Summer Reading

To prepare for our time in Maasailand, we read Joseph Lemasolai Lekuton's Facing the Lion: Growing Up Maasai on the African Savanna. Given my "between cultures" perspective, I especially enjoyed the last chapter which described Lekuton's arrival in America. He hadn't eaten for days when his female hosts picked him up, but he didn't say anything about his hunger as a Maasai warrior never asks a woman for help or food. Finally, when he was about to faint, his female hosts realized he was starving and drove him to McDonald's.

I finished Harry Potter while on the plane from Boston to Nairobi. We're now reading it aloud to catch the wonderful Rowling-esque details I missed on my plot-seeking mad dash of a first read. I also read The Secret Life of Bees, which had been recommended to me about 200 times (possibly, I exaggerate.) Memorable characters, but the plot had a bit too much boomer-ish anti-male sentiment for my tastes. Did anyone else feel there was a bit of the "noble savage" stereotype going on when it came to a few of the African-American characters? No? Oh, well, maybe I'm just jealous of Sue Monk Kidd's raving success.

While in Africa, I enjoyed reading the most recent two installments in Alexander McCall Smith's Ladies' Detective Agency series. Quick, easy pleasure, like literary Hershey's Kisses. Finally, I read Lizzie Bright and the Buckminister Boy, which had me scratching my head once again about the reasoning behind the Newbery awards. Spoiler: everybody dies.

So what stories have you read this summer?