Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Summer Reading Challenge

Because summer is only three (three!!!!) weeks away for me, I'm already anticipating which books I should put on my library holds list leading up to my first day of summer.

 I'm looking forward to summer for so many reasons, one of them being more time to read whatever I want. I'm thinking it'll be fun to challenge myself a little bit, so I've put together a summer reading list that's flexible and easy for you to use too! Next week I'll post a summer reading challenge specifically for kids, but I think this is flexible enough that it could be used by readers of all ages. I'll include suggestions for children's literature to fit the list next week, but this week I wanted to include some of the books that I'm thinking about using to fulfill these seven categories.

You can download the PDF version of the challenge here.

One: A Book that Features the Sea

I couldn't resist putting this on the list. If you know me in real life (or follow me on Instagram), you'll know that the ocean is close to my heart. I love living near the water and genuinely feel a huge difference when I'm away from it for long periods of time. Summer is the perfect time to spend hours at the beach with a book in hand, so I thought this was the perfect category to kick off my challenge.

I'm thinking I might fill this category with Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World, which has been on my list since I included it on March's Currently Coveting list, although I've also had Isaac's Storm on my to-read list for quite some time.

My recommendations for this category:
The Fossil Hunter by Shelley Emling
Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier
In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick
The Terror by Dan Simmons
The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan

Two: A Book Recommended by Your Best Friend

I know you probably have more than one best friend, so ask for recommendations from all of them and then take your pick! For this, I asked two of my besties for their recommendations. My bestie the high school civics teacher recommended Revolutionary, which is the story of one women who disguised herself as a soldier during the Revolutionary War. That she gave me a historical recommendation is not surprising, but she compares it to Mulan, which is a favorite Disney movie of ours so that's motivating me to read it. Another friend who is a speech language pathologist recommended the first in the Georgia Nicolson series, because she says everyone needs a silly YA book on their summer reading list and the wit and charm of this British series perfectly fits that need. I'll probably end up reading both books since they're so different.

Three: A Book that You've Been Meaning to Read

I have so many books that could fit this category, so I'm going to leave it open for myself. I have a couple books in mind, including Sue Monk Kidd's The Invention of Wings, Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, and Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. 

Four: The First Book in a Series

I've been meaning to read the Lunar Chronicles since the fall, so I'll be filling this category with Cinder, but I have a few other series that I'd like to begin too, so it's possible that I'll be starting more than one series this summer.

My recommendations:

Five: A New Bestseller

I'll be sure to let you know when I discover which of the summer's most popular books is going to be on my reading list, but this category is definitely one that I'll have to think about for a bit longer because it requires browsing summer reading lists -- something that I savor when I have the time to do it.

Six: A Work of Classic Literature

I've been slowly working on reading more of the classics, but I'm the first to admit that they're not the first books I reach for when perusing a shelf. I'm still wanting to read more of Jane Austen's novels, having only finished Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility (and about half of Emma before abandoning it), so I may pick another one of her's to read this summer. I'm also thinking I may take another crack at Jane Eyre, which I read in college but didn't love at the time.

Seven: A Nonfiction Book about an Unfamiliar Topic

I'm super picky about my nonfiction picks, so this is another category that I'm leaving completely open for myself. I usually only read nonfiction when I happen upon a book or see one recommended by several sources. 
Here are a few that have caught my eye:

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