Shari (who reads more than anyone I know) would also be impressed. (:
I've been reading a mix of artist's books and back issues of Art in America. Much less impressive.


I have no clue whose it is, but A Discovery Of Witches is great! I just finished the sequel.


Yay Inspector Montalbano! I have read about four in that series this summer. =) (had previously read the first three or so.)
How did you like the John Irving book? I'm a big fan of his but some of his novels are better than others.


Oh, any favorites? Always looking for books for my book club.


How did you like the newleyweds. I'm struggling thru it


Oooh. I love guessing games. I'll bet Fatty's are Lonely Polygamist and Lola California. Rest are yours. I'm stumped on what you'll both read... Steinbeck or Trick of the Light.

Erin | house on hill road

Good guess, but no. ;)

Erin | house on hill road

I loved Cutting for Stone. And The Newlyweds. Both would be great book club reads.

Erin | house on hill road

Oh, I really liked The Newlyweds. But I am a firm believer that if you don't like a book, don't bother finishing it. There are so many good ones out there to read!

Erin | house on hill road

Nice try, C, but no.

Account Deleted

That is exactly what summer is about! What a great list of books. xo

Meg Evans

I have also read quite a few books this summer. Our only overlap is Bowling Avenue! My kids have been so reluctant to read this summer--especially my oldest, who is required to read two books. I've certainly modeled the appropriate behavior. And now that you've published your reading list, I'll have to check out some of those titles.


Which books would you highly recommend?? I'm always on the hunt for a good "I cant put this book down" type of book :-)

Michele H.

this is such an awesome list of reads. just placed all of the penny louise books on my library read list. first...have to get through the discovery of witches. loving it so far. thanks for sharing!

Erin | house on hill road

I loved Cutting for Stone and The Newlyweds. If you read Middlesex, you will probably like the Marriage Plot. It was a little slow to start, but I thought it was amazing.

Erin | house on hill road

Oh, I really liked The Newlyweds. But I am a firm believer that if you don't like a book, don't bother finishing it. There are so many good ones out there to read


I looooooooooove book lists! Whenever I go to the library I feel like I used to feel when I'd go to Blockbuster--spoiled for choice! I'd forget every book I was thinking about. Thanks for the ideas! Can't wait to read the new John Irving, to whom I wrote a fan letter when I was 16 (26 years ago).


Tana French!!!!!!! She's my absolute favorite! Have you read the previous three books? Not strictly necessary to read in order, but soooooo gooooooood.

I'm guessing Fatty's are the Steinbeck and "Lola CA". You would both read Broken Harbour, or maybe The Lonely Polygamist. Not sure on that one.

Judith Ann from Cape Cod

Erin, this Italian girl adores Inspector Montalbano. Have you seen the BBC series on Masterpiece Theater? I listen to some of the books on CD on my commute to work, and they're so well done; most of Salvo's officers have a Brooklyn accent. The only problem with this and all the other Italian detective novels is that food is described in exquisite detail. Well, of course (we ARE Italian!), but they make me hungry! Books are magic, aren't they?


Love a book list too. You put me to shame I'm only on book 15 this year!

I've had Cutting for Stone for ages but not sure it's my thing. It was recommended by the Channel 4 book club in the UK. They have good recomendations too.

Have put some of the Montalbano onto my amazon list. (And will look for that BBC series after I've read them)

Judith Ann from Cape Cod

Erin, I just looked up Louise Penny. Thank you for introducing me to her. My mom is Quebecoise, and she grew up an hour from Montreal on the Quebec/New York border, so I'm looking forward to a good read in that setting.

Signori Camillieri is in his nineties, and I dread the day the Salvo series comes to an end, so I wanted to make sure you knew about Donna Leon and Commisario Guido Brunetti, set in Venice. Again, there's much partaking of wonderful food, and this series even has a cookbook! And don't miss British author, Michael Dibdin's Aurelio Zen series. The BBC has just done a three-part miniseries, starring Rufus Sewell (swoon. big, big swoon.). Also, did you know that the Italian television series on the Camillieri novels is coming to the U.S. soon?


Loved "Cutting for Stone", thanks for all the other recommendations, how did you find the John Irving? I used to read all of his, but found "Last Night In Twisted River" hard going, gave up half-way through.

My guess is "Lola, California" and the John Steinbeck ones are Fatty's?

beth lehman

oh, man. you have really been reading! i'd like to say the same, but unfortunately i haven't found much that's engaging enough.... usually i start the summer out gangbusters and have at least 5 solid reads... not this year. tiger's wife was my only attempt and i was sorely disappointed... LOVED cutting for stone and could read that again. my mother read it twice!! i have read one tana french, so maybe i should try another.


LOVED Cutting for Stone - one of the best books I've read in a very long time. I've read way too many non-fiction books this summer - off to start The Newlyweds, thanks for the recommendations!


This list is just what I needed! I've been reading Sarah Dunant--I especially like the ones set in 1500s Italy (The Birth of Venus was excellent)


Interestingly, I met Abraham Vergese, while my husband was a patient at Stanford, a few weeks ago. He is a doctor there and was leading a group of young Dr.'s, in the art of bedside observation. As they were speaking to my husband I looked at him and said, "do you write books?". He smiled and responded that indeed he does! What a kind and gentle man. He invited me down to his office and signed copies of his two other books which I had not read. I'm pleased to add your other recommendations to my reading list. Thanks, Erin.



i am impressed.
and totally bummed to admit that i didn't read a single book. :(

hi you... miss you!

Jennifer O.

I loved The Tiger's Wife! Some of yours are on my list too. I've had a copy of Cutting for Stone forever, but right now I have a pile of library books mocking me. The last I finished were Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and The Art of Fielding. I'm reading The Forgotten Garden now.


I also loved Cutting for Stone. I couldn't put it down;
though I really didn't care to learn about how to do a vasectomy (HA! HA!) it was excellent writing.

Mary Jo

Steinbeck and In One person . -Fatty
cutting for stone -both

just a guess and why not ?

Erin | house on hill road

No. But good try. ;)

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