One of my favorite parts of a beach trip is devouring a stack of books. Here’s what I’ve read so far this week:
Peter the Great by Robert K. Massie (a long haul, started last November)
Escaping Into the Open, the Art of Writing True by Elizabeth Berg
Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson
The Pecan Man by Cassie Dandidge Selleck
Sold by Patricia McCormick
The Blue Sweater, Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World by Jacqueline Novogratz
Peter the Great was an epic sweep of history. I first read Catherine the Great by the same author, and loved learning about her life. Peter seemed to go on for a long long time, but it was also very interesting. My take away from Peter: too much waste. Waste of lives, waste from extravagance, waste from war.
Escaping Into the Open was a good read by an author on writing. I’m always looking for some good tips to improve my writing skills. Elizabeth Berg is comfortable and sensible.
Edenbrooke was a bit of a disappointment after hearing some good reviews. She tried to be Jane Austen-ish, but used today’s vernacular, which was totally out of context. It didn’t do it for me.
The Pecan Man, on the other hand, was excellent, beautiful and literary, reminding me very much of To Kill a Mockingbird. I enjoyed every word–thought-provoking and heartfelt.
Sold was the story of a 13 year-old girl in Nepal sold into prostitution. It is very sensitively and poignantly written. Every year 12,000 young girls in Nepal are sold by their families, either intentionally or unwittingly into a life of sexual slavery in the brothels of India. Worldwide, the U. S. State Department estimates that nearly half a million children are trafficked into the sex trade annually. Sold is a National Book Award Finalist and I hope my daughter will read it.
I can’t stop thinking about The Blue Sweater, which takes a look at sustainable development work in poverty-stricken areas. I sometimes felt like I was reading about my own life, as I read about Jacqueline Novogratz’s experiences in Africa. Her background as a Wall Street banker with an MBA from Stanford and a BA in economics and international relations has prepared her to find innovative ways to bridge the gap between venture capitalism and traditional charity. A fascinating read for those of us looking for ways to change the world. Her words made me want to do more.
I’m already thinking about the next stack of books I’ll take when we go to the beach in August. We’ll be there twice as long and my stack will be twice as high!