If you’re hitting the road this Labor Day, the Wall Street Journal recommends bringing along a copy of Rheta Grimsley Johnson’s Enchanted Evening Barbie and the Second Coming. Enchanted Evening was featured in Danny Heitman’s Friday article about vacation reading, “A Beached Wail — No Time for That Pile of Books.” Heitman noted that “along with her gift for memorable book titles, Ms. Johnson has a commendable knack for writing stuff brief enough to be savored in a sitting or two.”
Enchanted Evening Barbie and the Second Coming is a frank, exhilarating, wise, poignant, and brave memoir from Johnson, an award-winning syndicated columnist. In a warm and down-to-earth voice, Johnson reflects on childhood memories of ritual pre-interstate trips in the family station wagon to young-girl fixations on the Barbie dolls of the title. The book is a perfect read for vacation, whether beachside in the summer or fireside in the winter!
And don’t miss Johnson’s two other eminently readable titles, Poor Man’s Provence: Finding Myself in Cajun Louisiana, about Johnson’s unexpected decision to move to a houseboat on the edge of the Atchafalaya Swamp and what she found there; and her newest, Hank Hung the Moon … and Warmed Our Cold, Cold Hearts, and ode to 1950s and ’60s musical staples, and how they’ve touched Johnson’s and others’ lives.