Now that I’m commuting to the city, I’m finding myself with seventy minutes more than I ever had before, time for some good reads. It’s time to myself, with no interruptions and no one to worry about. I can literally keep my head down for an extended period of time. Since I live in a small town, there is always the chance of bumping into people on the way in that I have to spend time talking so I do my best to avoid talking types (and I’m quite sure they try to avoid me, as well). It’s a quiet ride, and I’m doing my best to stay off my phone and focus my time and energy on reading for myself. For many years, I’ve had so little time to myself that it’s an absolute pleasure to be able to carve out time for something that’s important to me.
I have a list a mile long of books I want to read, and many of them are stacked on my night table. I’m hoping they make it onto the train with me soon.
Here’s a short list of some of the books I’ve read or am reading now and highly recommend:
What I’m reading now: The Marrying of Chani Kaufman by Eve Harris. Inspired by her experience working as a teacher in an Orthodox school for girls, Harris has written a book about a young girl in London who marries at 19 with no knowledge of what her future holds. It’s a glimpse into Orthodox culture and the conflicts women, in particular, face. So far I love the writing style and it’s a fascinating study of the choices we make.
I never thought I would be as captivated by a novel like Gone Girl until I read The Silent Wife by ASA Harrison. It’s a novel about a marriage, a murder and deception. Strangely enough, the author died of cancer just weeks before publication and never lived to see the success of her novel. Nicole Kidman was just cast in the lead role for the upcoming film based on the book this week and I look forward to the screen version of this psychological thriller.
I’ve written about The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer here on ye old blog. The book is about a group of teenagers who meet at an arts sleep away camp in the 1970s, build an unbreakable bond and continue through life with one another as integral parts 0f their universe. We watch them grow up and see how the choices they make impact their futures and how their pasts determine much of what happens later in life. You will not want to put this book down nor will you want it to end.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple is another infectious novel, only this one is endorsed by Jonathan Franzen. Semple used to be a TV writer over at Arrested Development and now uses her talent to write novels and we are the lucky benefactors of this change. The book is about a teenager and her agoraphobic mom who goes missing. The amount of detail that went into this serious satire is spellbinding.
What I’m reading next: Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg and Emma’s War by Deborah Scroggins. Like I said, I did just start a new job so I need to read up on leadership and how to be taken seriously at work. I also want to read about heroism and another strong women making a difference.
As important as it is to read, I need to make solid choices about the books I’m spending my time with on the train. If you have other suggestions, please leave them in the comments below.