So… supposedly if you live in Phineas and Ferb Land, summer vacation is 104 days long. Well, in Northeast Ohio, it’s 74. Now, don’t get me wrong, 74 days off in a row is a lot more than most people get, and I am happy that I picked a profession that allows for proper rest. Needlesstosay, it is not all about lounging at the pool and drinking margaritas (although there will be time for that).
For me, the most important accomplishment I can perform this summer is
running a 5K reading. (Did you pick up on the subliminal message I am trying to send myself? I am still trying to convince myself to get in shape. Man, am I tricky to try to ambush my psyche into exercising more.) Yes, reading. I want to be on top of my game for my new Honors American Lit Prep, but also, reading for the sheer enjoyment of reading.
My goal for this summer is the goal I set every summer: a book a week. Hopefully, I won’t spend all of July like I did last year: reading some vampire infused epic that I loved to hate, but couldn’t put down. (The Passage by Justin Cronin) I will admit, after 784 pages, I was glad I finished it, although I was miserable for the majority of the book.
Today, I made myself a summer book list. It will be a mixture of books I will be teaching, books I should have probably already read, and books I want to read. I have to be honest, I feel a little giddy.
Here is my list in no particular order:
1. The Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorne
As I said, I am teaching a new prep next year, so I have to bone up on some very old literature. I do not think I have read this book since I myself took Honors American Lit with Mr. Wilson, but I look forward to rekindling a relationship with Hester Prynne. After I read it, I plan on rewarding myself with watching the hilarious Easy A with Emma Stone; it is chucked full of literary references.
2. Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
Vonnegut creates amazing futuristic societies with fantastically peculiar characters. What I like best about Vonnegut is the message. He may have written this book fifty years ago, but the themes are just as relative. I have read Vonnegut before– Slaughterhouse Five, The Siren’s of Titan, and Breakfast of Champions. This novel is touted as one of his finest.
3. Tasteful Nudes: … and Other Misguided Attempts at Personal Growth and Validation by Dave Hill
Yep, my Junior year prom date went and got himself published! How can I not read it? He is such a funny comedian, I look forward to his scintillating take on the world.
4. A Farewell to Arms by Earnest Hemingway
Hemingway is one of my all-time favorite authors. I took a class in college called The Lost Generation, and I fell in love with how he viewed the world.
Hemingway has a knack for creating characters who say little but say so much all at the same time.
5. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
I am embarrassed to admit it, but I never finished the Hunger Games series. I read the first one in less than a week because my oldest daughter said she would go see the movie with me, but only if I read the book. I liked the first one so much, I whipped through the second one, Catching Fire, in a weekend. I have been meaning to read this for about three months. This may be the first book I open this summer.
6. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
So let me tell you a little story. Last summer we took an amazing family vacation to Disney World. Before we left, I decided that I had to have a Kindle. I needed a way to read books on the plane without actually having to lug books. Tom and I went to Target to get it, and they had not one, but two discounted Kindles because they were “open box” models. The “latest” version had just been released and I have to assume two different people bought and returned these Kindles for the better model. Well, Tom and I cannot pass up a deal– we bought both.
The crazy part of this story is that I was a little hesitant about Tom’s purchase because Tom has never been a big reader. (Even married to an English teacher, imagine that!) Yet, for whatever reason, having a book fused with technology turned him into a voracious reader. He downloads more books than I do, and he reads them fast! Thus, this one is on the Kindle, and Dan Brown has never disappointed me before. I am predicting it will be a page turner.
7. 11/22/63 by Stephen KIng
I hate Stephen King. Well, I don’t know Stephen King. He is probably a very nice man, but I hate feeling scared out of my wits, and usually, that is what happens when I read Stephen King. However, this one is supposed to be laced with more intrigue than fright. Besides, Tom read this one, too, and it is darn right embarrassing that my husband reads more than I do (English teacher guilt).
8. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
I think this book sounds fascinating. It’s a true story about a guy who crashed into the ocean during World War II. I have grown very fond of nonfiction as I have gotten older, especially stories in which the main character makes me want to live my life better.
9. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
An American classic: enough said.
Seemingly, if I were truly going to read a book a week, I should have ten books on this list. Let’s be honest, I’m probably not going to get through these nine. Realistically, at some point, I am going to really try to run (No I’m not), and I will need a break to have that margarita.