Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Summer Reading Plans 2018

Periodically, through May to August, I will be sharing updates on my summer reading-- what I want to read and what I actually read.  Up first: what kinds of books I like to tackle over the summer and some of the titles that are on my TBR shortlist.

It’s May so, like most educators and students alike, I am counting down the days until summer is finally here. For the first time in years, I’m taking time to rest and relax (thanks, medical problems!) and I am looking forward to seven weeks of sleeping late, not wearing “real pants,” and afternoons spent reading in the shade.--Oh, the luxury!

As I count down the days until summer, I thought I would share my summer reading plans to help you suss out which books to pack in your beach bag before you’re legging it through duty-free.

Getting My Suspense Fix. Summer is a great time to tuck into the thrillers and mysteries that have been piling up in your queue for the past nine months. Really, there are few things as satisfying as reading a page-turner poolside on a sweltering day. This summer I am looking forward to finishing Tana French’s In The Woods and have a copy of Dorothy B. Hughes’s pulp-classic, In a Lonely Place, that is calling my name. I’m almost certain that another mooch through my local library’s used book shop will probably add a few more suspenseful reads to my stacks.

Catching Up On the Hype. This summer, I also plan to finally catch up on some of 2018’s most hyped new releases. On my shortlist are Meg Wolitzer’s The Female Persuasion, which looks at the relationships between different generations of feminists; Madeline Miller’s Circe, which presently resides on my mother’s nightstand . . . but won’t for much longer; and Tayari Jones’s An American Marriage, which looks at the impact that institutional racism and incarceration have on a family. Hype-influenced reads should, at the very least, be fodder for water cooler conversations and, at best, get you a few months ahead of the game on your book club reading.

Nonfiction Nosedive. In between novels, a good nonfiction read can be a great pallet cleanser. There have been many an essay collection, for example, that have helped me nurse a massive book hangover. As it starts to heat up, I am planning to (finally) finish reading Zadie Smith’s Feel Free and work through newish essay collections from Sloane Crosley (Look Alive Out There) and Samantha Irby (We Are Never Meeting in Real Life). And, morbid gal that I am, I am keen to pick up From Here to Eternity by Caitlin Doughty, the Internet’s Funeral Director, and Sarah Krasnostein The Trauma Cleaner; honestly, if these two can’t prevent people from trying to start conversations with me while I am reading, I don’t know what will!

The Bricks. The long and lazy days of summer also lend themselves to reading big ‘uns: massive, unwieldy, multi-volume works that you have meant to read for years but never got around to for lack of time or because of sciatica. There is an optimistic part of me that wants to believe that I’ll actually get around to reading Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago and Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84 this year. As you can imagine this is a small, small, foolishly optimistic part of myself.

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