The weather was so warm last week that it got me thinking about summer and what I’d be reading on those long, hot days. I LOVE a good reading list and summer reading lists have a very special place in my heart. When I was in grade school, I hung out at the library every summer. Call it cheap daycare, but I really got into those summer reading programs and blew through them in no time at all.
Sometimes I’d hunker down in a reading cubby right there in the children’s section and hang with my book stash. Other times I’d venture into the main reading room and read with the adults. I always felt so grown up when I did that. But now? There’s work and chores like cleaning, shopping and laundry. Fun killers, if you ask me. Last year, I tried to participate in an adult summer reading program through the local library but their website had issues and just wasn’t fun to update. No, my days of lounging at the library are pretty non-existent.
That doesn’t mean that the fun is totally gone though.
This year, I am not going to come up with an actual list. Mostly, because I have a hard time sticking to it. This year, I am toying with the idea of selecting a chunkster and reading it slowly over the summer. I want a a memorable book. Preferably one that I can be proud to “put behind me” so to speak. I will be reading other books too. I mean, I have a review list “this” long so I can’t avoid that but it would be nice to say that during the Summer of ’14 I read [insert title here].
If you could recommend one chunkster to me, what would it be and why? Also, I guess it doesn’t have to be a chunkster but if it is, then that’s a bonus. I figure that in the process, we will be creating a list for everyone to enjoy.
Titles to exclude: A Suitable Boy, The Goldfinch, Moby Dick, The Fountainhead (I am reading or have read these)
32 thoughts on “What Shall I Read This Summer?”
Maybe a classic like War and Peace?
Yes, of course. War and Peace fits right into the requirements, doesn’t it? And it’s a book that I feel I must read at some point. Have you read it? I seem to recall Alyce reading it.
I have read it, and was actually stopping by to see if anyone had recommended it yet! 🙂 I read it while I was on bed rest during my first pregnancy because I figured I’d never have another opportunity like that again (forced idleness and hours of peace and quiet). The story is surprisingly good if you can get past all of the rambling/pontificating that the author/narrator slips into the middle of the story.
I also highly recommend The Three Musketeers, which I read during my second pregnancy, now that I think about it. Dumas wrote with humor, and once I got used to the dated language I was quite entertained. I’m sure it helped that I was picturing the characters from the Disney version too (Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland, Chris O’Donnell, etc.).
I read The Three Musketeers when I was in high school but I don’t remember any humor. I probably didn’t read it too well since I can’t remember anything about it.
It is a very dry and subtle humor, or maybe I was just superimposing my memories of the movie on it while I was reading.
Have you read The Crimson Peal and the White? That one’s been on my list for a long time and I’m hoping to get to it soon.
I have not read Crimson! One of my book club members read it and raved about it. She picked it up on a whim and loved it. Thanks for the suggestion.
Wow…ok — I don’t know if you have read it, but Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes is a chunkster I wish was longer! That’s my recommendation.
I have NOT read it. It was on my to-read list for a really long time and I pitched it to my book club once but they didn’t want to read it. I totally forgot about it. Okay… that’s a good one.
Cheap daycare… 🙂 Good one.
I can’t think of anything right now…but when I do, I’ll let you know. I’ll give it some thought. I guess Murakami’s next one isn’t coming until after summer? 🙂
I believe it’s set for August. I plan to read it and the King books. One of the King books come out in July and the other in November. I just want one nice chunkster to slowly work my way through.
That sounds like a good plan, Ti. I am reading too longish books at the moment which will probably carry me through summer at the rate I’m going. LOL Blind Assassin and The Moonstone.
I really need to focus more on my Netgalley books as I’ve let them pile up.
I have The Moonstone too. I forgot that I had it.
How about The Count of Monte Cristo? Very long, but an excellent story.
That is on my list of to-reads as well. A good one.
Second vote for The Count of Monte Cristo. The Blind Assassin was probably the most impressive book I’ve ever read in terms of the writer’s skill.
I loved Crimson Petal and the White; Michael Faber – a book I never expected to enjoy.
Looks like you might have quite a few chunksters…I kind of like a summer reading plan that isn’t an actual list anyway…or randomly choosing something for the beach or the train or the plane or the car or just lounging…that’s what I am in the mood for!
If I don’t have some sort of plan, I end up reading nothing. I have to have the books lined up or I hit a gap and then that gap becomes wider.
How Green Was My Valley, and then you have to watch the movie! They are both great old classics.
Hi Elisabeth! How are you? I have heard of the movie, but not the book. I didn’t realize it was based on a book. I am absolutely giddy right now because it’s Friday and the beginning of a long weekend. Have a good one.
Someday I’m going to read À la recherche du temps perdu.
East of Eden. I just read it and thought it was very good. 600+ pages, too. Or if you want something a bit lighter, maybe The Shell Seekers (Rosamunde Pilcher). It’s a lovely book! I’m hoping to get to War & Remembrance this summer. Or maybe The Winds of War. Can’t remember which comes first!
I think I have read East of Eden twice. It’s excellent and I will probably reread it at some point. I do believe I’ve read The Shell Seekers before but many many years ago. Don’t remember too much about it.
The Crimson Petal and the White or A Prayer for Owen Meany! Either are great. I think you might’ve read Owen already? Can’t remember. I’m looking to chunksters this summer as well since I’m currently reading The Name of the Wind, and I have Kav and Clay coming up. And probably The Goldfinch, too!
Yes!! I’ve read Prayer a couple of times. I was thinking about Ulysses but everyone has told me no. I was also thinking of something like Infinite Jest.
I am drawing a blank on a chunkster at the moment though Charles Dickens’s novels comes to mind. Have you ever read any of Kate Morton’s books? I haven’t but our book club just picked one (The Forgotten Garden). Her books are nearly 500. I only rarely ever read chunksters — so you’re brave to do this.
War and Peace or Bleak House, maybe, for classics. What about The Luminaries for a recent book? It’s pretty amazing but it’s taking me forever to read it because I have to keep setting it aside!
I’ve read Bleak House but I could easily read it again. The details didn’t stick the first time around.
I’ve toyed with that chunkster over the summer idea, too. I’m thinking I may try to knock out Dicken’s Little Dorrit. I really, really like to be able to do A Suitable Boy but it’s so freaking long I’m not sure I could finish it during the summer and still get enough books read to post an occasional review.