An Open Book: What I Read in July


Cory and I were traveling fools in July, and we had quite a bit of spare time to finish two books we were reading together. I mentioned to someone that we always have a book we’re reading aloud together, and she was surprised. Yes, we always have a “joint” book in progress, and it’s something I can’t imagine not having in our relationship.

Do you read books aloud with your significant other? How do you choose what to read?

book coversThe Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron (4/5 stars)

Three-line review: This book and all its creative activities walked into my life at the most serendipitous time. I took longer than the suggested 12 weeks to complete it, and I’ve enjoyed spending lots of time reading and thinking about it since I started reading it in February. My only hang up with it — and it’s a big hang up — is the heavy emphasis on spirituality, specifically the usage of the word “God,” even as the author encourages readers to think beyond traditional religious concepts.

We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach (3/5 stars)

Three-line review: Living under the idea the planet may be hit with an asteroid within a couple short months, several teenagers learn to live, love and navigate their way in an uncertain world. I was really into this story early in the book, but it took some weird turns later on, and the author seems to have included unnecessary violence and plot twists just to keep things “interesting.” That said, I loved Wallach’s creative language choices, and the dialogue was particularly good.

The Last of the Tribe: The Epic Quest to Save a Lone Man in the Amazon by Monte Reel (5/5 stars)

Three-line review: This is a well-researched book about the challenges and implications of making contact with a single man living alone in the Amazon amid pressure to develop the area. Reel did an excellent job of providing important and thorough background on every person tied up in the controversy while also providing a balanced account of the economic, political and cultural implications of “saving” not only a one-person tribe but the place in which he lives. I learned a lot about a complex subject I didn’t know much about, and I highly recommend the book to others interested in diving into a subject that is sure to become even more complicated as the world’s natural resources are strained.

Meditations of John Muir: Nature’s Temple by Chris Highland (4/5 stars)

Three-line review: We began reading this book aloud to each other while hiking the John Muir Trail a few years ago, but didn’t finish it before finishing the hike, so we started over again and finished it within two days this summer. These 60 short cuttings from Muir’s writings were well-selected and great fodder for conversation as we drove across the country. The only thing that would have made the book better would be an arc to the selections so reading several in a row had some sense of continuity.

One Response to “An Open Book: What I Read in July”

  1. Jill

    Always interesting to read your book reviews. I found The Artist’s Way to be one of those books that only “works” at certain points in your life. The first time I picked it up -‘years ago when it first came out – I didn’t even make 15 pages. It would be different today, I’m sure.


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