This has been a tricky summer, with a lot of fun stuff and a lot of not fun stuff, but in the midst of it all, I've been reading.
Generally, I do read in the summer, because reading is a good thing to do while baseball is on. I'm at the point in my life where I take my glasses off when I read, but I can't see what's on TV without my glasses, but with my giant new TV set, I can figure out what's happening. Since I tend to read with the TV on, but the sound off (I frequently keep the sound off the TV, even if I'm not reading), it helps if I can kind of make out shapes.
Now that I think about it, I exercise a lot when I'm reading and watching TV. All that pushing the glasses on and off my nose probably burns off 100 calories per page and/or inning.
Anyway, Monday the US Open will begin, and whether I have the sound on or not, I'll be reading less because tennis is the kind of sport you actually have to pay attention to (so is figure skating, but that won't start for a while). So I figured I should let you know all the high class things I've read this summer before the summer ends and I stop reading.
Be prepared to be impressed. After a spring of reading suspense novels, I've moved back to non-fiction.
Teresa Of Avila (Cathleen Medwick)- Teresa Of Avila (who I've always affectionately called Big St. Teresa) turned out to be a lot cuter than I'd expected. She had a real problem with levitating. There was a lovely scene where a nun happened to notice her and St. John Of The Cross having a late night chat while both of them were floating towards the ceiling.
The Great Warming (Brian Fagan)- Who knew things warmed up on earth between 800-1300? Well, maybe you did, but I didn't, and I also didn't know when the Little Ice Age happened (right afterwards, since you asked). If I'd ever had any illusions that I wanted to be a subsistence farmer in medieval times, this book convinced me otherwise. Actually, I never had those illusions, since I've always known life is better with indoor plumbing.
Doomed Queens (Kris Waldherr)- I have my doubts about the historical accuracy of some of the queens, but this book was great fun. Maybe not so much fun for the queens themselves, but definitely fun for the readers.
Madame de Pompadour (Evelyne Lever)- I never got around to reading the biography of Louis XIV's second wife, so I figured I'd read about Louis XV's official mistress instead. She wasn't doomed, but alas, she wasn't all that interesting either.
Stonewall Jackson (John Bowers)- I've had this book on my shelves for a long time and I finally got around to reading it, and I'm very glad I did. Extremely entertaining, although as someone who always roots for the North in the Civil War, it was kind of worrisome to read about Stonewall Jackson's great successes. Good thing I knew how things turned out in the end.
What I am currently reading: Born To Be Hurt (Sam Staggs). This is (or so the book jacket says) The Untold Story Of Imitation Of Life. I'm not a big fan of Imitation Of Life, which I think I've only seen once and that was many decades ago, but any book that talks about Lana Turner and Sandra Dee is all right by me. And I should be able to finish it by Monday.
Hmm... Now that I think about it, Lana Turner starred in Madame X, and she stonewalled during that nasty murder business, which could have doomed a lesser movie queen, and while she wasn't exactly a saint, she certainly warmed things when she wore her sweater.
Suddenly, my entire summer makes sense!