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Revisiting the Summer Reading List

Welp. I’ve fallen in love with reading again.

As a child, a was a voracious reader. During my long summer vacations, I stayed at the library. I always took out the maximum amount of books (8) and usually returned them all within a week. One summer I declared I was going to read every single book in the Babysitter’s Club Series and I did. I even read the Super Specials, mysteries and a few of the Little Sister’s spinoffs (totally not as wonderful). I was devastated when Claudia’s grandmother died.

I won contests for reading 200 books in a summer. During the school year, I was the kid who stayed getting those coupons for a small kid’s pizza at Pizza Hut for meeting the reading goals for the program they had in partnership with my elementary school. (Yes, I was/am a nerd. I still have my rejection letter from the Where In the World Is Carmen Sandiego game show. I’m still pissed about it. I would have killed it! I wanted that loud ass jacket and a trip “anywhere in the continental U.S.” soooo bad. LOL!! I’m cracking up at myself right now. No Hawaii? No Alaska? That’s bootleg. To be a show about tracking a fictional villaness all around the world, PBS couldn’t spring for an international vacay for the kid and at least one parent/guardian? Damn!)

It seemed once I got thrust into the work world full time as an adult, I stopped reading for leisure completely. But I’m starting to get my groove back. I have an entire list of books I want to read/finish in the coming months. I forgot how much I loved reading. And as a writer, how inspiring it can be, and if you are reading great writers, you are going to become an even better writer. Most recently, I’ve read The Human Stain, Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock, Haiku for the Single Girl (friggin hysterical), and one of my all time favorites: The Warmth of Other Suns.

What I hope to tackle this summer:

The Art of War (currently reading)

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Let It Go by TD Jakes

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks By Rebecca Skloot

That new freaky book, Fifty Shades of Gray by E. L. James

Son of A Witch by Gregory Maguire (I loved reading Wicked)

The Legs are the Last to Go by Diahann Carroll

Audition by Barbara Walters

I’m Still Here: Confessions of A Sex Kitten by Eartha Kitt (I’m obsessed with her since a friend showed me a pic of her riding a bike presumably in her 20s, taken by Gordon Parks; which kind of looked like me!)

Lately, I’ve been most interested in non-fiction and autobiographies. I guess my background in journalism is a part of that, because honestly real life stories can be just as fascinating and even more complicated than things people make up.

If I read a fiction book, someone has to recommend it to me and it has to be awesome. The Human Stain falls into this category and after reading that, I don’t know how to find something to top it. I’m sure there’s more great work out there, I’m just too lazy. If you have suggestions, please share!

I’m also interested in rereading some of the classics I read in high school, and revisiting them as an adult. I read “Streetcar Named Desire” in high school and I went to see the play on Broadway last weekend.

It was absolutely amazing! Amazing! Amazing!

There were sly jokes and comments that I would have never caught as a teen, that I caught and adored. I had a new love for the material because I’ve spent time in New Orleans and it is my favorite city. I had a special sympathy for Blanche and Stella as a woman who went through my own personal pains. I especially felt for Blanche in a new way, because I saw a radiant woman I love dearly unravel in mental illness.

So I think I need to revisit The Great Gatsby and Vanity Fair and Jane Eyre again as an adult. I enjoyed those books back then, but I’m sure seeing it through adult eyes, will heighten the experience. Just like streetcar, I’m going to see something new this time around and it’s going to excite me and remind me of my evolution in my thinking and absorbing of material and my evolution as a person.

In honor of my recommittment to literacy, I bring you this hilarious parody. Bitches in Bookshops:

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19 thoughts on “Revisiting the Summer Reading List

  1. We Review Shit on said:

    Have not read any of these books myself but it would be interesting to hear what you have to say about each of them

  2. detroitraised on said:

    You are such a nerd. Haha!

    No seriously I love the blog. I’m still working on The Invisible Line because it’s very long and I’ve actually been kinda busy preparing for my upcoming trips and visits and whatnot. My next book will probably be Vanessa Williams recently released one. I borrowed Barbara Walter’s Audition once but it was part of a stack of like 4 books I had borrowed and never got to it. That’s another long read.

    If you want to get into reviewing but don’t necessarily want another blog to keep up with goodreads.com is a great site for reviewing.

  3. suestopford on said:

    I die if I can’t get to the library regularly. I am a voracious reader and also and when I was a teenager I read rather than partied!!! Things eventually changed. I am into chick lit alot recently just because it is funny and I have my head stuck in text books alot so it is a nice break. The clip you posted was great.

  4. ‘Do you know how many bookmarks I own?!’

    This post is so is sync with me right now! First of all if you haven’t already you MUST sign up for good reads. Also I am rereading the great gatsby at the moment and will reread some stuff from my high school days. I’m happy my mom used to read to me and my brothers as this is why I became/still am a huge book worm. I only slowed down slightly in high school when we had to read certain books. As a kid I was a huge sweet valley high fan and have probably read every single book in that series. Of your summer reading list I have audio listened to Bossypants awesome, and I also read the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Also great. I’ll be interested to see what you think of them.

    • I read a few of the SVH books. I guess today’s girls only read Twilight and Hunger Games now, huh? SVH, Babysitter’s Club, Goosebumps, now that was good adolescent reading!!! Are we old? 🙂

  5. I thought I was the only one who got those Pizza Hut certificates! The people working there definitely acted like I was the only one…

    Bossypants is the “Bridesmaids” of the 2010-2012 era. Freakin. Hilarious. Maybe because I idolize Tina Fey, who knows. If you like it, give Mindy Kaling’s “Is everyone hanging out with me (and other concerns).” Equally as awesome.

    Have you read Devil in the White City by Erik Larson? It’s the book that made me realize non-fiction kicks fiction’s ass. In a friendly way, of course, because I imagine them to be loving but competitive twin brothers.

    • OMG!!!! Too funny! Didn’t the cashier always have to ask a manager how to ring it up? Yes! You have me cracking up! I’m going to have to look up your suggestions and check it out! Thanks so much.

  6. Love reading- added “read 20 new books” to my Life List, knowing that would be an easy one! Currently reading “The Wave” by Susan Casey- very cool. Autobiographies are my fave- happy to recommend a few.
    Also, I love holding a book in my hands, but I downloaded Bossypants for a road trip recently and sort of have to recommend that method of enjoying the book. She reads it herself, and nothing compares to Tina Fey’s voice and intonations reading her own jokes…!

  7. It’s good to hear someone who also read EVERY.SINGLE Babysitter’s Club book. I was obsesses. I also was a huge Nancy Drew fan! I applaud you on your summer reading list. Since I finished grad school last year my pleasure reading has increased two-fold. I am currently reading Good In Bed (it’s not what you think it is about) and Bossypants is next on my list. Enjoy!

  8. Hi 29tolife! I feel like I should say “hi” since we don’t really know each other lol. I absolutley love your blog! I definitely have to say Bossypants is one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. One of the reasons I started taking improv classes was because of that book. I would also recommend Rachel Dratch’s Girl Walks Into a Bar which is also laugh out loud funny. Kristen Johnson’s Guts is a great read as well, but it’s a pretty gritty read at certain points. Good luck and happy reading! 🙂

    • Hi sunshine617! I’m so glad you are enjoying the blog. I know my mind races from one random thing to the next! Thanks for the suggestions! Can’t wait to start reading Bossypants although, people keep saying the audiobook with Tina reading it herself is totally the way to go.

  9. I really enjoyed Henrietta Lacks. It wasn’t something I’d normally read, but was “stretching my boundaries” and learned a lot!

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