Dr. Laura Bloxham’s Mid-Summer Reading: From the Sublime to Beach Trash

Earlier this summer, Dr. Laura Bloxham checked in with Whitworth English Blog about what she’d read so far this summer. That post, as well as her entire reading list, is here. Just a few days ago, Laura sent in this dispatch:

Whitworth English

The middle month of my summer shows contrasts in my reading.  R.A. Dickey’s Wherever I Wind Up has been the read of the summer, to be sure.  And it is not just because I love baseball.  The wildly successful knuckleballer this season has made the Mets a contender and has put Dickey’s name on prime time sports shows.  The book has all kinds of stories from Dickey’s baseball career, mostly long years in the minor leagues.  But the childhood full of anguish and suffering, the faith journey that has saved Dickey, literally, are the most compelling parts.  Here’s a man of integrity and faith.

Whitworth English

Jo Nesbǿ’s The Redbreast is a dark Norwegian mystery. The Redbreast  is superbly written and in sharp contrast with my beach trash reads: Father Brad Reynolds’ A Ritual Death, set at La Conner’s Tulip Festival and featuring Native American/Caucasian fishing rights and land conflicts.  Too many stereotypes.  J.A. Jance’s latest Joanna Brady, Arizona sheriff mystery, Judgment Call, is typical of beach trash—good story, quick pace, and no intellectual skill required of the reader.  My current piece of such trash is James Patterson’s and Mark Reynolds’ Private Games, a mystery set at the London 2012 Olympics, which I am reading during the commercials of the Olympics themselves and sometimes during the more arcane events.

I am in the midst of two more sublime books, Cheryl Strayed’s Tine Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar, a collection of online advice columns so compassionate, so moving that I am savoring them a few pages at a time.  The Kick Ass Women Faculty are meeting this week to talk about Becky Sharp in the first third of Vanity Fair.  We’re going to a restaurant with TVs, in order to watch kick ass US women soccer players in the Olympics, while we talk about the novel.

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