Summer Reading Roundup (July)

My summer of reading is progressing quite nicely and, this month, I kept up my theme from June of reading a diverse selection of books. This month’s books included: a culinary memoir of an American expat in Paris, an historical novel set in 17th-century Netherlands, and a modern classic of Russian literature. Here’s what I read:

The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz: I love David Lebovitz’s blog, so I was excited to finally read his book – and it was as wonderful as I expected. I enjoyed his anecdotes about the quirks of Parisian life, and I cannot wait to try some of the recipes that are sprinkled throughout this book. This is one of those books I simultaneously had to keep reading and yet dreaded reading fast because I didn’t want it to end. Very good, and very funny.

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier: This book has literally been on my “to read” list for years and now I can cross it off – and I’m glad I finally read it. It’s an understated and quiet novel, yet I could not put it down. It’s totally compelling. Griet, the protagonist, is fascinating – the way she seems like an average girl, just a quiet servant, and then you figure out how complex she is. Also, the book’s last sentence killed me; it was pitch perfect (trust me on this, but don’t skip ahead to the end just to check it out).

Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov: Another book that has long been on my “to read” list. In a nutshell, the novel’s premise is: the Devil comes to Stalin-era Moscow; chaos ensues. Intriguing, right? Though I read the introduction and footnotes, I feel like I would have appreciated this story more if I had a stronger grasp of Soviet history, particularly under Stalin. In fact, sometimes I felt like everything I was reading was one gigantic metaphor, yet I couldn’t always put my finger on what it was a metaphor for. Nonetheless, this was such an original, witty, and humorous story and my paragraph write-up can in no way do it justice.

What are you reading this summer?

(Image sources: The Sweet Life in Paris, Girl with a Pearl Earring, Master and Margarita)

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