Summer Reading List

When I was a kid I would have laughed at you if you told me that I would sometime have reading as my main hobby. I’m not sure why but I didn’t enjoy it, probably because I was slow. Which was a viscious cycle, I was slow because I never read, and I never read because I was slow, on and on. I’m not sure when the switch to “I love reading” happened, probably when I didn’t have required reading any more. Nothing like being told “you must read this somewhat depressing book” (Animal Farm for instance) to turn you off something. Anywho, since highschool and college I have found myself reading more and more, but oddly I have an affinity for choosing young-adult books – perhaps because I never read them when I was a young-adult…I guess I don’t know where the cut off of acceptability of reading those books is. Not like I’ll let that stop me. Also not like I’m an old adult either…I’m in that weird in between age, where you’ve been out of college a few years but don’t have the life experience yet to– let me stop there. This is getting wildly off topic.

Anyway, with Memorial Day Weekend around the corner it feels like summer will officially ‘start’ now. I don’t go by the calendar, the pool schedule is more accurate – so summer is day-to-day. Memorial through Labor which I think many people would agree. With that in mind even though I read all the time anyway I figured I should probably pick the books I want to for sure read. Having a goal in mind always helps, right?

  1. A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – Why it’s on the list: If you read my previous post this comes to no surprise. I have a giant book with lots of Doyle’s Sherlock stories in it. I especially like that it has the original illustrations by Sidney Paget in it. Also, they’ve tried to make it look like it would have looked when it was originally printed in The Strand magazine. Complete with an old and imperfectly printed font. Time will tell if this variance in ink coverage/readability will be annoying or not. I’ll be sure to reflect upon the matter. [Update – just checked my compilation book and it isn’t in there! Makes sense I suppose, I thought I’d looked through the book and it didn’t ring any bells. Look like I’ll need to run to the book store for this one. Likewise though that means I’ll be starting with a different book, one that is already on my shelf since I don’t have time this weekend to go]
  2.  1984 by George Orwell – Why it’s on the list: I started reading this while I was nanny-ing my nephew last summer. What a shock that I wasn’t able to finish, although you’d think with a 7 month old it’d be easy. Maybe it’s because I don’t have kids of my own but I just had too much fun playing with the kid to read. (Once I called him ‘the kid’ to my sister (his mother) and didn’t hear the end of it for several days)
  3. Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs – Why it’s on the list: I really like the show Bones. When I learned that the idea for the show somewhat stemmed from an actual book I decided I had to at least read a book from the series. My sister was getting rid of books (to make room for her kid’s books and toys) and happened to have a copy, seemed like the perfect time to collect it and now to read it.
  4. Seeing Redd by Frank Beddor – Why it’s on the list: Last December I listened to the first in the series. I promptly went out got the rest of the series but haven’t yet had the time to read the second one. I always enjoy when the story breaks off to follow different characters’ story lines. I think, inevitably, as a reader, I always side by whomever is narrating. If you follow many lines though it allows you to form a connection with more characters because you are allowed to see things from more views.
  5. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco – Why it’s on the list: A few years ago I studied abroad in Italy. I’m 85% positive we were given a ‘you could read this if you wanted to’ list from our teachers. I believe this was on it. Safe to say I didn’t read it at the time but it’s been on my radar ever since. Once I heard of the book it seemed (for a time) it would crop out all over the place. That book cover would jump out as a browsed in a store, stuff like that. 3 years later I may do my suggested reading.
  6. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton – Why it’s on the list: I guess I don’t really have a reason why this is on the list, the fact it’s an American classic maybe? Also, I use to be fascinated by all the references that were on Gilmore Girls. I was surprised I was able to place Pony Boy despite never reading the book. I felt a bit fraud-ish though, so perhaps if I read it I’ll feel better. No, lets go with the American Classic reason.
  7. A is for Alibi by Susan Grafton – Why it’s on the list:I think this series first blipped my radar when I was walking through a book store and saw a giant “M for Malice”. I admit I was intrigued, doubly so when I learned there was an entire alphabet series. In my head if someone has been able to write over 20 books on the same character it might be worth looking into. This logic doesn’t always work (I was never really hooked on The Boxcar Children for instance, but my sister’s were. Maybe the fact that I didn’t read was the culprit).
  8. The Trial by Franz Kafka – Why it’s on the list: I’ve read some of Kafka’s other works (The Metamorphosis comes readily to mind) and enjoyed them. I remember him being both thought provoking and imaginative, a welcome combination. I also may need to reread The Metamorphosis. See if it’s as good in a rereading scenario as it is in my memory. I can’t quite place why but I remember liking it.
  9. The Princess Bride by William Goldman – Why it’s on the list: Ever since the first time I saw the movie, I wondered if it was a book. I remember as a kid trying to check it out from the library, but alas we didn’t have it. So naturally I figured ‘well if our library doesn’t have it, it doesn’t exist’. I’d be so sad if that were true. Not that we have a bad library. Actually it’s pretty good, but there are just so many good books I’ve come across that the library didn’t have, but I digress.
  10. Along Came a Spider by James Patterson – Why it’s on the list: Whenever I go to the bookstore or library I always see a new book out by James Patterson. Seriously, he has so many characters living in his head, I’m not sure how he keeps track. I’ve been interested in his Alex Cross series for a long time. That and the Witch and Wizard series. So I guess if I don’t read Along Came A Spider I’ll start the other. Or, crazy thought, read both.
  11. Cinder by Marissa Meyer – Why it’s on the list: Cyborg Cinderella story? How can you not be intrigued. Also, I love fractured fairy tales or reworked fairy tales (lots of Gregory McGuire on both my ‘to read’ and ‘read’ list too). Seriously though, if I were a cyborg I wonder how much lip I’d take from my sisters. I certainly paint myself the fool often enough as a human, although like I said I do the painting myself. So perhaps comedian is a better term.
  12. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – Why it’s on the list: It’s been on my reading list forever. It’s about time I read it. It’s a goal of mind to read something by each of the Bronte sisters. I read Wuthering Heights, and although I don’t fully understand why it is considered such a great love story, I did enjoy it. So after that I’ll just have one more sister and then I’m done…but I’m sure I’ll read more. It’s not like I’ll stop reading Bronte just because I’ve read 1 from each.
  13. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous (Beatrice Sparks) – Why it’s on the list: Because nothing says summer relaxation like reading about the horrors of drugs. I don’t recall how I stumbled across it, probably looking for something along the lines of Wonderland and Alice was a natural correlation. However I don’t think this will be quite as whimsical as tea with the Mad Hatter.
  14. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – Why it’s on the list: I am interested to see how the photos are incorporated. If it’s anything like The Invention of Hugo Cabret they’ll be quite important. My favorite thing was a friend of mine listened to Hugo Cabret. I think that is one of the few books that doesn’t translate well.
  15. The Maze Runner by James Dashner – Maze RUNner by DASHner, I am amused. Why it’s on the list: I have a good friend who is in a book club and always telling me about the books they are in the middle of reading. I’m sure you can see where this is going but this was one of the books they read this past spring. She was telling me about it and I find it quite interesting, so we’ll see.

Above and beyond (if I some how manage to get through the top list. I’m pretty sure Crime and Punishment is forever long which is why it is at the bottom of both lists)

  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
  • Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
  • Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
  • The Hero of 1,000 Years by Christine E. Schulze
  • Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

I guess that’s probably enough for now…but as I look at my shelf, I don’t know. I see three new books that might need to be snuck in (The Best Night of Your Pathetic Life, What the Dickens and Slightly Irregular…also there is a shocking lack of Shakespeare. That must be rectified) As I said these aren’t the only books I’ll consume this summer. Just the ones I want to be sure to hit. And since there are only 15 weeks in the summer I should limit my official list to 15. Yikes, now that I remember how much I have going on this summer I may not be able to finish! Also I’m vowing that these are the books I’ll read NOT listen to…if they are enjoyed at all in the next 15 weeks. Time’s already slipping (even if it doesn’t start until Sunday). Better round up my books. Also if there are any suggestions on what to read, I’m always looking to expand my circle or reading. Otherwise it’d be full of mysteries and dystopian tales.

That’s it, so until next time~Q

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