Summer Reading

not off kilter, tucson artist, Casa Luna

Come to find out, you guys read a ton. We read a lot of the same authors (Kingsolver, Lamott, Coehlo) and you had some mighty suggestions. For anyone interested in a recommended summer reading guide, here is what you’ve suggested in comments that I have not read:
(I copied these directly from comments, forgive the lack of editing style. Some are authors, other book titles.)

Beatrix Potter
Corrie Ten Boom
Jane Austen
Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff
Come Back, by Claire and Mia Fontaine
Lucky by Alice Sebold
The Golden Compass
Sala’s Gift: My Mother’s Holocaust Story by Ann Kirschner
Pride and Prejudice
In Lucia’s Eyes
The Historian
The Book Thief
The Traveling Death and Resurrection Show
Janet Evanovich’s number series
Fieldwork by Mischa Berlinkski
The Devil in the White City by Erick Larson
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Necessary Madness by Jenn Crowell
You’re Not You by Michele Wildgen
The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Ishmael by Daniel Quinn
Jane Eyre
Dr. Oz’s book How to Keep Young
PS I love you
March by Geraldine Brooks
The Last Witchfinder by James Morrow
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
The Last Summer of You and Me
Hypocrisy of Disco
See You In A Hundred Years
Highest Tide
The God of Animals
Lullabies for Little Criminals
The Solace of Open Spaces
Haven Kimmel
Ron Carlson’s Five Skies
Jhumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth
Gaia Girls
Wee Free Men
The Birth House
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe by Douglas Adams
Mezzanine Nicholson Baker
A Woman in Berlin

small dolly on the book shelf, Casa Luna

And these I have read and have provided a brief review:
{On a banana scale, Summer Sisters by Judy Blume is a 1 (horrific!) while A Hundred Years of Solitude, The Power of One, The Poisonwood Bible, are all 5 bananas, absoloodle. Fives changed my way of looking at the world. Ones make me want to burn the pages for kindling.}

The Poisonwood Bible — 5 bananas
My Sisters Keeper by Jodi Picoult — 3 bananas
Kite Runner — 4 bananas
Tom Robbins — 4 as a general rule, always entertaining
Eat, Pray Love — 4, loved it, love Elizabeth Gilbert more in person
Hemingway — 3. I realize he’s a classic, but not my favorite.
Blink — 3. Liked the topic but was bored by the end.
Freakonomics — 3. See above.
Sue Grafton — 2. Summer mind candy, good for the occasional craving.
White Oleander — 4, great read, descriptive writing
Water for Elephants — 3, candy.
The Namesake — 5, love Jhumpa Lahiri
The Alchemist — 5, one of my faves of all time. Coelho is gold.
Secret Life of Bees — 3, enjoyed the story
The Red Tent — 4, great imagination, loved the Biblical references
Life of Pi — 4, great story telling, great for discussion afterward
Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver — 3, good summer read
Prep, by Curtis Sittenfeld –2, couldn’t identify with the main character

Now, what to read next…

21 Replies to “Summer Reading”

  1. I’m assuming The Power of One is the book by Bryce Courtenay? I loved this book and there is a follow-up called Tandia. It continues Peekay’s story.

  2. You simply MUST read The Time Travelers Wife, a beautiful love story set in my home town of Chicago, I swear you’ll Love it!

  3. Oh, I miss Beatrix Potter… read those as a child. I always re-read Watership Down by Richard Adams. One of my favorites. Bean Trees is my favorite Kingsolver, but you’ve probably already read it. Louise Erdrich is another favorite author.

  4. Ugh, I hated “Summer Sisters”..Didn’t care for “Prep”, either..But “Three Cups of Tea” really and truly did change my life..I love “The Alchemist”, too. Ok, you’ve never read “Pride and Prejudice”? Girl, you need to get on that..Happy Reading! 🙂

  5. Loved “Summer Sisters.” Loved it and “How Stella Got Her Groove Back.” What can I say? Some things are inexplicable.

    You can never go wrong with Pride and Prejudice. For the record, my fave Ms. Jane is Sense and Sensibility. Corrie Ten Boom (“the Hiding Place”) is amazing, but pretty serious stuff. Happy reading, and keep us updated with some reviews!

  6. Kelli, you should be on

    It’s all the positives of a bookclub without any of the negatives (though it is missing the glasses of wine). Great way to keep all your lists of “have reads” and “want to reads” as well as get recommendations from friends. check it out.

    I LOVED Namesake & Alchemist, liked Eat Pray Love and Life of Pi, but disliked Poisonwood Bible. I love Kingsolver but I feel like her books have less respect for her readers now, slightly condescending…

    I want you to read The History of Love. Best novel I’ve read in years. And Angel of Repose, one of my favorites. But if you’ve never read Austen, you have a treat ahead of you (takes a bit to get used to her old fashioned “dear reader” tone, but you’ll make the leap).

    Surprised to see Corrie Ten Boom listed here:-) I just reread her book last year.

  7. Too bad you didn’t like Prep. I had exactly the opposite experience–I almost couldn’t keep the reality of the book separate from my reality when I finished.

    I would recommend any book by Chris Bohjalian–particularly his new one, The Double Bind, Midwives, or Trans-Sister Radio. Hope you can enjoy one or all of these!

  8. YEAH ! So excited about these suggestions. I am pumped for all my months of reading ahead! Thanks for the reviews everyone.

  9. Oh Jane Austen anything is highly recommended from me–and I’ll also second “The History of Love” by Nicole Krauss. The Janet Evanovich books are great for summer–kind of like Sue Grafton, but funnier. And Kathy Reichs (“Bones”) is my latest guilty pleasure.

    FYI, you can always see what I’m reading (and have recently read) here 🙂 Any questions on specific books on that page, please ask!

  10. I’d be up for reading a book with you (a read-a-long hehee). I need to buckle down and start reading more. (My adorable niece is such a good distraction though!)

  11. My kids love Gaia Girls. We highly recommend this to anyone one who loves a good adventure story, loves fantasy or loves the outdoors.

    This the Gaia Girls Book Series by Lee Welles. There are two books out now and we can’t wait for the rest of the series to be published.


  12. Out of that list, I would recommend Adams’ Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. It is really funny and really thought provoking. Very smart writing that speaks a ton to our current state of the world, though it was written in 1979.

  13. I loved The Secret Lives of Bees and also White Oleander. The movie White Oleander was such a let down though. Although that is usually the case when I really like a book.

  14. annie lamott was sitting a few peeps down from me at a giants game a few years ago. i recognized her from reading her pieces for salon, which were accompanied by a sketch of the author. i am so excited about reading jhumpa lahiri’s new collection. the namesake is one of my favorite books.

  15. If you’re ever in need of some great young adult titles that you could read in a matter of hours let me know. 😉
    I’ll be revisiting your site for adult titles and recommendations once my summer starts.

  16. Carrie Ten Boom, Beatrix Potter, Jane Eyre, Jane Austen, Secret Life of Bees, Dr Oz, Haven Kimmel, Red Tent: all excellent reads in my book. Cruising through Twilight right now, and From Me to We.

    Other faves: Dracula, Edith Wharton, Hemingway, Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret and First Love, 2 of Judy Blume’s best.

    Love Letters (something like that) By Larry King. Yep..Larry King, 5 naners!

  17. i felt them same about every book we had both read (prep, ugh!!) still need to read the alchemist, thanks for the recommendations.

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