Summer Reading List 2009

I haven’t yet heard whether my usual summer reading club is going to happen this year, but I decided to make a list anyway. Especially since I have reread no less than four novels in the past two weeks–novels that I practically know by heart. I love to reread books, but there comes a point when I feel like I’m wasting my brain.

So…this year’s list. Last year was heavy on the nonfiction, which is unusual for me. And led to lots of unread books, unfortunately. (I FINALLY finished Word Mysteries and Histories last week.) To combat that problem, I have a much more varied list for 2009:

  1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I started reading this and The Bell Jar in a bookstore in Germany but, unlike The Bell Jar, I never finished it.
  2. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. I just finished What Are Little Girls Made Of?: A Guide to Female Role Models in Children’s Literature (by Marjorie Allen), which mentioned Harriet as a strong but mixed female protagonist. I had of course heard of the book, but I have not ever read it. A children’s novel, but still.
  3. My Secret Diary by Giovanni Guareschi. Giovanni Guareschi is one of my very favorite authors–he of the Don Camillo books–and I have had this memoir of his time in a German prison camp for years. Finally I will read it!
  4. Cookwise by Shirley O. Corriher. A Christmas gift from my honey. Lots of lovely food science, which is just my cup of tea.
  5. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg. Another children’s novel that I never got around to reading. It always sounded appealing to me–a sort of fantasy life, living in the Metropolitan Museum of Art AND being independent from parents.
  6. In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. Written by the author of Omnivore’s Dilemma, which was marvelous. It’s been collecting dust on my shelf for at least a year.
  7. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris. David Sedaris is a contributer to This American Life on NPR, which I adore. He is so funny, yet I’ve never read any of his books. A collection of autobiographical essays and memories, like My Secret Diary, but, well, not set in a prison camp.
  8. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift. Another classic I never touched. After visiting the Gulliver Park in Valencia this spring, my daughter talks about Gulliver all the time. Plus, references to the book keep cropping up. I thought I’d take the hint.

I have two children’s novels, two that are straight-up nonfiction, two memoirs and two classics. I’d also like to add a new, challenging author, but that depends on my post-partum brain. For now, I’ll stick with these eight.

One last note: because I do tend to get stuck in a cycle of rereading old favorites, I resolve to read at least one of THESE books before rereading anything else. In other words, I will read one new book for each book I reread. Wish me luck.

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One Response to “Summer Reading List 2009”

  1. Dixie Says:

    Yay! I was wondering what to get at the library. I need to read My Secret Diary, I love him, and I’m sure it’s awesome! I will also join you (with the oldest kids) on Mixed up Files and Harriet. Although, I think I read Harriet a couple years ago. I love Great Gatsby. Let me know what you think, I just re-read it 2 summers ago.
    On another note, I added you to my blogroll. Come on by, and check it out!

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