What’s On My Summer Reading List

I’ll be honest about how truly nerdy I am: when I was in school, I secretly liked the summer reading lists. I did all my required reading and then some. I wrote out the book reports before school started. And now that I’m an adult, I still get a little excited when I see the Summer Reading sign on a table of books at Barnes and Noble.

I even bought one off that very table a few weeks ago. The Good Soldiers by David Finkel. I swear, I could stand around and look at the classics mixed in with the newer releases and think about how lucky those kids are to have such good books to choose from.

Since it was the unofficial start of summer this weekend (what does that even mean, anyway? It’s been in the 80s for 5 days now. It’s summer. Officially.), I thought I’d share what’s on deck for my warm-weather reading. This list is preliminary as I’m always requesting books from my library when I hear about them. But these are the reads I’m going to spend some lazy summer days with over the coming months:

  1. The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I’ve had it from the library for a few weeks, but since I have a bad habit of reading 3 books at a time, I put this one aside briefly after reading 50 pages or so. It’s due back June 1st and I can’t renew it since there’s a hold on it, so today I plowed through 160 pages. It went quick. This book is really good, and I know I’m behind the times on this one, but this is how I’m kicking off my summer reading.
  2. Nice Girls Just Don’t Get It by Lois P. Frankel and Carol Frohlinger. I’m reading this for a review I’m writing, but I’m also reading it because I think I may be too nice. Not that nice is a bad thing. But as I’m learning from the little I’ve already read of this book, being too nice means your needs don’t get me and you don’t get what you want out of life. I’m willing to be a little bit not nice if it means having the success I want.
  3. The Pilot’s Wife by Anita Shreve. I got this at a library book sale for 50 cents and already read the first chapter (riveting!). The writing is really beautiful and subtle. Plus it was an Oprah’s book club book. The O knows what’s good.
  4. The Good Soldiers by David Finkel. I mentioned above that this book is on summer reading lists, and after reading the beginning of it, I’m wondering how high school kids will handle this one. I grabbed it for two reasons: I’m working on something that requires a deeper understanding of what it’s like to be at war in Iraq (my husband has been an invaluable help with this, too), and this nonfiction read follows soldiers from Fort Riley in Kansas, where my husband was stationed. One of our friends is even listed in the back of this book as a member of the battalion the book follows.
  5. Bossypants by Tina Fey. I’ve heard good things and I think Tina Fey can do no wrong– this one is a definite for the summer.
  6. The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World by the Dalai Lama. Why not? Learning happiness from the Dalai Lama is on par with finding out about good books through Oprah!
  7. Orientation : and Other Stories byDaniel Orozco. I spent two years writing short stories for my MFA program, so when I hear about a good collection, I get excited. Especially one that has a fascinating cover.
  8. On Writing by Stephen King. I keep hearing about this book, but I’ve never read it. Always wanted to, so now it’s on my list. This is the summer of reading and writing my butt off, so I’ll bring Mr. King along for some pointers.
I’m sure this small list will grow as the summer progresses, but for now this is where I’m starting.
What’s on your self-imposed summer reading list and how do you choose those books? Tell me in the comments!

One thought on “What’s On My Summer Reading List”

  1. Bossypants is on my list too. Also, Lev Grossman’s followup to The Magicians, Jasper FForde’s ridiculous Thursday Next novels (always a good time), and research for my class in the fall. Actually, that one should probably be on the list first. Sigh.


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