It begins almost as soon as we start a new year of school and continues without much rest throughout the rest of the academic year. Slowly, imperceptibly and at times nefariously the pile of unread books that accumulate on my bedside table grows to mammoth proportions under the withering gaze of my wife until I have to construct a kind of tower out of them to put my besdide lamp on top of.
But now that summer is here I am able to do what I do every summer and get some really focussed reading done without having to worry about marking assignments, planning lessons etc. I am halfway through the first of these books: Age of Wonder by Richard Holmes, a fascinating work of non-fiction about Romantic Science - the discovery of flight, stars, gas etc. To be recommended!
So what is your first book that you have been waiting to read throughout the past year that you can delve in to?
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So many books, so little time. I've been meaning to reread several classics--Gatsby and Fahrenheit 451 among them--for eNotes prep purposes. An old high school friend has published several novels set in my home town in Florida, so they are #1 & #2 on my priority reading list. (Irene Ziegler Aston's Ashes to Water and Rules of the Lake.)
I'm in the middle of 1421: The Year that China Discovered America. My next read will be a "trashy" summer guilty pleasure, Furious Love, the new biography of the love story of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. After that, I'm going to tackle Diane Ravitch's latest, The Death and Life of the Great American School System.
I used to spend my summers following a "theme"; one summer I read several historical books about the Founding Fathers. Another summer I read through Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome series.
I like to mix current books with classics. I enjoy escaping from the "real" world by reading good fiction. I just finished "The Lion" by Nelson DeMille. An excellent book. Now I am in my "classic" mode and am reading Robinson Crusoe. It is a book I have wanted to read for a long time and I am now getting to it. A great adventure novel.
I bought Hillary Jordan's Mudbound months ago after seeing it recommended on the AP listserv. Although I read other books this summer, this one I didn't want to end. I had a "feeling" what was lurking in the end pages, and it was bittersweet. I won't elaborate because you may want to read it for yourself. Now I'm almost finished with the Book Thief, another outstanding novel. Next, I'm planning on reading The Last Lecture, recommended by one of my 10th graders last year, and I quote "It was the best book I've read in my whole life." Got to read it.
I'm participating in a book club for the first time in my life. Our reading list so far this summer has included The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (it was okay) and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night time (which I really liked). The next two on my to-read list are The Help and The Edible Woman (this one from curiosity sparked simply by student questions in the Q&A).
Now that I've heard a 10th graders quote on The Last Lecture I might add that one as well. I'd already heard it was worth the time. Thanks #5!
One of my students had to read Joy Jordan-Lake's Blue Hole Back Home as part of her summer reading for Baylor. After reading it, she informed me I "had" to read it. My students are well aware of the kinds of books I would and would not appreciate, so if they give me a recommendation I generally try to follow through. So far, a most excellent work. The second category of books I have on a list (and in a pile) to read are some biographies of the Founding Fathers. John Adams and Ben Frankiln are at the top. Ready or not, here I come!
I just finished Kate Atkinson's One Good Turn and enjoyed it immensely. It was a perfect summer book--a little slow at first but then totally engrossing. I liked how all the stories connected in surprising ways. Now, for the past few weeks I have been s-l -o-w-l-y reading Hopscotch, by Julio Cortazar. Actually a post on enotes about it made me want to read it. I have found it very challenging, maybe too much so for my sun-fried brain to handle. I think I'll try to squeeze in Benioff's City of Thieves before the summer ends. (Sorry my ancient Mac won't let me format the titles.)
Wow! Lots of great ideas for my next pile of books for next academic year! My wife is going to love you guys! The Last Lecture sounds really interesting - will have to look it up. Well, for me, when I have finished Age of Wonder I am going to be starting The Gift of Asher Lev. I recently read My Name is Asher Lev and was so impressed - an amazing book about the cost of art and what happens if we dedicate our lives to it and how it isolates us from our roots and family, and the sequel I believe carries on these themes.
Happy summer reading everybody!
I, too, have a stack of books that have awaited my reading pleasure...I began with Diana Gabaldon's An Echo at the Bone ( a time travel historical romance set simultaneously in America during the Revolution and in Scotland in the 20th century. It is the last book in a series...so much fun!
I have also several other history books including London: the Biography. Other guilty pleasures include F. E. Higgins' The Black Book of Secrets and Michael Scott's The Necromancer both are fantasy fiction dealing with characters like Nicholas Flamel and other Harry Potter like situations...I read them for fun, but also to talk books with my sons since this is what they enjoy these days.
Last, but not least, I have attained Laurie Sheck's A Monster's Notes which I can't wait to dig into and incorporate in my classroom this year along with Frankenstein. It is mostly in the form of letters and notes, like a journal. The book is supposed to be from the creature's point of view, and I am literally shaking with anticipation since the creature is my favorite character.
I'm reading A Train to Potevka. This is my third reading of it and every time I catch something I didn't get before! It's a great book about an American spy who gets into trouble and what he goes through before he gets rescued. He gets beaten up, nearly starves to death, and almost dies. Through it all, he relies on a higher power to see him through and many miracles happen to help him out. I just love intrigue and suspense and this book has it all. There's even romance (for those who have to have it).
It's a totally clean book and one you really should read!
I'm reading just for fun this summer--no great literature allowed! I just finished Charlaine Harris's latest, Dead in the Family. I'm just starting Jeremy Robinson's Pulse, and I have a stack of other books that I hope to get to, including Rick Riordan's new book The Red Pyramid. I love the Percy Jackson books--hated the movie, though.
I am just finishing Wolf Hall by Hiliary Mantel. It is truly a work of genius. It won the booker prize, several awards for historical fiction, and universal critical acclaim. But it is also a page-turner and highly accessible. It deals with Henry VIII and his tumultuous and world changing divorce from his first wife, Catherine which resulted in the CofE's split from Rome. I can't recommend it highly enough, nor do I have the erudition to fully do it justice. I have about 50 pages left to go (it's a big doorstop of a book) and when I reach the end, I'm going to turn to page 1 and start reading.
Right now, I'm re-reading Romeo and Juliet. It's been so long that it's more like reading it for the first time. I certainly don't remember all those bawdy lines; maybe they were censored out back in high school.
On my nighttable waiting for their turn: Things Fall Apart (which I've never read) and a collection of Faulkner novels (some of which I read a looooong time ago.
I have that exact same problem as well! It always seems that there are too many books to read and not nearly enough time to read them all. I currently have a few books on my waiting list, including:
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series
Finishing a Song of Ice & Fire series
and For Whom The Bell Tolls
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