Saturday, June 18, 2011

What's On Your Summer Reading List?

Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
P.J. O'Rourke

What's on your book list for summer? I'm compiling my pile and hope you'll share yours also. I'm also adding a few titles written by some friends of mine.

My Summer Stack:

The Moonflower Vine - Jetta Carleton
A Visit From the Goon Squad - Jennifer Egan
The Lake Shore Limited - Sue Miller
The Widows of Eastwick - John Updike
Beloved - Toni Morrison
Why New Orleans Matters - Tom Piazza
As I Lay Dying - William Faulkner
Divisadero - Micahel Ondaatje
The Whole World Over - Julia Glass
The Golden Notebook - Doris Lessing

(Not to mention that there are 30 more books on my To Be Read shelf and that I'll probably hit the library when nothing pops out at me on any given day.)

Here are a few I recommend written by some of my author friends.

If You Can't Stand the Heat - Robin Allen
A Cozy Mystery Culinary Romp

I, too, have suffered in the garden - Jennifer Hritz
Character driven delight

Circular Breathing - Meditations from a Musical Life - Ann McCutcheon
Essays from an incredible writing teacher
Tender Graces - Kathryn Magendie
Women's literary fiction

Click on the books to find their Amazon page. As you can see, I haven't quite mastered the proper download of the covers. Why is it that some days you can't remember what you've done in the past? Perhaps sometimes a good thing.

So, what's on your list for the summer?


  1. I just finished Unbroken by Laura Hillerbrand...what a book. The subject matter was heart wrenching (POW in Japan)...but what a story. I gave it to my neighbor...she finished it in tow is that good. Also by Hillerbrand is Seabiscuit..which I had never read...can't put it down. She has a gret wrting to go through your a good book you just can't put down!

  2. I've put your recommendations on my list. Usually reading three books at any given time. Hope you're having a great summer!

  3. Some summer trash: Life by Keith Richards, a couple of mysteries
    Some classics I've missed: Mildred Pierce, Portrait of a Lady
    Some realtively recent ones: Divisadero, The Yiddish Policeman's Union

  4. I tend to read more in the winter - in the summer I want to e outside as much as possible.

  5. I'll have to remember some of these titles... I recently had to throw out all my books.. it was a sad moment.. well moments.. I couldn't bare to throw them all at once.. Not to mention the volume of books I've been carting around for years.. I'm really going to miss some of them.. Darn musty garage and the dreaded mould..

    Have a great weekend.. and hope your hubby is on the mend now!! ciao xxx Julie

  6. I am expecting in the mail, "How the Irish Saved Civilization" soon.
    Just finished "A Maiden's Grave" by Jeffery Deaver. Very absorbing.
    I need some good chick lit....Mary Alice Monroe...that kind of thing. Might be time to hit the library or peruse the system-wide website for interesting things...

  7. A big thick psychology book :)! I miss pleasure reading!

  8. I can't wait to be finished moving and can sit down with a big, old book....I'll remember your list then!

  9. Trying to finish *The Crimson Petal and the White* (if I don't finish it soon, I'll just return it next time I see you--it's dipped in interest for me). Also reading

    *The World According to Garp
    *The Illuminatus Trilogy
    *Con Ed (thanks to Jennifer Evans)
    *Little Billy's Letters
    and a few others I'm too lazy to get off my butt to find . . .

    Hope you're doing well. How's Bob doing?

  10. Great list!

    Here's some of what's on mine:

    Bird Cloud by Annie Proulx
    Packing for Mars by Mary Roach
    Homer's Odyssey by Gwen Cooper.

    Happy Reading!

  11. Hey..I hope he likes didn't quite spell her name time just ask...I will send it to you

  12. Love the quote :)

    It sounds as though you've set yourself up for some happy reading hours this summer...hope your Hubby's feeling perkier and giving you time to settle with a book inbetween playing nurse to him!

  13. Thanks for the laugh with the PJ quote.

    My read list unfortunately will be job-related this summer, so I'll have to depend on others for entertainment.

  14. Excellent recommendations here.
    I'm currently reading Jennifer Egan's "A Visit From the Good Squad." Hoping to get through it before I see her speak at a writers conference (my first!) I'm attending at the end of this week. I'd better get going... ;)

  15. I'm starting the summer with a bunch of crime capers--a couple of Dortmunder books by Donald E. Westlake, a Florida/NY Mafia book by new-to-me Laurence Shames, and a Las Vegas gambling story by James Swain.

    Thanks for the plug for HEAT!

  16. I like this little glimpses of who you are, Julie.
    I hope to be reading:
    Cutting for Stone - Abraham Verghese
    Started Early, Took My Dog - Kate Atkinson
    Unwinding The Clock - Bodi Jonssen
    Reading Like A Writer - Francine Prose (yes, really!)
    Under The Banner Of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith - Jon Krakauer

    and all the back issues of the New Yorker magazine that are on the coffee table

  17. Thanks for the recommendations. I wanna read "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand as well, and "How the Irish Saved Civilization."

    I recently read "Packing for Mars" (it was okay) and I read "Under the Banner of Heaven" a while ago (it was scary great).

    I just finished "The American Plague" by Molly Caldwell Crosby about the yellow fever epidemic (it was good) and just started "Nothing Like It In the World" by Stephen Ambrose about the transcontinental railroad.

    Guess I've been interested in history lately, but gotta get to some of that fiction this summer -- esp. Toni Morrison. I haven't read her; but she's definitely on my list.

    Thx. again for the suggs. -- happy summer reading!

  18. About the only thing that I have time to read these days is blogs. Looks like a great list! Enjoy!

  19. Is that a new Sue Miller book? OMG, I'm showing that I'm out of the literary loop. I've read everything she's written, I think. Until now!

  20. I don't have a reading list...I'm lucky if I get blogs read before ballgames, birthday parties, doctor's appointments, and all the other summer chores everyone has for me...gotta getta reading list so I can tell them I'm busy!!!

  21. I have already downloaded Tender Graces, so that's on my list and then I'm thinking of joining the world and reading the Harry Potter books.

  22. There are so many books I want to read. The latest one I've bought is Louis Wolpert's "You're Looking Very Well" (non fiction). I'm midway through "Ali and Nino" - very interesting and also mysterious.

  23. To be honest, my Nook is full and ready to go, but I've been in the garden out back. I'm not ready to settle down yet.

    For some reason, I have excess energy and I'm trying to use it to lose some of this middle age spread. lol

    Good choices!

  24. Great list! Hope your husband is doing well...and that your sanity is still intact (just keep reading, just keep reading).

  25. Thanks for the great list. I'm just starting Ann Patchett's new book, State of Wonder, and loving it. I also have the new Lisa See (Dreams of Joy), which I'm eager to get to. In between, I'm reading Lisa Gardner mysteries.

    I'm hoping to get my hands on David Baldacci's One Summer - not a thriller like he usually writes, but more literary like Wish You Well, my very favorite of his books.

    I'm also reading Kathryn Shulz's Making Mistakes. I got it after seeing her TED talk. It's surprisingly readable, and definitely giving me much to think about.

  26. I am all a'grinnin! You have my book up there - teeheehee :-D

    dang... *shuffling feet in grass*

    As for what I'm reading - this is "deadline" time so I'm reading my manuscript over and over and over; however, I take breaks and read fiction - my next is fellow NCer and debut author Teresa Frohock, Miserere An Autumn Tale - out of my usual "genre" but looking forward to it!

    After that, I have some book on my Kindle to read while I'm in Oregon.

    books books glorious books!

    (and thank you for the mention *smiling*)

  27. I'm a little curious about the Yiddish Policeman's Union! Currently on my nightstand...

    - El amor en los tiempos del cólera / Marquez
    I don't understand Spanish, but I'm hoping my French will get me through until I get an English version
    - La petite Malika / Rachedi
    - Gaza Mom: Palestine, Politics, Parenting, and Everything in Between / El-Haddad
    - Angry Black White Boy / Mansbach
    - Faust / Goethe

  28. Currently, I'm reading Mennonite in a Little Black Dress. It's my book club's selection.

    I'm also listening to Middlesex on tape. I'm only half way, and can't imagine how it will end. It has so many twists and turns.

    I have two books from the library sale by Joyce Carol Oates. Just finished A Widow's story by her, and curious to read more of her work...maybe, We Were the Mulvanneys.

    Like your first commenter, I enjoyed Unbroken, too. Sad, but a page turner that keeps you rooting for Louie.

    Had to click on the first book...can't see it now, but was it "If You Can't Stand the Heat?" That title is an attention getter.

    Thanks for the quote at the beginning. :)

  29. Just returning to find other books. I'd read "Started Early, Took My Dog" just for the title! And I've been wanting to read Under the Banner of Heaven, but forgot about it. Good reminder!

  30. I've read a few of these and they are indeed excellent. However, one of my favorite books of all time ever is Doris Lessing's "The Golden Notebook". I credit Lessing as my main influence in helping me to grow up and understand life. I could never say enough good things about her.
    Of course, I was much younger when I was reading her, and I keep thinking I'm going to go back and read her classics gain. Someday soon I hope. I wonder if I would love her as much today.

  31. As a newly unemployed midlifer (and former librarian) I'm reading up a storm this summer! Some favorites: The Hundred-Foot Journey, the Hunger Games trilogy, The Secrets of Jin-shei, and The Cookbook Collector.


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