Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Summer Reading: Tuesday's Reflection

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 Strout.

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?

An Invitation
What do you plan to read this summer? I would love to know. 


  1. Both Bob and I read A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW and found it fascinating. The meaning of the book creeps up on you and eventually hits you over the head. After you finish it you might enjoy looking up a Reader's Guide from an interview with the author on the Penguin Random House WEB site. As a writer I love to find out what an author did and did not go out to do in their writing: the surprises to them.

  2. Thanks for the hint about the reader's guide. I will definitely do that. This book feels like the perfect way to begin my summer reading. Glad you enjoyed it, too.

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