Jessica Day George

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Summer Reading Roundup 2013

Well.

Hm.

I've discovered a strange phenomenon.

As soon as I say I'm going to get my Goodreads "to-read" shelf under 300 books, or that I'm going to get the hazardous, three-deep pile of books off my bedside table before one of the children is buried alive, the universe conspires against me.  Friends and favorite authors publish wonderful books.  Library holds I placed so long ago I had forgotten them suddenly come in.  The next thing I know, I'm putting two books on the to-read list for every one I actually read.  There's a terrible new thing on Facebook as well called the Booklist Challenge.  Have you seen this?  It's basically page after page of, well, book lists that you can check off and that gives you a score at the end.  I'm a sucker for such things, and I have been shocked, SHOCKED at how poorly I rate on some of them.  There was a list of the fifty books everyone reads in high school . . . turns out I've read about seven of them.  I realized that I've had so many conversations about classics like Lord of the Flies or Catcher in the Rye that I've almost convinced myself that I really have read them.  I bit the bullet and added a bunch of things to the list, just because I have decided that before I die, I probably should really read something by Agatha Christie (no, I'm not kidding: I have never read a book by Agatha Christie).  I vaguely remember listening to the audiobook for Call of the Wild, but have never read anything by Jack London.  No foolin' people.  It's kind of embarrassing.

But I did read SOME books this summer. And this despite also having to WRITE a book this summer!

So yes, the next Castle Glower book in the hands of my editor.  I'd say, Let's hope she's gentle with it, but that would be a lie.  I'm well aware that my books (in general and this one in particular) need a good editing.  So edit away, m'dear!

And now, the list in chronological order, of books from Memorial Day to Labor Day!

(Actually, I've decided to start with my vacation, which was the week BEFORE Memorial Day.  Just because that was the start of the summer for me.)

TIMELESS by Gail Carriger
TOURIST SEASON by Carl Hiaasen
THE HERO AND THE CROWN by Robin McKinley (obviously a reread, in a shiny new cover)
LET'S EXPLORE DIABETES WITH OWLS by David Sedaris
CRUCIBLE OF GOLD by Naomi Novik
THE BLUE SWORD by Robin McKinley (another shiny new cover!)
THE HERO'S GUIDE TO SAVING YOUR KINGDOM by Christopher Healy
DEAD EVER AFTER by Charlaine Harris
ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL by James Herriot
THE SPINDLERS by Lauren Oliver
ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND by Lewis Carroll (aloud, to the kids)
FRAGMENTS by Dan Wells
STORK by Wendy Delsol
EIGHTH GRADE BITES by Heather Brewer
THE FIFTH WAVE by Rick Yancey
WARM BODIES by Isaac Marion
ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS by Stephanie Perkins
THROUGH THE LOOKING-GLASS by Lewis Carroll (aloud, to the kids)
A WALK IN THE WOODS by Bill Bryson
ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL by James Herriot
AFTER by Amy Efaw
THE MONSTER IN THE MUDBALL by SP Gates
BLOOD MOON by Alyxandra Harvey
JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH by Roald Dahl (aloud to the kids)
THE CUCKOO'S CALLING by Robert Galbraith
LIFE AFTER LIFE by Kate Atkinson
THE CAT WHO WENT TO HEAVEN by Elizabeth Coatsworth (aloud to the kids)
DONNER DINNER PARTY by Nathan Hale
BLOOD PROPHECY by Alyxandra Harvey
HOW TO SURVIVE A GARDEN GNOME ATTACK by Chuck Sambuchino
THE LAST APPRENTICE: REVENGE OF THE WITCH by Joseph Delaney
THE SNOWMAN by Jo Nesbo
MRS. PIGGLE-WIGGLE by Betty MacDonald (aloud to the kids)
BABY MOUSE BURNS RUBBER by Jenni Holm
LOKI'S WOLVES by K. L. Armstrong and M. A. Marr
MESSENGER by Lois Lowry
THE DEATH OF SUPERMAN by Dan Jurgens
ALL THINGS WISE AND WONDERFUL by James Herriot
GOING DARK by Robison Wells

Thirty-nine books?!  THIRTY.  NINE.  That's so annoying!  Why not forty?  Ugh.

Anyway, as you can see, I got on a little James Herriot kick.  I remember the stories vividly from audiobooks as a kid on long car rides, and picked up a copy of the first book this summer, got hooked, kept going.  Also finished off The Parasol Protectorate (Farewell, Alexia!) and the Sookie Stackhouse books (sob) and The Drake Chronicles (I LOVE YOU ALL, DRAKE BOYS!).  I also discovered an obscure new mystery writer by the name of Robert Galbraith I really recommend.

JUST KIDDING.

I mean, you all know that Robert Galbraith is J. K. Rowling, right?  Well, it's true.  And the book is WONDERFUL.  But please realize that it is for adults.  There is LANGUAGE and other grown up things.  Not as much as in THE CASUAL VACANCY, but some.

To sum up: A good summer's worth of reading.  Not as much as I would have liked, but I did have to do a little work here and there.  Also, these children with their demands for food and attention!  Sigh.

What did you guys read this summer?  Anything exciting?

4 comments:

Dena BooksforKids said...

At least you can take comfort knowing that I have never read anything by Agatha Christy either. Nor have I read The Catcher in the Rye. It's on my list which, like yours, is ridiculously long.

Rachel6 said...

James Herriot!! I loved those books! And I'm deeply impressed that even with writing, Life duties, and your own reading list, you took time to read aloud to your kids.

Carson McCullers (short stories and novellas), several of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels, and John Steinbeck's "Cannery Row" and "Tortilla Hill." There were (many) others, but I can't remember the titles.

Rachel6 said...
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Anne said...

I loved the Messenger by Lois Lowry. I really enjoyed Son and was so glad that she finished the 4th book in the Giver series (published last fall). Did you ever read The Birthday Ball, also by Lois Lowry. I thought it was just plain fun. The middle school book I'm now recommending is Flipped by Wendilyn Van Baaten (I think). I don't like the movie, but love the book. It's a rare one in which you actually see how a girl matures. Anyways, just thought I'd mention them. I enjoyed your list and will look several of them up!