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Shen Dove Style: Favorite Summer Reads

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Favorite Summer Reads

summer favorites

During the summer, I decided to take a break from creating my seasonal book lists and just read whatever struck my fancy.  Since summer is for all intents and purposes over, I thought I'd highlight a few of my favorite reads of the summer.  

Paris in Love by Eloisa James - This book encompassed two things I really like; the city of Paris and quirky memoirs.  Eloisa, a romance writer and her husband decided to pack up their family to live in Paris for a year after her recovery from a health crisis.  The book which originated from updates of Eloisa's Paris experience via Facebook is humorous and gives a peak into the adjustment of an American family living in Paris. This memoir is a great read if you're short on time (or don't like to read long chapters) because it's broken up into vignettes. Eloisa's descriptions of the behavior of her plump dog were particularly funny.

Here is a brief excerpt:
Staring out the living room window at that mock pear tree, I also discovered a keen desire to surprise myself.  Rather than living my life in the moment, I wanted to live someone else's life - specifically that of a person that lived in Paris.

The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life by Twyla Tharp.  In this book, famed dancer/choreographer Twyla Tharp discusses how creative success doesn't just appear out of thin air but is typically a result of hard work and the development of certain "creative" habits.  I enjoyed the book because it was interesting to learn about the creative process of a dancer/choreographer and read creative advice from an established performing artist.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book:
A lot of habitually creative people have preparation rituals linked to the setting in which they choose to start their day. By putting themselves into that environment, they start their creative day...
I read for growth, firmly believing that what you are today and what you will be in five years depends on two things: the people you meet and the books you read. 
Before you can think out of the box, you have to start with a box
Game of Thrones: A Song of Fire and Ice by G.R.R. Martin - I don't have any premium cable channels, so I rarely watch shows like Game of Thrones when they are broadcast on cable.  After hearing so many people (in person and on social media) mention the show, I decided to read the book until the show was available online.  When I saw the (large) size of the book after borrowing it from the library, I figured I would end up returning it half-finished, but I found it to be a compelling read and finished it rather quickly.  Game of Thrones has a large cast of characters but somehow the plot still moved rather briskly.  The novel (like the show) is a mix of fantasy and action/drama set in a land similar to England during the 1400s. Does anyone watch the show?  How was season two of the show? I haven't seen it.

Did you read any good books over the summer? Any books on your to-read list?

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