Friday, June 8, 2012

summer 2012 reading list

As promised: Summer 2012 Reading List

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Knowing this is a literary must-read and a favorite of many, I bought this book (and even started it!) a few years ago. But it was just so… big. I got intimidated and shelved it. Determined, I put it on my to-do list for 2012. By starting it in June, I’m giving myself nearly six months to finish it. But hopefully I’ll wrap it up before the end of summer. Wish me luck.

I plan to make my way through this one slowly, meditatively, intentionally. It includes exercises that I want to be sure to try. I’m hoping it will expand and ground my personal journaling to enhance my writing and connect to God in new ways.

Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith
If you watch this reading by this Pulitzer-Prize winning poet, I think that is all the explanation you really need. Her poems contain some images that are really precise and imaginative. I would love to write like that. Summer is a time for dreaming, right?

The Color of Water by James McBride
I read this one after college and remember loving it. Time for a re-read, and to study how the author approached the form of memoir.

The Summer Before the Dark by Doris Lessing
Last year I read another of Lessing’s books (snagged at a used book sale for 25 cents!) and fell in love with her spare yet weighty style of writing and her dark stories. I’m going back for more. On a sidenote, I bought this book on impulse from a used bookstore (only slightly inferior to used book sales), and I’ve looked forward to reading it since the day I bought it.

I’m looking forward to buying this to get my fill of some contemporary short stories. Last year I bought it on my way to the beach and devoured it.(The link above takes you to the online version of the 2011 issue. Read these stories! I remember especially loving Scars and How to Win an Unwinnable War. And The Great Zero was disturbing, in a good way.)

I wish I could add more to the list, but I’m trying to be realistic, so there it is. Tell me what you plan to read! By yourself, to your kids, with your bookclub, even for class - I want to know!

PS I'm taking an online poetry class this summer, also on my 2012 list of must-do's. Eek, I'm so excited!


  1. I read Scars! How amazing to be able to write in two such different voices...I was confused at first but got the hang of it as I read on.

    I checked out Julia Child's memoir after you mentioned it here (I think) and I'm enjoying it. I'm just at the point where she's delving into cookbook editing. I love that she found her passion so late in life...makes me hopeful for all that I could learn even as an adult.

    1. I really enjoyed the voice of Julia Child's memoir - I actually listened to it, so that probably helped to animate it even more. Glad you're enjoying it!

  2. So funny... you are reading Doris Lessing! My high school senior year I did a report on three books of hers (don't remember which ones) and I did not really enjoy her, but I am glad you do. Enjoy! Also I would love to hear about that journaling book-I may be interested as well.

    1. You know, I probably wouldn't have liked Doris Lessing in high school either! I just started the journaling book and love it so far. Do you journal regularly? Do you find it helpful?