Summer Reading 2016

Listen here.

So – it’s summer. I’ve got all this free time stretching out in front of me and all I can think about is – what am I going to read? It’s the perfect time to make a dent in my tbr pile and yet I keep buying more books. Ridiculous. I do have a reading plan and an anti-gravity deck chair…and an awesome new deck, so I thought I’d talk a little bit about what’s on tap for  my summer reading.

First of all, I promised my daughter, Mallory,  I’d read the complete Harry Potter series, which is 4224 pages. Yikes. I’ve actually read the first book and I’ve seen all the movies multiple times.

9780545162074_p0_v2_s1200x630Here’s a funny thing. The first Harry Potter book came out the year Mal was born and probably when she was about two I started to read it to her and I just couldn’t finish it. I just didn’t like it and she was too young. She was probably in middle school when she started reading the books on her own and I think she’s read the series a half dozen times or so. I subsequently fell in love with J.K. Rowling’s adult books, The Casual Vacancy and the Cormoran Strike books which she wrote as Robert Galbraith. (I’ve only read the first, The Cuckoo’s Calling.) I also think Rowling is an amazing human being – she gives away scads of  money, crazy amounts. Anyway, I will definitely be tackling Harry Potter this summer.

Here’s another book I should have read, but haven’t – A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway’s memoir of the time he spent living in Paris in the 1920s. I would say, generally speaking, that I am not a fan of Hemingway. I understand his place in the literary canon, but just not my cup of tea. Then I read The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. It’s a fictional account of Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley Richardson, and their time spent in Paris surrounded by the literati of the day: Gertude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound. I mean, you can’t really call yourself a literature lover and not be a little bit intrigued by those people. I highly recommend The Paris Wife and after I finished it,  I bought A Moveable Feast and my friend Karen has chosen Hemingay’s novel For Whom The Bell Tolls as our summer book club on FB. So, looks like I’ll be reading two Hemingways this summer.

Then – on top of all this, I am going to try to make some room to read some fun stuff. I started Martin Short’s memoir I Must Say a couple nights ago. I’ve been a life-long fan and I can hear all his voices – Ed Grimley and Jiminy Glick –  in my head.

I also have a couple thrillers on my bedside table, Christobel Kent’s The Crooked House, for example.

Speaking of thrillers, if anyone out there is looking to read a highly unusual thriller I can recommend M. R. Carey’s The Girl With All the Gifts. It’s a zombie apocalypse novel – not normally my cup of tea, but definitely worth checking out, especially if you like to read the book before you see the movie. Carey is quite a well-known writer of comic books, The X Men and Lucifer. The book takes place in the U.K. and concerns a heavily guarded compound where ten-year-old Melanie and other “hungries” are studied in the hopes of finding a cure for the world’s zombie problem. It’s quite a big problem, actually. Melanie is a wonderful character and the novel is action-packed, smart and kinda sad, too.

What are you planning to read this summer?