Is there a point to having a “summer reading list” when you aren’t in school anymore? Isn’t summer about the same as the rest of the year? Maybe because this is when people take more vacation days–traveling and beach trips are both great reading opportunities. For whatever reason, summer seems to be the time when people pick up a few more books to read (Bibliomantics resident librarian Kelly can perhaps verify this).
Now that I’m out of school, IN THEORY I have more time to read, so I should be zipping through my list easily. This past week, however, I have been suffering from what I shall henceforth call “commuter sleepies,” and so reading hasn’t been a hugely viable option. I’m HOPING this will wear off by next week, because man, there are a lot of books I want to read.
Here are my top 10 books (in no particular order) I want to read by the end of the summer. The theme of this year’s list is finishing old projects and re-visiting old favorites.
I’m putting these two together because I’m actually reading Abarat right now. This post would have been a review of it if it weren’t for the previously mentioned commuter sleepies. Anyway, it’s a book I LOVED as a kid, and I remember enjoying the sequel quite a bit too, but for some reason I can’t remember much about them except for peculiarly specific (and often chilling) details. Re-discovering Abarat has been an absolute joy, and I am SO looking forward to the long-awaited threequel, Abarat: Absolute Midnight, which comes out this September.
2) Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
I’ve never read it. Hipster/English major cred = ruined. I’m actually hoping to check out a lot more Vonnegut in the near future as I have previously only read a couple of his books, but this one is at the top of my list.
3) Harry Potter et le Prisonnier d’Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (translated by Jean-Francois Menard)
I have owned the first six Harry Potter books in French for years and have only ever read the first two. As the books themselves become more complex, reading them in a different language becomes more and more of a chore, but it’s time to get back on this train. It certainly helps that I’ve read the English versions a bazillion times (I’ll be screwed when I get to l’Ordre du Pheonix, however. Did anyone ever read that one more than a few times?)
4) Paradise Lost by John Milton
Cassie-la and I took a Milton class together once and we read Paradise Lost. Well, I can’t speak for Cassie-la, but I personally “read” (extra emphasis on the quotation marks) Paradise Lost. There were some portions that I read with great zeal, not to mention very, very closely, and I really enjoyed doing that. And there were other portions that I just skipped completely. It was a school assignment, what do you want from me?
Anyway, in theory, I really like Paradise Lost. Its themes tend to turn up frequently in other fiction that I like. Not to mention I give my man Milton some well-deserved props for potentially inventing fanfiction. Oh, and I guess it’s a momentous literary achievement or whatever. THE POINT IS, without the pressures of school to bother with, I’m hoping to read this cover to cover.
We have now come to the vampire portion of this list. We apologize for the inconvenience.
After Twilight (yes, I read all four. And enjoyed the first three. I honestly cannot tell you why) I was sort of *over* vampires. No, not sort of. I was really, really, REALLY over them. But in the past year I’ve started to regain my fondness for them, and so the following three books have made it to the list:
5) Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett
Like with Vonnegut, I really just need to read EVERYTHING by Terry Pratchett, but this one has been on my shelf for a loooong time. Since this is a Discworld novel I highly doubt anything typical (at least anything that isn’t purposefully and comedically typical) will occur.
6) The Reformed Vampire Support Group by Catherine Jinks
This one was given to me as a gift a while ago. I read the beginning and it was pretty funny and cute. It definitely goes out of its way to defy vampire tropes, which I appreciate.
7) Sunshine by Robin McKinley
I picked this one up last year because Cassie Clare recommended it on Twitter, and considering how much I like her books, I assume I will also like the books she likes to read. She said something that made me want to read it, so I did! It had a very strong beginning for me, has a lot of talk of delicious baked goods, and the vampires are kind of awesomely weird (not to mention they can’t go in moonlight because it’s reflected sunlight–WHY HAS NO ONE THOUGHT OF THIS BEFORE??) but then something happened where I put it down and didn’t pick it up again. Poor little abandoned thing. Hoping to give it a fresh start this summer!
We have now reached the conclusion of the vampire portion of this list. We thank you for your patience.
8) The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman (and the other Sally Lockhart books)
The His Dark Materials trilogy changed my life. It occurs to me that it is strange that I have only ever read two other books by Philip Pullman–Count Karlstein and The Firework-Maker’s Daughter. Time to fix that.
9) World World Z by Max Brooks
Are zombies still cool? I don’t care, it’s time I finally got around to reading this. Stephanie has already reviewed it on Bibliomantics and it generally sounds awesome. Do zombie apocalypse tales make for good beach reading?
10) Animorphs by K.A. Applegate
All of them. Previously read at age 17. Previously read at age 8. There are 54 total, so it should take me about a week. And there shall be blogging!
So there’s my top 10! Which actually amounts to quite a bit more than ten… and I do hope to read a LOT more besides. What are YOU reading?? I welcome my fellow Bibliomantics to post their own summer reading lists, and for anyone else to do so in the comments!