I have a stack of books on my bedside table. Every day I look longingly at them, wishing there were more hours in the day.
That’s one of the reasons I enjoy summer so much. Between travel and tent time, I can always find time for reading.
Here are 7 books for summer reading. Some I’ve read, others are in the queue.
- Grandma Gatewood’s Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail by Ben Montgomery.
I’m in the middle of this book right now and can’t put it down. If you think you’re too old for a long distance hike, think again. Emma Gatewood, a 67 year old great-grandmother, set off on her own with all of 15 pounds on her back (no tent) and a few hundred dollars. She became the first woman to solo hike the whole of the Appalachian Trail – in 1955. According to the book, her criticism of the less well maintained sections of the trail may well have saved the trail from extinction.
- Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder
This book had been around for a while but I just read it over the winter. Paul Farmer, the most energetic, creative, brilliant human being in modern times that I have heard about, sets out to cure the world, particularly in Haiti, Peru, Cuba and Russia. As a specialist in infectious diseases, he devises, plans and negotiates new ways to treat old diseases and achieves lasting results with some of the poorest people on the planet. The book will energize you, inform you and leave you cheering for him.
- The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin
I haven’t read this one yet but I can tell I won’t be able to put it down. Ann Morrow meets, falls in love and eventually weds Colonel Charles Lindbergh. She became the world’s first licensed female pilot, but despite that accomplishment she is always just the aviator’s wife – until she learns to embrace change and happiness – after experiencing hardship and heartbreak.
- Your Brain on Nature by Dr. Eva Selhub and Alan C. Logan
This book is on my wish list. It was recommended to me by Vinessa of Clearwater Canoeing in Saskatchewan. She tells me that she makes the book required reading for all the staff she hires. Why? – so that they can understand the relationship between nature and our physical, psychological and mental health. Since I plan to spend most of the summer outside, I’d like to know exactly what it’s going to do for me. I probably already do but the book provides the empirical evidence.
- The Rosie Project by Graeme Simpson
If you have had any experience with people with Asperger’s, you will instantly recognize Don Tillman. Don, a professor of genetics, says “Logically I should be attractive to a wide range of women”. He is on a search for a wife and his methodology is hilarious. You will be rooting for this guy and in awe of his memory and brain power. Plan to read the book in one sitting.
- The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
The Paris Wife refers to Hadley Richardson, Ernest Hemingway’s first wife. After a whirlwind courtship and marriage, the couple heads for Paris in the 1920’s. The ups and downs of their lives, their relationships with the big thinkers and writers of their time – like Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, the jealousies and deception – all make for great reading.
- Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
Over Christmas I had a chance to visit Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home. One of my readers suggested this book. It’s about a clandestine love affair between Frank Lloyd Wright and one of his clients – Mamah Borthwick. Although the book is fictional, it’s based on their real affair – which ended tragically when she was murdered at Taliesin West.
What books – and I like everything but science fiction – would you recommend for summer reading in 2o14?