Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Summer Reading: This Year, Read and Share

There's something carefree about reading during the summer.

Even when I took summer school classes (for fun!), I always had extra time to read. In fact, many of the classes I took included reading lists that somehow seemed less daunting because the books could be read under a tree, on the beach, in a hammock.

I could tackle hefty books in the bright summer sunlight. I could breeze through light fare on the windswept beach of the Pacific Ocean of my childhood. There was nothing too huge that couldn't be faced in the summer.

One excellent source of summer reading lists was my local library. There was always a reading competition, an incentive to read more, the most, the best. Not to brag, but one year I read more books than any other kid in the library. The librarians ran out of prizes — which was even better because reading was its own reward.

But as I left school and found myself in the workaday world, I found fewer and fewer reading programs. Libraries used to offer reading recommendations, but recent budget cuts have reduced staff time and programs. Now, only children are encouraged to read, and rewarded for reading.

I am going to change that.

With Chris' Summer Reading Challenge, I encourage everyone to read as much as they can finish. Spend long summer days lounging with a book and a cold drink. I want people to be so immersed in their books they forget about lunch.

What's the reward? Give it back.

For every book read, I want readers to pledge to donate to their library or literacy program of their choice. Choose cash (a buck a book, or the cost of all books read, or even a copy of the books themselves). Find out how your library or literacy program prefers its donations. Remember: volunteer hours are an excellent way to give back, whether it's to the library or the organization of your choice.

For me, the summer solstice begins at 7:09 pm June 20. Within a week of the official start of summer, I will publish my reading list for the summer and who will benefit from my reading.

So, who's in?

In the comments below, include your reading list and your beneficiary, and how you hope to share your love of reading.

Or drop me a line and I'll share (if you let me) or respond (if it stays between us).

Let's make this a summer to remember!


Anonymous said...

Karen's Summer Reading:
The Woman in Black by Susie Hill

The Treasure by Iris Johansen

The 100 Best Poems of All Time edited by Leslie Pockell

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Famous Gunfighters of the Western Frontier by W.B. (Bat) Masterson

Myths and Mysteries of New Mexico by Barbara Marriott

By Steve Alten:
Meg, A Novel of Deep Terror
The Trench
Meg: Primal Waters
Meg: Hell's Aquarium
Meg: Origins
The Loch
The Shell Game
Grim Reaper: End of Days

The Mammoth Book of Scottish Romance edited by Trisha Telep

Royal Pains, A Rogues' Gallery of Brats, Brutes, and Bad Seeds by Leslie Carroll

Mother Earth, Father Sky by Sue Harrison

The Great Stink, A Novel of Corruption and Murder beneath the streets of Victorian London by Clare Clark

To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Chris said...

Wow, you are ambitious! Did you finish all of the Fever books already? I have a couple more: maybe they'll go on my reading list!

When you read The Great Stink, call me and I will read it with you! I love an excuse to read about London sewers. (Seriously.)

And you're going to make me read The Hobbit again, aren't you? *sigh* Well, it has been about three decades....

Anonymous said...

Stacy's Summer Reading List

I do not usually actually make a LIST of the books I want to read over the summer. I do usually have a general plan but in the interest of full participation I have attempted a list. Needless to say I will of course have books I will read that I do not yet know the name of because I do not yet know that I want to read them. My plan for this summer is to go back and reread some treasured favorites some I have not reread in years some I have read the last book in the series fairly recently and want to reread the entire series with no major time gaps created while waiting for them to be published! I have not plans to reread/read any fiction that is too "deep" or "serious" or "socially meaningful." I am looking for fun! The fun will per usual be intersperced with judicious and random non-fiction. I am also going to attempt the Harry Potter's again..we will see how that goes.
ok tentative list

Since the Summer Solstice I have finished reading; A Discovery of Witches by Harkness, The Iron Duke by Brook, Into the Dreaming by Moning, Pawn of Prophecy book 1 of the Belgariad by Eddings and Lover Reborn by Ward. I am currently reading The Gunslinger Book 1 of The Dark Tower by King and Storm Front by Butcher.
Part 1 my current stack waiting to be read and on hand!

The Hobbit
Heart of Steel Meljean Brook (my second steampunk novel)
The Martian Chronicles Ray Bradbury
Saxons Vikings and Celts, The Genetic Roots of Britain and Ireland
Beowulf Seamus Heany translation
The Collected Short Stories of Louis L'Amour Vol 1 The Frontier Stories
For The Love of Physics Walter Lewin with Warren Goldstein
The Knights of the Black and White Jack Whyte
The Imperial Cruise, A Secret History of Empire and War James Bradley
The Elenium (The Diamond Throne, The Ruby Knight, The Shapphire Rose)

and the plan is to also read

The rest of the Belgariad (5 in total) and the Mallorean (5 in total) and the Elenium listed above...depending on my mood and how the other reading goes I may also read the three followup books to the first two series and the followup trilogy to the Elenium. maybe.

The Harry Potters

The Hunger Games if I can ever get a copy from the library and if so then the rest if I like it.

50 Shades of Grey again if it ever comes in at the library

the next templar novel if I like The Knights of the Black and White

The Dragonriders of Pern...probably only the first trilogy and then the Harper Hall trilogy.

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

Nice Girls Don't Live Forever by Molly Harper

one Shakespeare play to be picked when I see which one sounds good the day I go to the library usually read in August

King of the Wind by Maurgerite Henry

maybe The Chronicles of Narnia or the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant The Unbeliever (I will have to be wanting something not fun and happy at that point to reread Thomas Covenant!)

Fool Moon mabye more Dresden Novels if the mood strickes

more Collected Short Stories by Louis L'Amour

The Iron Hunt by Liu

Hellfire by Kate Douglas

The Paleo Solution; The Original Human Diet by Robb Wolf...also on hold with no signs of comming in at the library

A Thousand Years of Stained Glass by Catherine Brisac

The follow up to A discovery of Witches the name escapes me at the moment as does the publishing date!

there will be more ...

so my financial and time constraints will limit my contributions to the library but i will at the very least donate a book for every book I read. most of these will be books I have picked up from yard sales and from Friends of the Library sales but they will still serve to help the library and if they are in turn just resold well then woo hoo double win because then someone else gets a book they can afford to buy and helps the library too!

I have got to learn to simplify dont I?

Chris said...

You know, I neglected to realize there was at least one new book on my reading list: Shadow of Night, the sequel to A Discovery of Witches. Oh, and I found the 18th Stephanie Plum novel yesterday, which I started last night. And the library book from yesterday: I'm up to 23!

Stacy, go for the Narnia, rather than the unbeliever chronicles. Just because.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I finished the Fever books and have a crush on Barrons! I am currently knee deep in The Hobbit; Logan read it first this summer and inspired me. Glad you are also inspired! I will call you when I start The Great Stink, it looks intriguing.

Anonymous said...

logan read the hobbit this summer? how old is he now!?! and chris i usually toy with the thomas covenant but considering all the sepressing elements of my life i have no control over right now i doubt i will choose to read that again right now....but it remains however unlikely a possibility

Chris said...

Logan is 12! Can you believe it? Much younger than my first attempt at The Hobbit. Talk about inspirational, Karen!

Thomas Covenant is a tricky storyline, and I've read only a few chapters of the first book. Proceed with caution, Stacy!

Anonymous said...

12? logan is 12? that can not be right! he was just a darling little toddler wanting to climb the tractor at Frying Pan Park!!! You have not read Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever? it is a tricky storyline, it is deep and meaningful and has lots of depressing stuff but it is also good, inspiring and full of fabulous characters