summer reading list 2009


Most people when they think of summer reading lists, they think of light, happy paperbacks for poolside reading. Not me! Sure, there’s some of that mixed in there, but this summer I’m finishing up my favorite books from Literature of Journalism that I didn’t finish, delving into a new favorite author, turn of the century satire, and some new stuff that just looks like a good read.

And the Band Played On: On Politics, People, and the AIDs Epidemic by Randy Shilt–Extremely depressing, enraging, informative and heavy, but I’m about half way through the monstrous book and feel like it’s a very important book for me to finish.

The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean–Love her, love the book so far, but end of semester projects and papers prevented me from finishing before the Literature of Journalism syllabus made me pick up another book I didn’t finish.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Graham-Smith–This remix of one of my classic favs just looks so fantastically ridiculous. I’m going to need a good break from all the journalistic pages I will be starting the summer off with, and I think this book is just the thing.

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain–Satire and Twain, again. It’s a classic; it should be funny, and I feel like it’s something I need to read.

The Unlikely Disciple by Kevin Roose–Being an alum of a Christian university, I’m very very interested in what this book has to say. I loved A.J. Jacobs’ A Year of Living Biblically so I’m hoping this book will be in a similar vein.

A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenburg–Recipes and personal stories, what more could an aspiring cook/baker/writer want????  I also dig the title. Who doesn’t want to live a homemade life?? This book will get read this summer, even if it must get bumped to the front of the line.

I would also like to read something else by Susan Orlean other than The Orchid Thief. My two top choices are The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup and Saturday Night, but since this list seems plenty long so I’ll wait to make the decision if I need to.

Got any suggestions of titles? I know this is looking pretty intimidating to tackle at the moment, but I always like to have a summer reading list overfloweth than be skimpy so bring on anything else you think I need to read while I’m chilling in the hammock with some sweet tea this summer.

Edit: I’ve thought of another book I’ve had my eye on for a long time but never have gotten around to reading. It’s called From Baghdad with Love: A Marine, the War, and a Dog Named Lava. It just looks like an incredible story.


8 Responses to “summer reading list 2009”

  1. 1 Ian Scott Paterson

    My friend is reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I’ve read some bits. So-effin-good. I’m on a short story kick, myself. Poe, O. Henry, Hemingway, a collection of ghost stories compiled by Roald Dahl (awesome), stuff like that. Also, if you haven’t read it yet, Bird by Bird is fantastic. It’s a book about writing by Ann Lamott. I think you’ll really appreciate her style and narrative.

    Happy Reading — Ian

    • 2 charmae

      I’m glad to hear someone else is enjoying Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I will definitely check out Bird by Bird sometime. I really like Madeline L’Engle’s Walking on Water. It’s about Christianity and art, but by art she means everything: painting, composing music, writing… It’s got some good stuff in it.

      • I second the Walking on Water read. Amaaaazing book. I read it for a class during college, and need to go through it again!

  2. 4 Kendra

    ah, i love when people make summer reading lists!!! i have an ever growing one, but mine are the easy by-the-pool kind of books. and a lot of them are the books my students are reading. so nothing challenging for me!!

    • 5 charmae

      When we moved, we lost our pool so these are hammock-worthy books. Most of mine are pretty easy to read (except maybe Twain because of the time period) but they deal with heavy stuff.

  3. Have you read Count of Monte Cristo yet?? It is HUGE, making it a summer-long read, but it is SO GOOD.

  4. 7 mr. ace

    So last summer, I was reading A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, and it is surely a funny read. Such clever wit. (Is that redundant?) I’m glad you posted this because you reminded me that I don’t think I ever officially finished the book.

    Also, I want to second the Roald Dahl short stories. The collection I have does not involve ghosts, but they have plenty of twists. Some are downright creepy, and it makes you forget he is the person responsible for the warm and fuzzy James and the Giant Peach. But such interesting stories, and if you one doesn’t fit your taste, you just skip to the next.

  5. 8 charmae

    Thanks for all of the comments and suggestions. They are all going on my “must read” list.

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