Monday, July 2, 2012

What's On Your Summer Reading List?

I find television to be very educating.  Every time somebody turns on the set, I go in the other room and read a book.  
Groucho Marx

I know, I know. It is now July and I'm finally posting  my summer reading list. Goes right along with my total laxness in the blogging world at present. 

Not to say I haven't been productive. I am working on my novel again. And the toilets in my house are clean. So rare to have both of those things run concurrently. 

I have been reading, too, although not as quickly as normal. Here is my stack for the summer. 

The Greater Journey - David McCullough
The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
I Love Everybody (and Other Atrocious Lies) - Laurie Notaro (More than a giggle and chuckle. Hawhawing from the dock.)
The Tiger's Wife - A Novel - Tea Obreht
Final Payments - Mary Gordon
How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents - Julia Alvarez
Suite Francaise - Irene Neverosky
When Everything Changed - The Amazing Journey of American Women 1960 to Present - Gail Collins (a must read for all young women, young men, old men, everyone!)
Close Range - Annie Proulx
Clair de Lune - Jetta Carleton (From rediscovered author of The Moonflower Vine)
Beloved - Toni Morrison (I know - been on my list every summer. Maybe this summer?)
The Lacuna - Barbara Kingsolver (I loved this one.
As Texas Goes...: How the Lonestar State Hijacked the American Agenda - Gail Collins
Below Stairs - Margaret Powell

And from some of my great blogging and writer friends:

Stick a Fork in It - Robin Allen (Out now) PLUS you can get Robin's first book in this culinary adventure spree If You Can't Stand the Heat for FREE on your Kindle right now.

Whipped, Not Beaten - Melissa Westemeier (AKA Green Girl in Wisconsin - mother of three sons so obviously a kindred spirit.)
Being Miss (Blogging friend from England and this book is so well done.)
The Eight Fingered Criminal's Son - William Snyder (Blogging friend) 1600 sold copies needed for a book deal. You can get it now for $3.95 on Kindle.

And for those of you with kids or grandkids, I'm toting this one by my WriterGrrl friend Bernadette Noll Make Stuff Together: 24 Projects to Create as a Family 

Now, as many of you know from your past experience here at this blog, I end up altering my list all summer as I trade books at book club, wander through the library, or just happen to go past that book table at Costco. So it goes in the world of reading.

But, SHARE! What's on your summer reading list?

P.S. Can anyone tell me how to center my header on my blog page?



  1. I'm slowly reading my book club's current selection which is Cleopatra: a Life, by Stacey Schiff. Busy-ness has kept me from getting into a nice flow with it. Once I do, I hope that it will be a good read.

    The last one we read was Mudbound by Hillary Jordan.

    You have great book titles on your list. I can't believe that I've only read one of them - Beloved - and that was many, many years ago when I was too young to appreciate it.

    Have fun reading! And best wishes in making progess with the novel!

  2. I love you for recommending my book. Love, Miss. x

  3. Great list. I have to sit down and pull from my kindle and my end table what I have read and I am reading. Unlike Groucho Marx I sometimes read and watch TV!!

  4. I couldn't figure out a way to center my header photo either, so decided to try and change its size. I used this free site:
    After much experimentation, I found a method works for me. First, I crop the height of my photo. Next, select custom resize and use dimensions of 900 pixels by 300 pixels.

    I found if the width increases that much without cropping height, the photo gets distorted and everything just looks fat (and who wants to look fat!)

    As you can see from my header, those dimensions make it more of a banner-style photo. Not sure if that's the look you're going for, but you can play around with dimensions/cropping until you find something that works. Hope this helps :-)

  5. Great list. I still have a couple books of yours, which I'll return when I head out there next Monday. Can't wait to catch up.

  6. A good and ambitious list.

    I'd add two new novels: "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn and "Defending Jacob" by William Landay.

    And for nonfiction, "Manhunt : the ten-year search for Bin Laden from 9/11 to Abbottabad," by Peter Bergen

  7. Great stuff on that list! I borrowed the new Nadine Gordimer from the library, and there are literally piles of books silently urging me to choose them. It's ugly...
    Happy summer! Happy reading!

  8. Mmmm ... 50 Shades of Grey series (all 3) finished and enjoyed. Just finished reading "Night Road" by Kristin Hannah. On the look for the next summer read.

  9. My includes a book on Research Methodology and one on Community Corrections. I definitely want to adopt your list.

  10. Wow, I'm thinking you need serious intervention, Slamduck. And an explanation of summer reading.

    How about - wow, I can't even think of... Wait - how about something short - for in between chapters - something you can read when you wake up after passing out from the sheer boredom of those selections.

    Sex books -erotica You know the kind where every five pages someone else is having sex. Read a sexual encounter, read more Research Methodology. Read another sexual encounter, read more Community Corrections. Life's a tradeoff, Right?

    Seriously, good luck with that.

  11. I am slow during the summer staying busy outside and playing hard. I read blogs and emails, a few periodicals casually.

  12. We're opposite! I cannot write in summer--too many kids distracting me. And my toilets are so dirty.
    We read the Schiff book--it's a bit of a grind, but I did learn a lot.
    I just finished "Making it Up" by Penelope Lively and IT WAS EXCELLENT.
    Began The Art of Fielding last night.

  13. Thanks for the mention of my Poppy Markham mysteries. The first one will be free on the Kindle for the entire month of July.

    My last, best favorite nonfiction book is Havana Nocturne: How the Mob Owned Cuba and Then Lost it to the Revolution by T.J. English. I've also recently enjoyed Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain and Doc by Mary Doria Russell, a fictionalized account of the short life of Doc Holliday.

  14. I read Below Stairs by Margaret Powell many years ago, and it is a hoot! She has a great view on life, and a great sense of humour. I recall one scene with a naked man and a kitten that had me in tears of laughter. My list of books read this year so far are on my blog (just below the banner).

  15. just finished "bring up the bodies" by hilary mantel

    happy reading and happy 4th...glad to here you're pushing forward on your novel!

  16. I get most of my books from Saturday morning yard sales. Coincidentally, some of those still unread books will appear in one of my photos for tomorrow's blog post. Right now I'm reading Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs.

  17. I agree with Groucho....

    Here's some suggestions from me.

    Thanks for having a giggle at my site. xx

  18. Honest to goodness!! I was just thinking about you and there you were in a comment from a post five weeks old!! I have been doing tons of reading...all I really want to do...but nothing wrong with that I tell myself. Some of my favs...These is my Words Nancy E. Turner...The Worst Hard Time Timothy Egan....The Dirty Life Kristin Kimball....Half Broke Horses Jeannete Walls (she wrote The Glass Castle)...The Solace of Open Spaces Gretal Ehrlich...I will definitely check out some of yours...I never could get into The Lacuna...tried a couple of times..nor Beloved...though I think I might have read it but can't remember..ha!..thought it was the strangest book or maybe it was the movie I saw! I have picked up Fifty Shades of Grey 10 times at Costco and put it back down again...tell myself I am NOT reading that book!! ha! Hope things are going better...I think I have reached a turning point...xo

  19. I ordered the book called Wild by Cheryl Strayed about when years ago she hiked by herself from so. Cal to Washington, but I haven't read much yet. Also my 9th grader had to pick a book from a list and I investigated and ordered two for myself. They are by Brad Herzog about when he and his wife traveled in an RV across the U.S. visiting small towns such as Faith, Glory, Inspiration, Truth or Consequences, etc.
    Hope you are having a peaceful summer!

  20. I admire your reading list - so ambitious, and even if it does morph throughout the summer, at least your list is a LIST. I do not have a list. I have a half-read book on my Kindle that I borrowed last month.

    I think I must confess that I feel a laxness not only for reading right now, but also for blogging, and anything else that has to do with my computer.

    I cannot put a finger on the reason why, but I think it may have something to do with what I SHOULD do, and I am rebelling against that notion.

    Good luck with your book list this summer - I may have to check out the book that you say makes you HAWHAW from your deck. That sounds like my kind of book. :-)

    And thanks for visiting my blog - so glad you are getting use from your Peterson's bird book. I still find myself pulling mine out several times a year to identify new birds I see around here.

    Take care, enjoy your summer... so good to hear from you!

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. Thank you for the EIGHT-FINGERED CRIMINAL'S SON plug, MLJH.

    I'm reading Bill Fitzhugh's FENDER BENDER, a funny, quirky book about the Nashville music scene. Just finished Rudolpho Anaya's ZIA SUMMER. Anaya is the man. Love his stuff.DR.ZHIVAGO is next on my list.

    While Anaya and Fitzhugh's books are really good, I need to sell 1600 books by October in order to get a book deal so I gotta ask your readers to order THE EIGHT-FINGERED CRIMINAL'S SON. The Kindle version is only 3.95.
    Sorry for the cheesy self promotion...

  23. So many great ideas here. I'm buying the book you suggested about the women's movement and giving it to all the 20 somethings I work with who use terms like "Luke's ol' lady" when referring to a guy's girlfriend, and I haven't even read it yet. I have just finished reading Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese which took me 6 months to read but it's a good book. I just don't read until I go to bed and sometimes can't stay awake very long. It's being made into a movie. Thanks for ideas for my next read.

  24. Thanks for an excellent list :] I especially want to look into I Love Everybody (and Other Atrocious Lies); I heard it's a good book and I'm glad you reminded me of it.

    I'm a little late with my list too, but I posted it on my new blog a few days ago if you'd like to check it out.

    Thanks again!

  25. That is ambitious list that I am coveting! My summer list includes Stephen King's 11/22/63 and THE LIFEBOAT by C. Rogan. Happy Reading!

  26. I have been reading the same book since April, do it may very well become my entire summer reading list!

    I have a review of Suite Francaise up on Quirky Girls Read tomorrow - no spoilers. If you read and review it link up to ou Classic Bribe giveaway - along w/any other Classics you find time for this summer.

    As for the header, of you are still having trouble, let me know. Maybe I can figure it out for you.

    1. Holy typos Batman! Sorry about those :0)

  27. That's funny, I came across that Groucho Marx quip only a couple of days ago and loved it.

    I'm in awe of your summer reading ambitions. Just got a new camera yesterday, so bang go half the books on my own (mental) list.

    Well done on the toilets!

  28. I love your lists. Some of these I've read, but most not, so I have some new ones to look forward to. I'm in the middle of Cheryl Strayed's "Wild" right now. It deserves every bit of press it's getting. I also just finished Kathryn Magendie's final book in the Graces series, "Family Graces" and loved it a lot, too. I'm also reading the current Queen Elizabeth biography at a friend's recommendation and find it to be a great read. Next on my pile is "Silent Spring", Rachel Carson's seminal work which I read the first time when I was a preteen. I 'm rereading in hopes something will be triggered for my book. Whoa! This got long. I need to find a friend to talk about books with, clearly. :-)


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