Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Sunday Salon - Summer Reading Review

Tonight is my very last night of summer vacation. The students arrive tomorrow and the lazy days with lots of reading time will be over. Instead of boring you with all the millions of things I did this week, which did not include much reading, I want to take a look at the books I read this summer.

I read 15 books this summer, which is really pretty good for me. The best part is that there is NOT ONE romance or quick mystery on there. Because I have discovered the wonderful world of book blogs, my reading choices have broadened. Now, I have always read a variety of books, but they just leaned a little heavy on the quick, easy to read variety.

I read 3 classics that I had not read before, Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee (well, I read it in high school, but I didn’t really READ it) and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. I loved all of them, especially Fahrenheit 451. How did I make it to 41 without having read this book??? However, I think I liked it so much BECAUSE I read it in 2009. Bradbury’s ideas of what would be futuristic and far-fetched are now common place. The seashell ear piece = the Ipod, the viewing of his flight from the city on TV = reality TV and big screen TVs and home theaters are so similar to his ideas of the wall to wall TV. It makes you think….

I had a World War II theme going without even trying. I read The Reader, Snow Falling on Cedars and The Book Thief. This was after I read Skeletons at the Feast and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society in April. I enjoyed the many different perspectives each novel ____ on this period of history. Of these, The Book Thief was my favorite, how can you not like a book narrated by death?

I was surprised to see how many non-fiction books I read this summer. I usually read a lot of non-fiction during the school year to supplement my historical and geographic research, so imagine my surprise when I realized that 5 of my 10 books were of the non-fiction genre. I liked Everything Bad is Good for You by Steven Johnson. Thank you Stephanie for the recommendation.

I discovered one new author, Kate Furnivall, the author of The Russian Concubine. I enjoyed the characters in this book so much I made a special trip to Barnes and Noble to get the sequel, The Girl from Junchow the day it was released. I look forward to reading many more novels by this author.

And that is a quick review of my summer reading experience. While I did not get reviews written for each book, I promise, they are coming, just as soon as I write a few lesson plans.


  1. You read some great books this summer...several that i've loved and a couple I'll need to look into. Back to school is early where you are!! We have until after Labor Day.

  2. You read some very fine books this summer. I recently read Age of Innocence for the first time, and enjoyed it a lot. I'm always surprised that school starts so early these days. I'm old enough to remember those wonderful three-month-long breaks we used to get. Those really were the good old days!

  3. Your school year is starting already? You've read some fabulous books. I haven't read Fahrenheit 451 yet either -- I wonder why?

  4. Sounds like you had a great reading experience! :) I haven't read Farenheight 451 yet; I started it in CD, but couldn't handle the narrator's voice.

  5. Love your reading - like you, I like to read a mix - some classics, some more modern, some light, others "heavier." I feel for you with school starting and having little/no time to read. I taught for 8 yrs (pre-kids)and remember those days - although I don't honestly have much more time now! Thanks for some good ideas to add to my reading list!