Today is the first day of summer break. Finally. It felt like this day would never come, especially those days when every single child had some sort of “special” issue. Besides my plans for soaking up some sun, getting my workout on, and catching up on all my favorite blogs, I’ve been waiting for this day to really dig into my summer reading list.
Am I the only person who misses those summer reading lists teachers would hand out the last day of school? Probably. Now I get to make them for my students so I’m a summer reading list expert. Therefore it was no big deal for me to compile a short list of books that I hope to devour while I’m sitting on the beach while sitting on the beach.
1. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt: I’ve been a big Donna Tartt fan ever since I read The Secret History and The Little Friend. I was very excited when she published The Goldfinch and have been waiting until school is over so I can give her work the attention it deserves.
“Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don’t know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his longing for his mother, he clings to the one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.”
2. The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan: One of my favorite evening past times is to stroll through Barnes and Noble looking for new reads. I saw this book and was intrigued. I knew I had to read it after reading the inspiring story of the author Marina Keegan, a Yale graduate who died in a car accident whose essays and stories made her an internet sensation.
“Marina Keegan’s star was on the rise when she graduated magna cum laude from Yale in May 2012. She had a play that was to be produced at the New York International Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at the New Yorker. Tragically, five days after graduation, Marina died in a car crash. As her family, friends, and classmates, deep in grief, joined to create a memorial service for Marina, her unforgettable last essay for the Yale Daily News, “The Opposite of Loneliness,” went viral, receiving more than 1.4 million hits. She had struck a chord.”
3. Insurgent by Veronica Roth: Yes, I read Divergent in a day or two and yes, I saw the movie when it came out. But this dystopian series did not draw me in the way The Hunger Games did so I’ve put off reading the second book in Roth’s Divergent series. However I can see Insurgent being the perfect beach read and I’ll probably tack on Allegiant before the summer is over.
” One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.”
4. All the Summer Girls by Meg Donohue: This book has been sitting on my Nook for some time now. It hooked me with the fact that it’s about a group of girls who spent their summers down the Jersey Shore. Reading about a summer down the Shore while sitting on the beach down the Shore? Sounds like a no brainer to me.
“Kate Harrington finds out she’s pregnant minutes after her fiancé dumps her. Vanessa Warren loves being a stay-at-home mom, but she can’t stop thinking about her college ex. Dani Lowenstein might be living the writer’s life in San Francisco, but she can’t hold down a job, and her taste for drugs and alcohol is becoming more pressing than fun. The three women, childhood friends who have drifted from their Philadelphia private-school roots, decide to reunite for Fourth of July weekend at Dani’s father’s beach house in Avalon, New Jersey, like they did as girls. Vanessa and Dani want to support Kate with a fun, forget-about-him girls’ weekend, but none of the women can escape the growing tension in the friendship or the specter of Kate’s twin brother, Colin, who died eight years before on a similar Avalon summer weekend.”
5. Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan: J. Courtney Sullivan is another author who captured my attention and whose books I love reading. I picked up a copy of Maine at a rummage sale and have saved it on the self until summer time. There’s something about reading a book about summer during the summer that puts a smile on my face.
“Three generations of women converge on the family beach house in this wickedly funny, emotionally resonant story of love and dysfunction from the author of Commencement. By turns uproarious and achingly sad, Maine reveals the sibling rivalry, alcoholism, social climbing, and Catholic guilt at the center of one family, along with the abiding, often irrational love that keeps them coming back, every summer, to the family house and to each other.”
After writing this post I’m ready to pack my bag full of books and head to the beach! Of course I hope to read more than five books this summer so I’m looking for suggestions. What are you reading this summer?