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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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