Thank goodness the summer has finally arrived. Now is the perfect time to go to the beach (or closest body of water) and hang out with some great books. Is there anything better than to spend a day lazily devouring a great book?
I just returned from an outstanding children’s literature conference at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia. The people there made me feel so welcome, and I came away pumped. Had the good fortune to hang out with one of my favorite children’s authors, Norton Juster, who delighted everyone with tales of his inspirations and tribulations in creating his books, including The Phantom Tollbooth (a Newbery Winner), The Dot and the Line and The Hello, Goodbye Window (a Caldecott Winner). Left the conference inspired from talking to a lot of wonderful teachers dedicated to improving their students’ reading attitudes and aptitudes.
This is my big month of travel, as I will be speaking in Las Vegas (twice), Indianapolis, the Chicago area and outside Nashville, Tennessee (along with assorted locations around Los Angeles). Thank goodness my mother-in-law is flying in from Singapore to stay with us for a few months, or my wife may have killed me! The one positive thing about flying to speaking engagements is that it affords me the time to scour through a lot of wonderful books. While it is a little too long to meet the criteria of The Lazy Readers’ Book Club, Pat Croce’s motivational autobiography I Feel Great and You Will Too! (272 pages) is absolutely fantastic. I wish I could have Croce as my personal trainer, as he makes me laugh, pumps me up and offers basic gems of wisdom that inspire me as much as my favorite trainer in the world, Bob Harper (from NBC’s excellent inspirational weight loss show, The Biggest Loser). Probably my favorite author to enjoy during the summer is the hilarious Carl Hiaasen, whose Lucky You provides plenty of laughs and twists. Another great one that is too long to include on the list but well-worth the time is the at sometimes silly, at others poignant Confessions of a Super Mom by Melanie Lynne Hauser (320 pages).
Anyhow, enjoy this month’s book selections below. I hope you are all reading some wonderful books. Make sure to tell me all about them. If you're an author or a publisher and would like to send me review copies of your book(s), please send them to the address listed for authors and publishers.
Have a wonderful July, and enjoy your books!