I remember the days when in June we would get our summer reading lists, with titles like Summer of My German Soldier, or Yellow Raft on Blue Water. I remember thinking that there was no way I could read 3-4 books over the summer. Now, I secretly wish I had that “free” time again to lounge and read. I love reading. I love that a good novel can take you places you’ve never even dreamed of. How just reading a few lines of an expertly crafted sentence can paint an amazing picture in your mind. I have a really broad preference of the books I like to read. It really is dependent on my mood. Which usually means I have 5-8 books in my night stand in which I have started or just a stock pile of books on my reading list.
When I was pregnant with my first petite I voraciously read (I’m almost embarrassed to say it) The Sookie Stackhouse novels. In my opinion they are ridiculous, poorly written and edited, but I couldn’t get enough. After reading eleven of the books I finally called it quits, I couldn’t take it anymore. But secretly, I still love them. Shh don’t tell anyone. I also tend to read books that have similar subject matter, which you will most likely note when you read about my summer reading list below.
Since I have a BA in English, I’ve read quite a few of the classics and love taking those BuzzFeed quizzes that ask which books you’ve read. But there are a few that I wear like a badge as part of a special club; Moby Dick, is one such title. Although I have a few gaps that I need to fill before I will be able to ace those darn buzzfeed quizzes. So now, I am spending all of this time finding the perfect books to fill up my night stand. It’s sort of a random group of books: classic, young adult, non-fiction, fiction, historical fiction, science fiction. Here is what I’ve come up with so far. I have no idea if I will get to all of these or merely just stub my toes on the veritable pile next to the bed as I get up in the middle of the night to tend to the petite. But it is always good to have goals right?
Insurgent – I read Divergent and liked it, but now I feel compelled to finish the series of books. I also promised my sister-in-law that I would finish it.
Eating on the Wild Side – I’ve wanted to read this for a while. The main idea behind this book is to get to the optimum nutrition that our food offers us. I read about this book on a gardening blog and how the author Jo Robinson discusses the link between the wild vegetables and fruits and what we now eat and sort of directs us to the better varieties to buy in the market. With all of the GMO foods I am extremely interested in growing my own food and making the most informed decisions about what I can’t grow and need to purchase. Plus Jo Robinson is a local author what’s not to love?
The Good Lord Bird – James McBride is one of my favorite authors. I love all of the books that he has written especially The Color of Water (1995). The Good Lord Bird won the National Book Award in Fiction. This is the story of a young boy who is born and slave, and joins John Browns’ anti-slavery movement. My husband read it a few months ago and I was supposed to read it right after and never got to it. This time around it is going to happen.
The Kitchen House – by Kathleen Grissom. This is another book that keeps popping up on my radar. It is about a young girl from Ireland (I’m already in love), who is an indentured servant on a pre-civil war plantation. She struggles to find her place on the plantation. This book is a New York Times bestseller and is on lists for being a great book club discussion book.
The Book of Lost Things – John Connolly has written a book with a young boy as the main character who is in the midst of mourning his mother’s death. He retreats into the pages of books, but then a curious thing happens and the stories in the books begin to merge with his life.
Lolita – Okay, this may seem a little silly, an English major whose never read Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, seriously? This is one of the books on those darn buzzfeed quizzes that I always think I have read, sometimes I even check it off, but I assure you, I’ve never read it.
The Thickety: A Path Begins – by J.A. White. I recently saw this book at an independent book shop where they write these amazing little reviews on grey cards and place them on the shelves near the books. I fell in love with the review, the cover and the smell of the book too. A brother and sister are the main characters of this novel, there is a forbidden forest, witches, and a strange book that sets some interesting things into motion. This is more of a middle age book; but nonetheless, I think it might be a fun read.
The White Woman on the Green Bicycle – Monique Roffey’s book is another that had an amazing review at the local book shop. It is about a young English couple, George and Sabine, who find themselves in Trinidad. George is seduced by all Trinidad has to offer, whereas Sabine feels discontent and isolation. When George uncovers secret letters a tumult is created in this beautifully written novel.
Modern Pioneering: More Than 150 Recipes, Projects, and Skills for a Self-Sufficient Life – for some time now I have been really interested in farming and being more self-sufficient. Although I am no where near a “modern pioneer” I am hoping to learn some new things. I also love the layout and print of this book. It looks like an old farmers almanac.
The Invention of Wings – Sue Monk Kidd is a favorite author of mine. I had a change to meet her when I lived in South Carolina and have been a huge fan of her works, mainly because of the setting she creates, it feels like you’re actually there when you are reading. I love that feeling. This novel is set in Charleston and details the very different lives of two young girls. Unlike her other novels this is a historical fiction and I am so excited to see what she has done in this new genre.
The Book of Life – This is the third installment of the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. Last year I read The Discovery of Witches and just loved this novel. There is time travel, witches, vampires, fabulous libraries and secret books. Yes, please. This book will be released on July 15th, I am so excited.
Written in My Own Hearts Blood – Diana Gabaldon, oh my goodness, she has been one of my favorite authors for a few years. Her first novel Outlander was first printed some 20 years ago and has been so loved that now it is going to be a mini series on Starz. So exciting. Written In My Own Hearts Blood is Gabaldons’ eighth novel – it will be published in just weeks. After seven novels of gigantic length I find it hard to summarize what this one might be about. What I will say is that I am sure it is filled with adventure and surprises. Gabaldon does an immense amount of research on the time period in which her novels are set, they read like historical fiction. I don’t know if you could just pick this book up without reading the other seven first. Start with Outlander its one of my favorites.
This is a pretty substantial list of books that I would like to read this summer, we will see how far I get. All in all if I read every book on this list, I will have read 5,500+ pages. Who knows if that will happen, but there is always hope right? What books are on your summer reading list?