Summer Reading


It’s summer.  And in case you didn’t know, having the summer OFF is (arguably) the best perk of working in a school.  (Second only to influencing young minds, building meaningful relationships, mentoring the next generation, yada yada, yada.)   I haven’t had the last two summers off so this one is even more magnificent.

SUMMER.  Blissful, delicious summer.  Is here.  And it’s time to plan what to do with it.

I have had a lot of really good summers spent doing exciting things (tickling the ivories at the Sewanee Summer Music Camp and the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts, “studying” in London, working at EXPLO, etc.).  I don’t have any big ticket adventures planned for this summer.  But I still have BIG PLANS.

I’ve got a fun project in the works (stay tuned) and I have some travel plans but I will be spending a lot of blissful, delicious days at HOME.  And I couldn’t be more excited.

So a big goal for the summer is to get my nose in a lot of books.  And the purpose of today’s post is to share my reading queue with you.  I’d like to make one important note before you judge my selections: I am a fiction girl.  Always have been.  I KNOW I’D BE A BETTER PERSON IF I READ MORE NONFICTION BUT I DON’T WANNA.  At least not during my luxurious summer.  Baby steps.

Ok here’s the line-up as it stands today.  Subject to change, of course.

First up, a book recommended to me by my beloved friend Karin (who is fighting brain cancer, so send a prayer up for her if you think of it):

Next up are three recommendations from one of my students who just graduated:

One of the reviews says this is "erotic." Egad.

By a Nashville native, no less!

 Here’s a goody I picked up at the thoroughly delightful used bookstore in Maryville Tennessee, Southland Books (they have a coffeeshop and their basic house coffee is called Atticus.  Awesomeness.):

Never read it. Feel like I should have.

I fetched this at McKay’s for a whopping $0.75.

I've heard mixed reviews...

I fetched this at Borders the other day for no particular reason.  It looks kind-of like a good chic-lit indulgence, but the NYTimes says it’s “spellbinding.”

All images from

So there you have it.  My summer reading line-up.  I hope to get started in the next few days, once I finally finish slogging my way through Gone With the Wind.  Oof.

Have you read any of these books before?  Any that you loved?  Loathed?

What are YOU reading this summer?




9 responses to “Summer Reading

  1. I’m gonna finish Harry Potter 6 and then read #7. Last person in the universe to do it, but I’m DETERMINED to finish them before the last flick comes out. I WILL DO IT. You’re gonna like ‘Bel Canto,’ methinks.

  2. I went to SSMF too! In college! How neat!
    I LOVE The Shadow of the Wind. I can’t recommend it highly enough. It was a little slow-going for me at first, but by the time I’d finished it I had spent two nights up till 3 AM reading.
    My sister-in-law sent it home with us in the summer saying that I would like it, but I wasn’t very enthusiastic about it. I must have read the same review as you because I was a little put off by the erotic description. She asked if I had read it at Thanksgiving and I still hadn’t. She was really surprised by the “erotic” description though, she didn’t think it was. So I decided that I had to at least start it before we saw them at Christmas. There is some sexuality in it, but it is far from erotic. It is sweet teenage sexuality and silly middle-aged sexuality. Far from what my mind considers erotic. I loved it, so I would be interested to know if you liked it.
    And are you still knitting your Barn raising (?) afghan? Were you the knitting blogger/partner?
    Sorry, this post got really enthusiastic and out of control.

    • Oh YAY! I’m glad to see another positive review. I judge books by their covers (oops), and this one has a bit of the sultry romance novel look so I was hesitant. I went shopping with one of my former students who lives for good literature, though, and she practically threw it at me when she saw it on the bargain aisle so I took her word for it (and spent a whopping $.50 on it, I think). I am even more excited now!

      I AM the barn-raiser. Unfortunately, I have a short attention span and the barn-raising production has slowed. I’m clearing out my whole yarn stash (maybe I should write about that?) for a clean start. I think the barn-raising quilt will be a long-term project that comes in-between projects. It was too boring to sustain doing every night. Are you a knitter???

      • I am a crocheter. I haven’t learned to knit yet, but I kept looking at that post you did with the pics from the yarn shop because those purples made me feel happy inside. When I saw your post about the books, I wondered how the knitting was going. I really like the quilt-style afghans (squares together), but I think they are pretty tedious to do as well, so I haven’t ever psyched myself up to do one. I started my blog to post crochet projects, but gardening seems to have usurped the hook and yarn (in documentation, not in time spent, I still do plenty projects).

  3. Nancie Bailey

    Aw, Catherine–summer reading lists…holdover from GPS ! Hard to break a good habit! 🙂

    • Aunt Nancie (I have decided to call you that; I hope it’s ok), They are way more fun when they’re self-imposed!

  4. sigh! i am inspired to book shop.

  5. I just read Jennifer Egan’s “A Visit from the Good Squad” and it was UH-MAZING. I also just read “The Selected Works of T.S. Spiviet”, and it did not disappoint. Happy reading!

  6. Pingback: Coronation of Books | number2137

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