I wonder why I feel the need to create a summer reading list for
myself. I have great freedom to read whenever I want. Still, there is something about anticipating the three months ahead as an optimal reading time. I presume this is a leftover from the school years--both as a student and as a teacher. Whatever---I love thinking about and planning what I will read, almost as much as actually reading.
Here are my offerings for the 2017 summer reading season.
1. Books by Gail Godwin. I just read her memoir, Publishing, A Writer's Memoir, and now I want to re-read The Odd Woman, and A Mother and Two Daughters, and Father Melancholy's Daughter and others. At one time I owned most of her books, but now off to the library I will go.
2. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. (Just started it--only 125 pages in and so far I am entranced by the language._
3. Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham. We own such a lovely edition of this classic, and I imagine finding a sheltered place outdoors to re-read it.
4. Additional Willa Cather books. I am about halfway through her reading her twelve novels, a 2017 goal. The next two are My Mortal Enemy and Death Comes to the Archbishop.
5. The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende.
6. Delight of Being Ordinary, A Road Trip With the Pope and the Dalai Lama. I came across this book in one of my favorite independent bookstores. I know nothing about it, but I love the cover and the concept intrigues me.
I own all of the above books, but I also plan to buy three new novels: Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson, now in paperback; Home Going by Yaa Gyasi; and Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Street.
I am more inclined to read fiction, but my shelves devoted to nonfiction books I own, but have not yet read are overflowing. I have set the following aside as potential for this summer.
1. I am currently reading a Joan Chittister, Following the Path, The Search for a Life of Passion, Purpose, and Joy, during my morning meditation time, and when I have finished that I will turn to On Living by hospice chaplain Kerry Egan.
2. Grounded, Finding God in the World, A Spiritual Revolution by Diana Butler Bass. At some point I read the first few chapters and then it got set aside. I am eager to revisit what I have read and to move forward with the rest.
3. The Road to Character by David Brooks. I so respect Brooks as a writer for the New York Times and commentator on PBS's News Hour. Our book group selected this for discussion in September.
4. Letters to a Young Muslim by Omar Said Ghobash. I think this will be a good follow-up to the "My Neighbor is Muslim" discussion group at church this spring.
5. Birds, Art, Life, A Year of Observation by Kyo Maclear. "A luminous meditation on creativity, care taking, and the beauty of daily life--the small and significant moments that provide meaning and solace."
6. A Homemade Life, Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table by Molly Wizenberg. I think I have read this book before, but something I read recently directed me back to it. Feels delicious in my hands.
I also have set aside a couple books from my shelves of writing books: Women, Writing and Soul-making by Peggy Tabor Millin and on a more practical level, 77 Reasons Why Your Book Was Rejected by Mike Nappa.
Of course, I reserve the right to divert from my list. Isn't that what summer is all about--following the whim of the moment?
What do you plan to read this summer? I would love to know.