Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Prithee, Inform Me: Summer Reading

A reminder: don't forget to submit your guest posts before midnight on Monday, May 23rd!

I know it seems like spring has only just begun, but the fact is, mes auteurs, that in a month it will officially be summer. And you know what that means: summer reading!

What are you planning to read this summer? What have you recently read that you loved? Favorite/least favorite books of 2011? Books we might have missed in 2010? Go nuts in the comments, and as the summer unfolds I'll be posting short reviews of my own summer reading selections.

Six books I'm definitely going to be reading this summer:

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. The hbo miniseries has me hooked. I've got to go back and read this.

A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. I'm a sucker for a Pulitzer Prize winner, especially since hbo has the rights to this, as well!

The Cloud Corporation by Timothy Donnelly. My list wouldn't be complete without some poetry. Speaking of:

The Odyssey and The Iliad by Homer. I re-read these every summer. If you haven't read 'em, you should. The Fitzgerald translations are the best.

Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne. I've had my eye on this one for awhile, actually, and I think a science title will round out my summer really well.

This isn't going to be enough to fill twelve+ weeks of summer, however, so be on the lookout for additions over the next several weeks. And don't be shy about sharing your favorites in the comments!


  1. I've got both A Game of Thrones and the Homer re-reads on my list already.

    I also plan to read China Mieville, David Mitchell and (maybe) Tolstoy.

    I'm getting excited just typing this...

  2. Nice. I also have Goon Squad and GRR Martin on my list, although I'll be going straight to A Dance with Dragons. (I'll use wikipedia to remember what actually happened in the last book.)

    I think Thieves of Manhattan and maybe God's War for my beach read. :)

  3. Definitely reading A DANCE WITH DRAGONS (the next book coming out in the A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) series) when it comes out in July! And I know next on my list is THE WISE MAN'S FEAR by Patrick Rothfuss. Other than that, my TBR list is so long that I'll just pick whatever I feel like when it comes time.

  4. I'll be reading Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath first--I've finally reached my embarrassment threshold in terms of being from Salinas (Steinbeck's hometown) and not having read this yet.

    Then I'll move on to some fun stuff: some Daphne du Maurier and a new favorite, Percival Everett (if you want to laugh, hard, read his "Erasure").

  5. Robin Hobb's Rain Wilds Chronicles WAS on my reading list... until I read "Dragon Keeper" and realized how considerably sub-par it was compared to her Farseer and Tawny Man books!

    For recommendations, I would say Elizabeth Kostova's "The Swan Thieves". I was absolutely enthralled with this book. Few slow spots, but from beginning to end, very satisfying. "The Historian" by the same author was also pretty fantastic!

    A few oldies, "The Human Stain" and "The House of Sand and Fog" (never saw the movies for either). Read those at the same time in college and enjoyed both.

    Older oldies: Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" and John Knowles "A Separate Peace".

    If you're looking for a quirky and fun read, Bruce Campbell's "If Chins Could Kill". Surprisingly good! :)

    YA: Cheat, Liar, Coward
    Adult: Shackled

  6. I have one small modest goal in reading this summer, which is to read "Beat To A Pulp: Round One" a short story anthology that a writer friend self pubbed via Smashwords late last year. I plan on getting a copy for my b-day and spend parts of my weekends exploring the world of noir/pulp fiction.

    Plus whatever quirky romance novels happen to tweak my curiousity at the library.

  7. I loved Goon Squad. I plan to read some on my backlist: On Beauty by Z. Smith and John Harwood's The Seance are at the top of my TBR pile on my nightstand.

  8. Trying to catch up on my to read list this summer:


    And looking forward to HOURGLASS and THE NEAR WITCH. And, partly for fun and partly for story research, the tremendous CHOCOLATE: HISTORY, CULTURE AND HERITAGE.

  9. Read Virgil's AENEID and Ovid's THE METAMORPHOSES instead rereading Homer. You won't regret it.

    I don't divide my reading into seasons. I read when I have time to read year round.

    I have a pile of books I spent the last of my Christmas money on that I'm eager to get into. Most are paranormal mystery and urban fantasy, my current favorite fun reads.

  10. Right now in my pile I have Water for Elephants, The Book Thief, China Mieville, and Arthur Clarke’s Space Odyssey series. Also hoping to get my hands on some Frank Miller and Charles Yu (if you haven’t read HOW TO LIVE SAFELY IN A SCIENCE FICTIONAL UNIVERSE yet, it’s fantastic!).

    Anyone who hasn’t read THE HUNGER GAMES series yet, I strongly recommend it. And Audrey Niffenneggar’s HER FEARFUL SYMMETRY is also a beautiful read.

  11. Do you know how much I love your blog?! Of course not, but I read it religiously!

    Of course the list would be longer if I could send it after BEA and the Book Blogger Convention and all the ARCs I'll pick up there...but here goes:

    DEAD RULES by Randy Russell - out in June

    BLOODSPELL by Amalie Howard

    BOBBLEHEAD DAD: 25 LIFE LESSONS I FORGOT I KNEW - by Jim Higley (for the end of June around Father's Day)

    LOT'S RETURN TO SODOM by Sandra Brannan

    A QUEST FOR GOOD MANNORS by Karin Lefranc - my daughter will actually read that to all of her little babysitting charges


  12. I am just finishing the Hunger Games trilogy - they are indeed very enthralling.

    Working my way through the unabridged original The Stand (no summer is complete without a Stephen King) and have promised myself to finally finish Atlas Shrugged. Now I will add some of the books recommended by you all.

  13. Next up: Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury.
    Also in the wings: Dear Mr. Holmes by Steve Hockensmith and the Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder.
    That should get me through next week. :)

  14. Oh, and for "grown up" reading, I'll probably pick up James Hogg's Three Perils of Man and re-read that once school ends. It's been a good five years and I find I've forgotten bits of it.

  15. On my "To Read" list for this summer:
    Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin
    The Other Life by Ellen Meister
    Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horwitz
    Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls

    Recently read and highly recommend:
    Room by Emma Donoghue
    Mudbound by Hillary Jordan
    Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez and
    South of Broad by Pat Conroy, who never fails to move me.

  16. Good question. I never know what I'm going to get until I get to the bookstore. My reading mood changes too quickly.