My Summer of Reading!


A gaggle of books to read this summer!

This is going to be my summer of reading! Yes, I’m going to read every book I’ve been hoarding, storing, stashing, perusing and downloading. Mark my words!

At last, I’ll find out what’s so extraordinary about “The Museum of Extraordinary Things” by Alice Hoffman. I’ll learn the secret ingredient to “The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake” by Aimee Bender, and why Stephen King recommends “The Wicked Girls” by Alex Marwood. And, what exactly is Jim Gaffigan’s obsession with “Food: A Love Story” that makes him want to fake marry it?

Fret no more as I uncover the reason there are “No Better Friends” than a man and his dog, as chronicled in the book by Robert Weintraub. Maybe I’ll discover just who had the audacity to be “The Uninvited Guests,” by Sadie Jones. And at last I’ll be able to finish the book I started last summer, “One Summer: America 1927” by Bill Bryson, which is now taking me TWO summers to read, not one. I’m bound to get to the bottom of what Babe Ruth’s 60-home run season has to do with Charles Lindbergh’s solo flight across the Atlantic.

With any luck, I can finally sleuth out the murderer in Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None,” and find out why the wind is so shadowy in “The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. After all, it’s the new selection for One Book, One San Diego.

Whew! I’m already exhausted just going through my list. And this is the SHORT list, my friends, which can only mean one thing:

I’ve got gads and gads more books to read on my L-O-N-G list! I’ve got biographies, history books, books about politics and current events. I even have a book about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire! Not to mention a book about Frida Kahlo and another about the Spanish Influenza of 1918. There’s also a book about elephants and one about Dallas in 1963–geez, I wonder what happened then?

Books, books and more books!

And I won’t even trouble you with my super-sized, XXXL list. I’ll be saving that list for retirement, thank you very much.

As you can see, all I’m going to be doing this summer is read, read, READ!

So who’s with me?

I’m planning to read just before bedtime. And I’ll read early in the morning, relishing Truman Capote’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” while dining on Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham.” I’ll enjoy a good read, “Bowling Alone,” at the bowling alley and also while in line at the supermarket checkout. I’ll also read in the stairwell at my office, and at lunchtime I may even sneak under my desk with a flashlight to read some more. I’ll read at the beach–at the shallow end of the ocean and maybe the deep end, too.

I’ll read under the shade of a tree, on a bench in the park, and I’ll read while doing the laundry. I’ll read standing up and I’ll read sitting down. Ask me nicely, and I’ll read sideways, too, because who doesn’t like sideways?

But please, whatever you do, don’t tell Henry and Oliver, that I plan to read while taking them for a stroll and lose myself in Erik Larson’s latest, “Dead Wake.” (They become all out of sorts when I don’t pay them heed, so it’s important you don’t say a word!)

My plan is to read so much that I won’t have time for anything else, not even sleep or work–


What am I thinking? Life doesn’t stop just because I want to read all summer long!

So, maybe the goal I’ve set for myself isn’t too realistic. Maybe I’ll be lucky if I can read two books. After all, there will always be other stuff on my to-do list. Just ask Henry and Oliver.

So let’s start over: 

This is going to be my summer of reading two books–and going to work, taking out the trash, scrubbing the toilet, cleaning out the fridge, organizing the garage, running errands, flossing my teeth, grooming the dogs, and other inconsequential tasks!

Now, where shall I begin? Decisions, decisions.

So, who’s with me? And what’s on your list?

Do tell!

36 thoughts on “My Summer of Reading!

  1. I’m with you! Add A Journey Of Life On Purpose to your list, written by Avril Somerville. I hear she’s quite the gal! 🙂 Seriously Monica, I’m with you! My goal is to COMPLETE the books that I have started, invest heavily in reading how to be an even better public speaker and presenter, and complete the work of fiction that I’ve started. Part of how I plan to finish the books that I’ve started is by utilizing the downtime in between appointments, or while waiting somewhere, is not by hopping on social media or surfing the web, but by actually turning to the page where I left off.

    Cheers to a great summer of reading, my friend!

  2. Hi, Monica,
    I’ve not heard of many of those books!
    But I adore Green Eggs and Ham!!!
    I’ve been reading like a NUT this summer and it sounds like you have, too.
    In the summer months, I continually go back to my “Hot Fudge Sundae” author, Elizabeth Berg.
    She just makes me feel good!
    Who are you fave. authors?


  3. Love Alice Hoffman. I’m reading Pat Conroy’s ‘Beach Music’ right now. It’s wonderful. Of course, if you run out of things to read, and you haven’t already read it, you could check out ‘Acquisition’. I happen to know the author (as do you!) *wink*

  4. Enjoy that list of books. It’s admirable and inspiring me to read books I had serious intentions to read when I bought them. I think I’ve only read one Agatha Christie book, many centuries ago. Think I’ll pick up a book and get a start before I go to sleep tonight. Thanks for the kick.

    • OMG, Totsy, sorry it’s taken me so long to respond. Guess I had too much to drink over the holiday weekend. Where are my manners, I have no idea. Agatha Christie writes a proper British yarn. I used to read her in college, and then like you, I forgot that I enjoyed her mysteries. Good thing that it’s never too late, though. Happy Reading!

  5. Start with Alice Hoffman, I love her and I loved The Museum of Extraordinary Things!

    The rest, well you are on your own. I am finishing up my spring reading list and will move on to my Summer after I finish the book I am currently reading.

  6. What a fabulous list Monica. And if I could get out of my moving/unpacking/ writing slump I would join you because I have two books on my e-reader that I need to read and review in two weeks not to mention the 10 other books on my list. I apologize for not sending you my review of Shadow of the Wind- life has been a crazy whirlwind of events.

    The Particular Sadness of Lemon cake is a fabulous book. I don’t know why I never reviewed it. The Museum of Extraordinary things is on my list, and I’m in the middle of ‘The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, Mr Penumbra’s 24 hr bookstore and The Secret of the Nagas by Amish.

  7. Definitely the summer of reading (the stack from the library is too big! I may have to send them back unopened and ask for them again!) But I also need it to be the summer of writing. What to do?

  8. While I’d dearly LOVE to spend all summer with my nose in a good book, sadly, that’s just not on the agenda. Not this summer, at least. There are more “to do” things on my To Do List than any half-dozen people could accomplish in three months! By the way, I’ll keep your secret from Henry and Oliver, but I know exactly what you mean — Dallas, too, seems particularly NEEDY the older he gets. And my “free” time really is taken up with WRITING my own book!

    • Why can’t we keep our noses in a good book, just for the summer, Debbie? It’s so sad, that as adults we have to give up these delightful pleasures simply because of other responsibilities. If I’d only known how precious those times were, when we could spend all day reading, I would’ve read more! Hard to believe I once had a dream of reading every book in the world! I must’ve been delusional.

  9. There’s definitely something about summer reading . . . even if the reality of being a grown-up doesn’t give you two months of open-ended time. Often it’s such a mindset — tackle the big book or go for the breezy read on the beach. Or a little of both 😉

    • Good idea, Deborah. I miss those summer days of my youth when I could spend countless hours indulging in a good, what they call, “beach read.” I read everything from Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn to The Other Side of Midnight by Sidney Sheldon during summers of yore. The best was the summer of my 19th year, when I read a book a week, and would look forward to heading to the bookstore to pick out my next read. Back then, every book I acquired, I actually had time to read from cover to cover!

  10. I tend to read far more now I use the iPad as an e-reader, though having said that there is nothing like the smell and feel of a proper book be it hard or paperback. At last check I have about 900 e-books, many only read once.

    Normally within two pages I can tell if I will finish a book or not, if it’s not then I put them in a separate area on the iPad and go back and have another go at a later date.

    One thing I have found productive to find new books is to go on Amazon and search using the magic words “Free Books” it’s amazing what’s available at no cost.

    The books on my list to be read again, well certainly the Harry Potter series, it’s interesting to see her writing develop and see her go darker and deeper as you read through the series. Also a book by the same author that I have had two goes at reading and failed both times so far and that’s A Casual Vacancy. For some reason I can’t get into it, and it’s bugging me as to why.

    You enjoy your reading Monica, because of course reading is meant to be enjoyed.

    • There is a downside to reading from the iPad, you know, particularly when reading before bed. I’ve been learning this and it’s true. The light from the iPad coerces your brain into thinking it’s daytime and, as a result, you then have trouble falling asleep. That has happened to me and now I know why. Sigh.

      • Monica.

        I do the following at night.
        If using the Kindle app then when reading a book click on view options and set it for black background and white text, or if you prefer use the sepia settings.

        The same can be done with iBooks as well.

        I find that more relaxing at night especially in fairly low light.

    • My book pile has pretty much taken over my nightstand and the floor around it, with a radius of twenty feet. Yikes. I checked out your book pile and I recommend you go ahead and read, All the Light You Cannot See. Great book!

      • Thanks! Unfortunately my nightstand pile is my top tier TBR pile. I have various levels of piles that are mostly contained in our basement. I definitely plan to get to all the Light… If you end up being the only person to respond, you win an amazon giftcard! of course that doesn’t help contain your pile of books 🙂

      • I’m a big fan of audio books. I figured out a semi-hidden deal Amazon has: often, when you buy a book on kindle, for a few dollars more you can get the audio version from Audible. It ends up being cheaper that way than buying the audio version outright. Try it sometime! It’s how I read/listened to the book, “All the Light…”

  11. I love your summer of reading idea and I hope that you get every single one of those books read. I make no excuses anymore for stopping and picking up a book whenever I can because there were so many years when I just couldn’t take the time. Seize the day…! Enjoy and can’t wait to hear your thoughts on them!

    • Thank you, Beth Ann, for enabling my obsession and letting me know it’s okay to accumulate books. Here’s the thing: I buy them when I come across them and find them intriguing. I’m afraid if I don’t seize the book–day– then I’ll forget about it and never come across it again. I’ve been doing this since my twenties, so you can only imagine what kind of a collection I have. Lol thanks for reading!

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