Summer Reading List

Oh, Summer Solstice.  I both love you and feel sad at your arrival.  Your arrival means that summer, my most favorite season, has officially arrived, but it also means that from now on the days start to shorten.  Not shorten enough to notice–at least until late August, but we’ve hit the peak now, the apex, and there is no where to go, but…

(sorry, I’ll stop this Debbie Downer tirade now.)

Let’s change the subject.

SUMMER!!  WHOO-HOO!  Long days of warmth, and vacations at the beach, and kayak rides, and picnics, and berry-picking, and bike riding, and strawberry dacquiri-making, and grilling and gimlets on the deck and all manner of outside adventures.

And in between all that, the Summer Reading List.

There is this “Illusion of Summer” I think, in which we all get sucked into believeing that that there is going to be ample time for all the stuff on the above-mentioned list, PLUS time to lay in a hammock and devour books and be totally IDLE.  (I read Mary Oliver’s A Summer Day  in my class this morning, and whereas most of the time I focus in on the “one wild and precious life” line, this morning what I pointed out was her celebration and sanctification of “idleness.”

“Yes,” I thought.  “To be idle and blessed.”

So here’s what I want: I want back the summers of my childhood. Those summers overflowing with time.  Those summers that actually felt heavy with time.  Summers where there was almost too much time.

Summers where I would bike to the library and check out the max amount of books allowed, and then go home and gorge on them, returning the next week for another haul.

Even though The NYTimes always puts out a Summer Book Review supplement edition, do people still make summer reading part of their vacations?  Or do we now just play on Facebook and Twitter our summers away?

I don’t know.  What I do know is that I spend FAR TOO MUCH TIME messing around in social media, and I need to get back to reading again.

So the other day I compiled my list.  Here’s my stack, piled next to my Space Chair in my room.  I hope to be reading most of them in a Lafuma chair on the deck, though.  Or stretched out on the couch. Or under an umbrella at the beach.

Space Chair w/Summer reading
Summer Reading 2011

I’ve started with Tao: The Way of God because that book is a borrowed one.

I wonder if my reading will inform these posts?  We shall see.

What I would love to know is this: Do you compile a Summer Reading List?  And if so, what’s on it?  Feel like sharing?  And if any of you have read any of the titles on my line-up, what did you think?

Happy Summer.  (Really.)

4 thoughts on “Summer Reading List

  1. Hello there!

    This post had me nodding away, yes, yes, I remember heavy time…now everything zips by. Ah summer reading, I think I just read a lot all year round, usually have books waiting to be read. I have to decide what book to read on the plane from Tokyo to London….a good book is the best thing to have. One you can’t put down, a blessing to have a whole 12 hours to read with food brought on a trap : ) Gotta find the siliver lining of flying too.



  2. I love other people’s reading lists! It is winter here, but I’ve gotten a lot of reading time in the bush… after work is finished for the day, there isn’t much to do but light a candle and curl up with my kindle. I’m almost through though, and I’m looking for suggestions, particularly books that have nothing to do with economic development… Anyone?

    My “winter reading list”:
    Creating a World without Poverty: Social business and the future of capitalism
    What Works in Development? Thinking big and thinking small
    Out of Poverty: What works when traditional approaches fail
    Dead Aid: When aid is not working and how there is a better way for Africa
    Next Generation Business Strategies for the Base of the Pyramid: New approaches for building mutual value
    The Blue Sweater: Bridging the gap between rich and poor in an interconnected world
    The Power of Unreasonable People: How social entrepreneurs create markets that change lives and change the world

    And less “summer reading” but staple books for this summer
    A Gentle Introduction to STATA
    Lonely Planet’s guide to Southern Africa


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