Regional Assembly of Text journalOn my nightstand is a rather hefty collection of books on the go – some started last week, some a year or two ago. Bookmarks in place, stories frozen until I can catch back up to speed. A stash of half-finished books also rests in my office cubby, for the rare moments I sneak off for an extenda-lunch. Apparently this book juggling predates to grade 1. I still have my report cards indicating that my reading level was well advanced for my age, and my teacher proudly sent me to read to the Principal…but that she was concerned that I read too many books at once. Her wish was that I stuck with one and finished it before going on to the next one. Such innocent times back then, to be concerned a child is juggling too much reading. Well I am sorry to say Ms. Rayko, I never broke this bad habit. To celebrate this flaw of character I thought I would share some of the summer reading material I am enjoying (some books started, finished, set aside but not forgotten). If you have any suggestions for some fall must-reads, let me know. I am going to need a new stack soon!

♦ All things Sedaris. If I want to snort, chuckle or make audible gasps in public I pick up a David Sedaris creation. He better start writing faster, I’ve ripped through everything. Recently read When You are Engulfed in Flames and on to Barrel Fever. Once I read Holidays on Ice at Christmas I think I will have to start from the top again and reread the roster. Nobody illustrates quirk better.

♦ A healthy dose of Canadian literature: in the midst of Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay. It was meant to be my Yukon trip book, but those Snafu skies and Tagish lake In Style magazines from 2006 were far too tempting. I am glad I waited, I can draw out the hypnotic charm of the North (Yellowknife in this case) as I read this journey into the eccentric relationships of small town radio station folk. Recently finished The Almost Archer Sisters by Lisa Gabriele. I was a fan of her debut Tempting Faith Di Napoli, and found the Archer Sisters to be a good continuation of Gabriele’s depiction of the ugly side of family, motherhood and sibling bonds.

♦ Catherine O’Flynn’s debut What Was Lost is an eerie little tale of a community’s secrets and the passing of time unearthing truth. Sleepy and gripping all at the same time.

♦ Throughly enjoyed Tom Perrotta‘s The Abstinence Teacher. Nobody describes American suburbia with more conviction. There is a reason his stories jump onto film with such ease, they are so rich to begin with.

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