Reading With Blogging Mama

I figured it was a good time for another edition of Reading With Blogging Mama.  You can see the previous recommended books here RWBM or click the reading button above in the navigation bar.  Since we are going on a nice warm 80 degree weather type of vacation on Wednesday it’s the perfect time for some good beach reads!  They are not lighthearted (ie trashy romance) but books I’ve had on the shelf for a bit now just waiting to be read.  But frankly I’ve been too dang busy to read at all lately.  
I’m actually going to put up three books.  Two I plan to take with me for the trip.  The third book is one I just really like and want to tell you about.
The first book:
Night Train to Lisbon by Pascal Mercier.  From the back cover:
When, one afternoon, mild-mannered and middle-aged Classics scholar Raimund Gregorius walks out of his classroom while giving a lesson, his impulsiveness surprises him as much as it does his students.  This break from his hitherto predictable routine is inspired by two chance encounters-the first with a mysterious Portuguese woman, and the second with a book that he discovers in a dusty corner of an old bookshop, which contains the thoughts of an enigmatic
Portuguese aristocrat.  With the book as his talisman, Gregorius boards the night train to
Lisbon on a journey to find out more about its author, Amadeu de Prado: who was the man whose words both haunt and compel him?
Hurtling through the dark, Night Train to Lisbon is a rich tale, wonderfully told, propelled by the mystery at its heart.
Sounds fabulous right?  I thought so.  I bought this all the way back in September when I went to Bremen.  And I read a bit but got distracted with class and writing and life.  So I am anxious to find a small corner of the boat and curl up with this one.
The second book to check out is by Douglas Kennedy.  The Woman in the Fifth.  I bought this at the Relay at the airport in Paris and I searched Barnes & and it didn’t come up.  But it comes up at  It is a UK publication but hopefully if you’re interested you might find it.  From the back cover:

Harry Ricks is a man who lost everything.  A romantic mistake at the small American college where he used to teach has cost him his job, his marriage and his relationship with his only child.  When the ensuing scandal threatens to completely destroy him, he flees to Paris.
Harry arrives in the French capital in the bleak midwinter and finds himself a job as a nightwatchman for a sinister operation.  Just when he thinks that he has hit rock bottom, he meets Margit – an elegant, cultivated Hungarian émigré – widowed and, like Harry, alone.  But though Harry is soon smitten, Margit keeps her distance.  She will only see him at her apartment in the fifth arrondissement, and is guarded about her work, her past, her life. When a man is found dead and the police look to Harry, he finds himself waking up in a nightmare from which there is no easy escape.
Really, now doesn’t that sound interesting!  So those are my picks for hitting the beach and hopefully I’ll get a chance to tackle them.  The third book I want to mention I read some ten years ago maybe but I just was really taken with this woman’s story.  It’s a memoir and maybe hard to read because of the topic but I found her struggle wonderfully real and brave.  She was featured as the local author at my B&N in Philadelphia.  I did briefly mention this book in my post here this summer.  But now I want to include it for RWBM.
So pick number three: Where is the Mango Princess? by Cathy Crimmins.  It’s been reprinted with a new cover in paperback and is available at Target and other booksellers. From the back cover:

Humorist Cathy Crimmins has written a deeply personal, wrenching, and often hilarious account of the effects of traumatic brain injury, not only on the victim, in this case her husband, but on the family.

When her husband Alan is injured in a speedboat accident, Cathy Crimmins reluctantly assumes the role of caregiver and learns to cope with the person he has become. No longer the man who loved obscure Japanese cinema and wry humor, Crimmins’ husband has emerged from the accident a childlike and unpredictable replica of his former self with a short attention span and a penchant for inane cartoons. Where Is the Mango Princess? is a breathtaking account that explores the very nature of personality-and the complexities of the heart.

So put down the computer and pick up a book this week.  I hope maybe you’ll consider one of the books above.  If you do, be sure to let me know what you thought!

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