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Your Own Summer Reading List?

So, what's on your summer list? My mother tells me that schools are already out in my Southern hometown, and that got me to thinking about the subject.

When third-grade is done, Junior wants to start a collection of books by Patricia Polacco and hopes to read a new graphic novel in a favorite series, Sardine from Outer Space #5: My Cousin Manga and Other Stories. His school encourages everyone to read during vacation, but does not specify which books.

Maybe I'll pick up T.H. White's Once and Future King, which I avoided the summer it appeared on the tenth-grade reading list. Should I write a book report and email it in late...very, very, very late? Right now I'm into Selected Stories by Alice Munro. When I finished Jhumpa Lahiri's latest collection, Unaccustomed Earth, I knew I had to read something just as good or better next, so I turned to a master short-story writer. I'm not disappointed at all. In her review of The Progress of Love for the New York Times, Joyce Carol Oates wrote, "Like her similarly gifted contemporaries Peter Taylor, William Trevor, Edna O'Brien and some few others, the Canadian short-story writer Alice Munro writes stories that have the density—moral, emotional, sometimes historical—of other writers' novels." Amen to that.

The Selected Stories will keep me busy for a while, but what after that? My blogging pal Tanita S. Davis's young-adult novel, A La Carte, coming from Knopf in June, is definitely a must-read for me. Other suggestions are welcome. And I'm curious to hear what's on your summer list.

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Summer reading list? What a fun question!

I just finished UNACCUSTOMED EARTH, AGE OF SHIVA by Manil Suri, and A GOLDEN AGE by Tahmima Anam. I also read Padma Venkataraman's first YA novel, CLIMBING THE STAIRS.

Books for "Grownups": DROWN by Junot Diaz, THE ENCHANTRESS OF FLORENCE by Salman Rushdie, LOVE MARRIAGE by V.V. Ganeshanathan (which I've already started).

Books for "Not So Grownups": I too can't wait for A LA CARTE by Tanita S. Davis!

Oh, see, already you've given me some good tips here with your reading, Pooja. Thanks! DROWN is excellent. I'd really like to hear Diaz read one day. Years ago I had a subscription to Story magazine, and my husband read Diaz's first story in there. He told me I'd like it, too--and I did. What a happy discovery it was for us.

Since Diaz seems to be in and out of NYC, I am sure you will catch him soon. The paperback of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is out in August and I am sure he will be reading around town.

What did you think of Unaccustomed Earth?

LOVED Unaccustomed Earth. Just loved it. Like Munro's, Lahiri's stories are as satisfying to read as novels. Somehow both writers pack whole worlds into one story.

What did you think?

Oh, Susan, I have simply dozens of books on my personal summer reading list. We'll see what I can get to. High up on the list, off the top of my head: some recently re-released Georgette Heyer regency romance novels, an adult thriller by Harlan Coben, and then kids' and YA books like Neptune's Children by Bonnie Dobkin, Cicada Summer by Andrea Beaty, the second and third books in Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle trilogy, Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer, Steel Trapp by Ridley Pearson, The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson, and lots of others. I'm planning to read several of these for MotherReader's 48 Hour Book Challenge, the non-adult titles, but I have plenty left for the rest of the summer.

Thanks for asking! Hope that you and Junior enjoy your summer reading.

I really enjoyed UE, esp. the trilogy at the end. She's on Charlie Rose tonight.

This past SBBT has gotten me primed for several great books -- as has Jen's "Reviews That Made Me Want To Read the Book" listing, but I'm afraid that I won't have as much time to read as I'd like this summer -- from graduations to baby showers to family reunions, I'm BOOKED. Yikes! However, on planes, trains and (queasily in) automobiles, I'll be snatching mouthfuls of book goodness as I can.

I'd like to read some actual adult books. It's been too long! I'll have to remember your recommendations.

Hi Susan,

If you do read TH White (and you could certainly do worse), please read the Sword in the Stone first in its incarnation as a stand alone book. An earlier version of this first bit of the story appears in The Once and Future King, but White went back and seriously re-worked it, adding bits and taking others out, and making it much much better! This stand alone S. in the S. is on my list of things to read to the boys this summer...

How fun! There's a new David Sedaris coming out in a few weeks. I'll be reading that one for sure. I also have this scary, scary shelf of "to read" books. The shelf's gotten so full that it's starting to take over another shelf. Like Jen, I'm hoping to get a jump-start on my summer reading during the 48 Hour Reading Challenge (during which I plan to at long last read The Lightning Thief. Everyone tells me that after I do I will need to read the rest of the books IMMEDIATELY, which is part of why I've been avoiding it. I need someone to give me some time off for a Two Week Reading Challenge.).

Jen, you've got lots on your list. I like the title Cicada Summer--I should check it out. I can't do the 48 Hour Challenge this year, but hope to catch up on some kid-lit stuff this summer, too.

TadMack, trains are perfect reading spots. Will you be coming to NYC for your book at all? Let us all know if you do. I'd hop a train myself to get into the city.

Jules, have you ever read Peter Taylor? So many of his wonderful stories are set in Nashville or Memphis. (I like his short stories a lot more than his novels.)

Ooh, thanks, Charlotte. Maybe Jr. and I should tackle The Sword and the Stone together. He must do some major work on memorizing math facts this summer, so a good read-aloud is going to be welcome.

Adrienne, I still haven't read The Lightning Thief, either. That could be another read-aloud for us. I saw a 6th grader absolutely absorbed in the book when I was at the school where I volunteer.

Nope, Susan, but I'll remember that name. Thanks!

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