View From The Glen

Friday, June 17, 2011

Summer Reads

I'm going to try (try, I said) to post about books on Fridays in honour of #FridayReads (if you are not familiar with this, go here). I'm not promising erudite discussion. If you want that, you need to check out An Attitude Adjustment's Maladjusted Book Club, the always insightful Pickle Me This, or the lovely Dove Grey Reader, just a few of the amazing book bloggers out there. (On top of finding time to read books, I have to find time to read book clogs - it's a terrible addiction).

To kick things off, I have made myself a Summer Reading List. As I look over the mix of new and familiar books, I think it may be overly ambitious. But it's summer, and I want to kick back with some good reads both here and at the cottage (and how awesomely I am looking forward to my first ever vacation with my Kobo - no more lugging an extra 20lb bag of books everywhere.)

So here's my list, in no particular order:

The Postmistress The Postmistress by Sarah Blake has been highly recommended and in light of the Ethics course I am teaching this fall, I am interested in some of the issues it examines. The book tells ther story of a postmistress' decision not to deliver a letter on the eve of World War II, and the repercussions from that decision.

The Eight The Eight by Katherine Neville is one I have read a number of times before and love. It was one of the first books I remember reading that told parallel stories in two different times, and the first book that I ever read about the Philosopher's stone (now so famous, thanks Harry Potter). It is intricate and historical and long (800 pages) and I look forward to reading it again.

The Book Thief The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - YA and, according to one friend, "Intense, gripping, and overwhelming." (Thanks, Christine). Set against the backdrop of Nazi Germany, Liesel shares stolen books with her neighbours and a Jewish man hiding in the basement.

The Bruce Trilogy: Steps to the Empty Throne, Path of the Hero King & Price of the King's Peace The Bruce Trilogy by Nigel Trantner. Whew! After all that heavy reading, how about something light. Well - sort of. The historical tale of Robert the Bruce (this is a trilogy) has been sitting on my shelf for years after a rescue from a library purge, and this is the year I am going to read it.

Murder at the Vicarage (Miss M... Agatha Christie - There is a Christie read-a-thon going on which is what prompted me to add some of these to my list. It's been decades - yes, really - since I first discovered my mother's collection of mysteries and fell in love with these fun, quick reads, and I am going to reacquaint myself with some of my favourites: The Murder at the Vicarage, 4:50 from Paddington, The Mirror Crack'd, Murder on the Orient Express, And Then There Were None. Not sure yet. I'll probably spread them out through the summer...

The Art of Racing in the Rain The Art of Racing In The Rain by Garth Stein. Told from the point of view of a dog, c'mon, what's not to love? Have not read it, but have heard good things about how this book gives great insight into the human condition. Well, dogs are good for that. The human condition. (Leans down to scratch labrador's ears).

Paradise Lost Paradise Lost by Milton. I might regret this. I am not as into classsic poetry today as I was when I first looked at this epic piece of literature. But I am more interested in the period, so we will see.

Sweetness in the Belly Sweetness In The Belly by Camilla Gibb. Another book that has been on my "to read" list for a very, very long time.

Room Room by Emma Donoghue. I must read this book. I must. I must. But somehow despite knowing this, I keep putting it off, knowing that once I pick it up I will be simultaneously horrified and uplifted.

The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag (Flavia de Luce, #2) The Weed That Strings The Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley. The second Flavia de Luce book, and the first one (The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie) just captivated me after a dry reading spell. I am excited to pick up this, and see it whiling away a rainy afternoon up by the lake.

The Great Gatsby The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald. I've read this before, of course, but when I taught short stories last semester at the college, we had an animated discussion on Fitzgerald's Winter Dreams and I sold the students on this book. Sold myself too. Am going to pick it up again. While playing Count Basie. Loudly.

To the Lighthouse To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. Another book I have read. But I feel I have never really got it. It's like I almost get it, but then it slips away from me. I think it's a book best read in solitude, and I always have interruptions. My plan is to try again the week of July 16-23. Why that week? Because my three adorable kids will be away at cub camp. All week. Yes, that sigh you hear is anticipation. Me and the dog and the rose bushes. And Virginia. If I don't "get it" then, I never will.

I am also re-reading Jude the Obscure for Jana's Madadjusted Book Club, and either Crow Lake or The Other Side of the Bridge (can't recall which) by Mary Lawson for my Red Tent book club. And some books I have edited are being released over the summer - I'll be reading them. And subs. Got three to read right now.

What are YOU reading this summer? Do share.


Anonymous said...

Oh I love a reading list!! And I'm certain you'll love The Book Thief. Right now I'm reading The Year of Magical Thinking, and I haven't decided what's next, but my To Read list on GoodReads is currently more than 110 books so I have a lot pick from.

Denise Nielsen said...

That's the problem - if I don't narrow down my list to a smaller list, I just flounder...and then I don't read anything at all. Crazy. said...

That's a lot of books! I do think you might regret Paradise Lost. Maybe you can just read sections? I think it's hard to read that kind fo thing if you don't have a group of people to at least talk about it with. But To the Lighthouse is a great summer idea--I'd love to read that one again, if/when I ever get through my stack.

Leanne Haines said...

The Postmistress is on my list as well -- just waiting for it to come in at the library. Haven't read The Eight, but I think your synopsis has sold me on it. I am planning on reading my FIRST Agatha Christie this summer (shameful, I know). Just read Room for book club. It is horrifying, but I loved it. Being inside the head of that five-year-old is fascinating. What else am I reading? The Memory Keeper's Daughter, The Happiness Project, Left Neglected, To Kill a Mockingbird... I think I'll need to post a blog about it, too. I wish I were as fast a reader as you are!