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Thread: What's on your summer reading list?

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    Culture slut geek the girl's Avatar
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    What's on your summer reading list?

    I don't know about the rest of you, but for me, summer equals loads and loads of reading. Since I'm a student (an English teacher in the making), my reading is usually pretty much dictated by whatever is on the course requirement list. That is why I love catching up on my non-required reading during the summer. Being a bookworm and a sucker for lists, I love compiling lists over books I plan to read. I try to make the list as varied as possible: the classics mixed with some more lighthearted stuff; non-fiction back to back with crime fiction. After visiting several bookstores - online as well as "real" ones - I'm pretty much done with my list. I thought I would share it with my fellow readers here at FORT and in doing so, hopefully inspiring you to compile similar lists. So, without further ado, I give you...

    Geek the girl's summer reading list
    • I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb. I started reading this one a few days ago, and seeing that it's nearly 900 pages long, it should take me a while to get through it. I'm really enjoying it so far.
    • The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen. The mixed reviews it's received here at FORT, along with a friend's recommendation and the National Book Award win, made me go out and buy it. I still have high hopes for this one.
    • Snake Eyes by Rosamond Smith. Joyce Carol Oates' alter ego when she writes novels of suspense. Correction: her new pseudonym is actually Lauren Kelly, but before the name switch she wrote a bunch of well-written, creepy thrillers under this alias. I try to read everything JCO writes, even though it's virtually impossible to read all of it. Maybe when I retire in forty years or so...
    • Social Crimes by Jane Stanton Hitchcock. I picked this up based on the first sentence: "Murder was never my goal in life". Hopefully, it won't go downhill from there.
    • Sundowners by Lesley Lokko. This book falls into the light-hearted category. Again, I picked it up at random without knowing anything about it other than that I liked the trashy glamour of the cover.
    • Books from the Harry Bosch series, starting with The Black Echo and moving on from there. phat32 has convinced me of Michael Connelly's greatness, and I need a solid substitute for Patricia Cornwell, so this should be a treat.
    • Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Because no summer reading list is complete without a classic, and because I loved the first sentence. (Everyone should read the first sentence of a novel before they decide whether or not to buy it.)
    • The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James. It's been gathering dust of my bookshelf ever since I bought it years ago, and I thought I'd beat my professors to it and actually read it before it shows up on our mandatory reading list. I think I'm a Henry James fan; I just need to read something of his first.
    • A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith. You won me over, fellow FORTers. I'd never heard of this (from what I gather) undeservedly unheard of classic, but I did a little reading up on Amazon and loved what I found out.
    • My Friend Leonard by James Frey. I was really moved by his first autobiographical book, A Million Little Pieces, and this one takes off when the first book ends. Can't wait.
    • Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs. Again, based on comments from fellow FORTers. You're a real inspiration, you guys!
    • The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I've been meaning to read this for a while now, and it seems like my cup of tea.
    • Black Fly Season by Giles Blunt. Because I loved the first two books in the Cardinal/Delorme series.
    • Blackwell by Carol Goodman. Goodman has become one of my favourite authors in the suspense department. Her style is pretty difficult to pinpoint; atmospheric, well-written thrillers with an intellectual/cultural twist could be an appropriate description. Look for The Lake of Dead Languages in your local library or bookstore. If you like it, you're bound to like her other books as they're very similar. I couldn't find Blackwell, her brand new novel, on amazon.com but it's available on amazon.co.uk. Weird, considering she's American.
    • A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby. I adored High Fidelity, enjoyed About a Boy but never managed to get through How To Be Good. I hope Hornby's new novel fits right up there with High Fidelity or About a Boy. I guess I'll have to find out...

    I would add some more books, but I know for a fact that I tend to be a wee bit optimistic when it comes to creating reading lists. Now, I am a fast reader, but I should probably bear in mind that there's more to summer than books. But not much more...

    Wishing all of you a fabulous summer!
    "There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more" (Morrissey)

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    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Wow Geek! That's quite a list! Make sure to post your review of The Corrections when you're done! I have it, but have never gotten more than 5 pages in. I'll be interested to hear what you think of it. I'll probably get through a big list too, but I'm not sure of everything I'll end up reading.

    Quote Originally Posted by geek the girl
    I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb. I started reading this one a few days ago, and seeing that it's nearly 900 pages long, it should take me a while to get through it. I'm really enjoying it so far.
    This is a long one, but I found that it read pretty fast. Some FoRTers who didn't like it felt that it spent too much time on the psychology of the twins - that's one of the things I liked best about it.
    Books from the Harry Bosch series, starting with The Black Echo and moving on from there. phat32 has convinced me of Michael Connelly's greatness, and I need a solid substitute for Patricia Cornwell, so this should be a treat.
    Connelly is one of the best and is, IMHO, consistently better than Cornwell. My favorite of the series is still Angel's Flight, probably because it gives some rather cool info about L.A. history. I hope to read The Closers pretty soon here. Then I can go into Phat's thread without worrying about spoilers!
    Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs. Again, based on comments from fellow FORTers. You're a real inspiration, you guys!
    LOVED this book! I'm on the look out for a used copy of Dry, his follow-up. I think I said this over in the "What are you reading?" thread, but this book had me in disbelief and then laughing and then feeling guilty for laughing. So outrageous, it has to be true.

    So far, my list includes:
    • I'll re-read the first five in the Harry Potter series in anticipation of the next being released
    • Mystic River by Dennis Lehane - if I feel like I've let enough time go since I saw the movie. I've read some of his series and like his writing style.
    • Courtesans : Money, Sex and Fame in the Nineteenth Century by Katie Hickman. I've been doing some non-fiction reading about 18th and 19th century Europe and this is just another in that group. Along those same lines...
    • A Venetian Affair by Andrea Di Robilant, about a forbidden affair in 18th century Venice (non-fiction)
    • Birds Without Wings by Louis de Bernieres. I loved Corelli's Mandolin (did not love the movie - blech!) and have read good things about this one. It's set in the Mediterranean during the last days of the Ottoman Empire.
    • Tess of the D'Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy. I am a huge Hardy fan and have, surprisingly, never read this one. What I love about Hardy is that, so many years later, his plots can still shock and surprise me.
    • Ulysses by James Joyce. This has been sitting in my book caboose (yay Levenger!) for months and I still haven't gotten up the nerve to really buckle down and go for it. I guess I'm a bit intimidated
    • Dear Theo, edited by Irving Stone - Vincent Van Gogh's sort of biography, mainly comprised of letters to his brother Theo. I will only tackle this one if I feel pretty good or have some Prozac around!
    Grudgingly, and in anticipation of going back to school in the fall (after 5+years away), I'll be doing some refreshing on basic history - I'll probably re-read my Western Civ text. I'll also probably be spending some time with my old friend Thomas Hobbes and Leviathan, as well as Adam Smith (aka The Bane of my College Existence! ) and The Wealth of Nations. I don't want to be sitting in a class and have no memory of all this common knowledge type stuff!

    I'm sure I'll read at least half a dozen books that aren't on this list! My mother send me books every few months (usually newer ones she's read in her book group), so I'll probably get some good ones this summer. I love that I'm not the only book geek at the FoRT!
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

  3. #3
    Culture slut geek the girl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Critical
    I'll re-read the first five in the Harry Potter series in anticipation of the next being released
    Oh, that's right! How could I forget that the new Harry Potter comes out this summer? The release date is July 16, right? I'll probably snatch it from my little brother after he's done with it.

    Mystic River by Dennis Lehane
    That's a wonderful book, Critical. I read it before I saw the movie, but I'm sure you'll enjoy it even though you'll see Sean Penn in front of you as you read. I love his writing style, and the story is very touching. I really enjoyed Shutter Island as well, but somehow never managed to get into the Kenzie/Gennaro series.

    Birds Without Wings by Louis de Bernieres
    This one goes on my list as well (that list is growing by the minute. I guess I'll have to avoid sleeping or something). I, too, loved "Corelli" but loathed the movie.

    Ulysses by James Joyce
    Wow! I'm impressed. Just seeing the name in this thread makes me a bit nervous, as it will be on my required reading list for the first course I take this fall. I tried reading it in high school to impress a guy but, unsurprisingly, never managed to get further than the first 50 pages. I'm sure it's worth the effort though. Good luck with that, and please let me know how you like it.

    Oh, and I LOVE Thomas Hardy.
    "There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more" (Morrissey)

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    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geek the girl
    Oh, that's right! How could I forget that the new Harry Potter comes out this summer? The release date is July 16, right? I'll probably snatch it from my little brother after he's done with it.
    I think it's July 16th, geek. I don't know that I'll run out and get it that day. It's usually so much cheaper at Wal*Mart or Target, so unless amazon.com has it dirt cheap, I'll just buy it at one of those stores.

    Wow! I'm impressed. Just seeing the name in this thread makes me a bit nervous, as it will be on my required reading list for the first course I take this fall. I tried reading it in high school to impress a guy but, unsurprisingly, never managed to get further than the first 50 pages. I'm sure it's worth the effort though. Good luck with that, and please let me know how you like it.
    Hey, I haven't even started it yet! I'm just fixin' to start it.... eventually. I've had the book for years now and just never have wanted to dedicate the time to really read it. I may not even get 50 pages in. You may finish it before I do!

    Oh, and I LOVE Thomas Hardy.
    He and Austen are my favorite authors of that period (and two of my all-time favorites). One of the courses I really want to take next spring focuses on those two authors. I don't know how I could pass that up!
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

  5. #5
    Things Happen............ J1NVUPatricia's Avatar
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    During the summer I want to read:

    1. Harry Potter 4 and Harry Potter 5 because I don't remember anything from it
    2. Harry Potter 6 (July 16,2005) Cant wait
    3. All Urban Fiction novels I haven't read
    Love is very complicated and complex thing that can be expressed in many different ways. No one really knows the true meaning of love.
    Love Always Patricia

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    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    The only book I have on my pile unread is "Freakonomics". I'm looking forward to getting to it.

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    The new me! Feifer's Avatar
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    I am going to read Harry Potter 5 because my husband read it first and lost it and I just found it after we moved.

    Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

    Vanity Fair William Makepiece Thackeray

    The Dubliners and Ulysses by James Joyce but not one right after the other.
    It occurred to me that no matter how bleak things might seem at times, at least I have a head. ----Stargazer

  8. #8
    FORT Fogey Salome's Avatar
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    Wow, impressive lists and good luck, everyone.


    Quote Originally Posted by geek the girl
    A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith. You won me over, fellow FORTers. I'd never heard of this (from what I gather) undeservedly unheard of classic, but I did a little reading up on Amazon and loved what I found out.
    I read that when was thirteen and liked it, though I probably missed some important parts. So it is a FORT favorite. (Okay, to be honest, I always assumed it was a "girly" classic a la Little Women - nothing wrong with them - but I guess that was just my self-centered thirteen year old perspective!)

    Anyway, I always make a list for summer, too. It's my favorite time to read:
    01. A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness by V. S. Ramachandran
    02. No Longer Human by Osamu Dazai
    03. Hunger by Knut Hamsun
    04. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
    05. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
    06. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig
    07. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
    08. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
    09. A Language Older Than Words by Derrick Jensen
    10. The Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz
    If anyone has read any of these, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

  9. #9
    Culture slut geek the girl's Avatar
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    Nice list, Salome! I read The Brothers Karamazov back in high school and absolutely loved it. The language is beautiful, as well as the characterization. I recently read Crime and Punishment and as much as I loved it, I still think I rate The Brothers Karamazov higher. Please let me know how you like it; it's been so long since I read it that I've forgotten several vital plot points. I'd probably enjoy it even more now that I'm all grown up and reading it for my own pleasure. (As opposed to reading it in order to appear intellectual and cool enough to hang with the older, intellectual and cool kids Ah, the wonders of puberty.) Oh, and I will forever love girly classics (I still think fondly of A Little Princess), so A Tree Grows In Brooklyn will probably be my cup of tea.

    Feifer, we both have The Portrait of a Lady on our lists! We should make sure to read it at the same time and compare notes
    "There's more to life than books, you know, but not much more" (Morrissey)

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    The Truth Is Out There ixcrisxi's Avatar
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    I've a ton of books to get me through this summer.

    1. Nuklear Age by Brian Clevinger
    2. Loamhedge by brian Jacques
    3. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy (re-read)
    4. In The Hand of Dante by Nick Tosches
    5. War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
    6. Charming Billy by Alice McDermott
    7. Wild Animus by Rich Shapero
    8. Miracle at Philadelphia by Bowen (re-read)
    9. The Jungle (re-read)
    10. Great Expectations (re-read)
    11. The Scarlet Letter (re-read)
    MULDER: It's still there, Scully. 200,000 years down in the ice.

    SCULLY:
    Leave it there.

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