I feel like it's appropriate to post this now, a day late because instead of posting I passed out and slept for 12 hours because I could
as I have no more school assignments
. Leading off my summer being late, awesome, but the 12 hours of sleep felt so nice. School is done, I went from two D's at midterm (which is failing for me) to a 3.5
at term end (hence my disappearance from Lady Business and well...everywhere I do creative work). But now it is summer and summer is full of endless possibilities, Ana finally watching Inception (ANA. WATCH IT. OR ELSE), me finishing my co-review with Kelly (ugh seriously I am a terrible person), writing ridiculous fanfiction without feeling guilty, POSTING ON TIME COUGH COUGH.
This idea was brought to you because I heard younger friends and co-workers talking about summer reading lists from their school. I see it in books I read and movies I watch as well and this has always intrigued me because, what? There are schools which actually follow up
on this? They give students book lists and say "GO FORTH!" and then...check back with hopes it will actually be done? I could barely get my high school English teachers to write the kind of pretentious, dripping-red-ink-comments I wanted on my papers beyond a one-line opinion and a grade, even when I begged
. There are schools that provide lists of books
with the expectation that students will read
and test/report/talk about them upon their sucessful survival of family holidays, water sports equipment, alcohol drinking on the lake and all other perils and misfortunes of the summer months?
My mind was blown when I first ran into this concept years ago. Welcome to living in the rural south, land of no summer reading, plenty of physical labor and older relatives who thought spending the morning reading a book was a waste of time if you could be bushhogging a field before it got to be over 100 degrees or shelling peas or canning tomatoes (don't even start on how they reacted all the time I got caught reading teen romance novels during children's worship before I blew that Popsicle stand). Maybe it was because there would have been nowhere to get the books. That town's public library is the size of a bathroom in a house in Hollywood. I think my current apartment is bigger than the public library there and that's without considering that the library was filled with Sweet Valley books, Stephen King's entire back catalogue, Danielle Steele and nonfiction all published before 1993, plus approximately seven picture books covered in scribble and drool. Not so great for summer reading for students.
So I've never had a summer reading list. I tried, once, a few years ago when Susan
wanted me to read some Stephen King with her, but I forgot how wordy King was and how much my public library in my new hometown doesn't seem to like keeping his books in stock after they inevitably get lost and/or stolen, so there went that plan. But this summer, SUMMER 2011!, it's all going to change...mostly because I've read one book since July 2010 and the one book I did read I didn't like that much and I am a little ashamed of myself. Therefore, an extremely easygoing list.Chime by Franny Billingsley
: this can be blamed on Ana and Thea and their review of this title
. Smuggler!Ana and I tend to have pretty similar tastes, until we don't and it's an the exact extreme opposite (see: Soulless), but those don't happen too often. I get a lot of recommendations from her. I saw this in the bookstore a few days after their review and read the first chapter and knew I had to have it. It's been waiting for me to finish school since April 5th. Soon
. Also, wow, look at that, a book blogger hand selling a book
, oh god, someone get the detractors some smelling salts and a lounge chair, and possibly a cool cloth.The Reapers are the Angels by Alden Bell
: zombie fiction! Thea's fault
. What I need here is a tag that says "ana and thea's fault" because it's clearly going to be a theme, maybe they should get a price break or something from publishers for how many books I buy because of them. I used to be really into zombie fiction and this has gotten a lot of nice press. It's also by a dude (writing under a pseud) but that's okay because it seems like the main character is a lady and I am all about supporting dudes writing ladies, even if they happen to be writing apocalyptic zombie novels (or maybe especially because).Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
: Ana reviewed this
! She loved it, and the way it pulled apart complicated relationship dynamics and addressed them. I have come to a point in my life where I can admit that I don't really do heterosexual romance when it's just...romance...I will go on a Nora Roberts or Jennifer Crusie binge every so often, but for the most part heterosexual romance and nothing else, no matter the genre/category, bores me to tears, but I couldn't resist when I saw how in love Ana was with this title. Possibly I may make eyes at her when I finish, for co-reviewing purposes. >.>Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
: I waited on this book forever! I bought it practically on its release day! It's now on tons of award lists and people are flailing about it! It has an AWESOME COVER. WHY HAVE I NOT READ THIS YET?? I am a terrible person.The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
: of all the books on the list, this may be the one I save until last. I have heard nothing but awesome things but with fantasy I have to warm up, a bit, with easy stuff, before I hope into complicated world-building...and from what I hear, the world building here is very intricate.The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M Valente (Ana Juan)
: this was a web-published novel that tons of people were reading that was eventually picked up to be traditionally published. I didn't read it as it was being written. This was totally before Inception fandom made me a slave to works in progress (SOB). But now it is a book and it has gorgeous art to go with it, it was like Valente did a big bang project and hit the jackpot. Also: long titles, my nemesis! I AM SO WEAK TO YOUR SIREN CALL.Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
: I am honestly reading this book, and trying to drag Ana and Jodie into our very first tri-review, because People Were Wrong On The Internet
and I want to troll them as I think their behavior is incredibly indicative of just how Not Feminist the book blogging community actually is. Terrible Person Redux! \o/ Also, I am pretty disappointed because I waited for this book for ages (she's supposedly writing an entire remix fairy tale series of books) and I am a sucker...it would feel like quitting to wait so long and then not read it because it's gross. I am a weird person.Eon: Dragoneye reborn & Eona by Alison Goodman
: I am reading the first because I saw the cover of the second and it was gorgeous
. Also, I am a sucker for stories like this, there's a reason my favorite Shakespeare is Twelfth Night.
It is an extremely simple, small list and I honestly don't know how it will go. I love MAKING lists, but not so great with the crossing off of items. I own most of these, will get the rest from the library, and will actually get to walk into my library for the first time in several months
without twitching and thinking about all the reading I'm not doing for class. No more class! Only books!