Every summer it happens–requests for a reading list. Dolls are headed to the beach, the cabin or just hanging by the pool and long for old fashioned entertainment. The lists of new for summer are okay. But let’s try something different.
How about two classics, a journal type thing, a political commentary, a juicy novel and a guide to dressing well. Sounds positively yummy, non?
Here’s one for your head. Let’s not go as far as The Secret or constant positivity. Let’s just put a pinky toe into the pool of growth. The Chickens tucked this tiny journal in my stocking a couple of years ago and I am constantly drawn back. Do One Thing Every Day That Scares You. It’s a collection of tiny exercises that challenge you to step from your comfort zone. Of course, you don’t have to do them at the beach, unless you feel a great need to tell someone to make their own damn sandwich.
Example: Robert Louis Stevenson said, “Keep your fears to yourself but share your courage.” Today, I shared my courage by _______________________. And you fill in the blank. Good luck. Conceived and compiled by Dian G Smith and Robie Rogge.
Genevieve Antoine Dariaux authored Elegance in 1964. It’s known as the Bible, “for every woman who wants to be well and properly dressed on all occasions.” It is the most fun way to spend an afternoon. Even if you may never wear gloves, you’ll feel smug in your knowledge of what to do should they ever be offered to you. Bonus: it’s just the slightest bit snarky.
Social Crimes penned by Jane Stanton Hitchcock in 2003 is a story as old as time and revenge is, indeed, sweet. The tale of a grande dame of New York society who gets the ultimate comeuppance when her husband drops dead leaving his fortune to another woman. Yikes. Just finished this one–could not put it down–work suffered.
The Conscience of a Conservative, a classic written by Barry Goldwater, is considered the authority on what’s at the heart of conservatism. At only about 100 pages, it’s an easy read. Since the only way we can completely understood the crazy that is politics in America, we must examine all sides, including the “other,” whichever that may be for you.
The last two are first edition gifts from The Norwegian and never a summer goes by this girl does not re-read The Secret Garden and A Little Princess. Not only are the volumes themselves a treasure but the stories are as entrancing and escapist as when I was twelve. Frances Hodgson Burnett wrote A Little Princess in 1888 and The Secret Garden in 1911. Somehow these stories still grab the reader and sweep us away on the adventures of the horrific Miss Minchin’s girls school and the re-birth of not just a garden but a family. Both are worth the step backward. And they’re so old, they cost about two bucks at any book store.
Mix up a pitcher of super dirty martinis and fill your mind. Still want what’s new for summer? Google is happy to share.