Over the school year, I slowly collect any and all books I want to read on my Goodreads “to-read” shelf, waiting for their time to be moved to “currently reading.” I start the summer with a mile-long list of books I’m thrilled to read and the excitement of getting to read books I actually want to read. By the time the end of August comes around, however, most of them are left on that “to-read” page for the next year. And I just feel sad.
So: I’ve decided to make a solid list of the books I can conceivably read this summer, in the hopes that I can not only stay on track for my 50 books in 2014 goal, but not feel so defeated when it’s time for school again and many books remain unread. If I can check off at least one list of books, I’ll feel a lot better about the countless others left waiting for another year, another time in my life. Hooray for short-term goals!
So, without further ado- the list:
- Boy, Snow, Bird, Helen Oyeyemi. I saw a lot of great reviews for this book, and with a cover that beautiful how could I resist? (My friend Danielle will tell you, I’m a huge judge of book covers). But the plot sounds pretty intriguing too and it’s a long book- perfect for the summer when I can continuously read a book for a long period of time.
- A Lesson Before Dying, Ernest Gaines. My mom has recommended a lot of books to me lately, both from her collection and my sister’s really great school summer reading list. I loved Gaines’ novella “A Long Day in November,” so I really want to read one of his novels. I recently purchased A Lesson Before Dying at the resale bookstore in my city, so it’s definitely getting picked up this summer.
- The Bean Trees, Barbara Kingsolver. Another author I read last semester is Kingsolver, who as a writer really fascinates me. I’ve only read her essays so far, and I want to get into her fiction. I thought I would start with a shorter novel than The Posionwood Bible before getting too committed, but if this goes well you might see next summer’s list start with another Kingsolver novel.
- Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf. I want to like Virginia Woolf sooo bad. But after my struggle with and ultimate defeat by To the Lighthouse, I just wasn’t so sure if Woolf was the author for me. But she’s so important in the female writer world, I’m going to give her as many chances as it takes! My mom recommended Mrs. Dalloway as a good take two, in conjunction with Michael Cunningham’s The Hours. We’ll see how this one goes, but I’m determined to actually finish it- I hate leaving books behind, half-read.
- We Were Liars, E. Lockhart. Basically, I’m just really intrigued about this one. It’s gotten a lot of hype, but I’m always nervous about young adult novels (they can swing in all sorts of directions, as far as quality of the novel goes). Is it good, is it bad? Is it really that mysterious? I’m curious enough to figure it out for myself.
So there you have it, the five books I want to be sure to read this summer. I’m currently reading Cry, the Beloved Country (um, AMAZING so far, by the way) and once that is complete I will start my mission to read all of these books. What books are you trying to read this summer?