Skip to main content

The Sunday Salon (Summer Challenge) -- June 6, 2010

The Sunday 
Salon.com

Another week over, but I hope it is back to normal from Monday onwards. After typing so much for Armchair BEA the previous week, visiting fellow participants' posts and then checking out all those updates from the BEA attenders, I had reached a burnout during the initial half of last week. The latter half was spent mostly on clearing up my Google Reader (still getting there), and finally, finally, focusing on my work at university.

Overall, I had a good bookish week! Usually end-of-months and beginning-of-months can be especially sweet for me. That's when I obsessively head to those famous "lists" and start tracking how much reading I did during that month, how I have been faring in my challenges and what picks I would love to see on my reading log for the next month. For this reason alone, I love the month-ends. That's just the reason I need to tempt myself with different books and predict where my reading tastes would take me during the next 30-odd days.

I know many of you have signed up for summer challenges. So far, I haven't been able to come across one that I really wanted to do, mainly because my summer is going to be crazy busy, and I don't want to commit to books I may or may not have access to over the next few months! Moreover, I have a stack of ARCs that I want to get through right now. So instead, inspired by Mary's post @ Bookfan, I have decided to create my own list of books that I want to read over the summer (between now and August 31, 2010). While choosing my books, I liberally picked a few that were on my 2010 challenge lists, plus I added a few books that I've always wanted to read.


  1. Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
  2. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  3. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
  4. Lipstick Jungle by Candace Bushnell
  5. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
  6. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Except for Leviathan, I own a copy of the rest. Again, except for Leviathan, all the other books are in some challenge list for this year. I wanted to finally read these books because I have been told time and again that they are good. I am sure I would read them at some point this year, but I guess this way is better. I will also be (definitely) reading The Passage by Justin Cronin and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, but figured that I would be cheating myself by including them in the list above.

What are you planning to read this summer?

Comments

bermudaonion said…
I've read 3 of the books in your stack and enjoyed all of them. I can't decide which one I liked the best - maybe Breathing Lessons. Enjoy!
Stephanie said…
I loved Breathing Lessons, The Secret Life of Bees and Leviathan. Enjoy!

http://laughingstars.net
Book Dilettante said…
I loved Bel Canto. I know you will enjoy it too. Happy reading! Here's
My Sunday Salon
We did The Secret Life of Bees for an online book club and I fully enjoyed not only reading it, but hearing everyone's perspectives.
Unknown said…
I saw Mary's post and thought of doing the same thing. I haven't joined any challenges this year (on purpose), but I like the idea of doing this and getting some of my own books read. I have Bel Canto in my stack too, and now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure I started to read it but couldn't get into it. Not sure why.

Good luck with your challenge, Aths :)
I created my own summer reading list as well, but so far I haven't read a single one :(

Breathing Lessons is on that list though.
Ash said…
I'm reading The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell right now and it's pretty good. It's a relaxing book for sure. This summer I'm pretty much just reading whatever I feel like. I originally had some plans for what I wanted to read but right now I'm just having fun deciding on a whim what I want.
Athira said…
Kathy, that's great to hear. More reason why I need to get on to those books!

Stephanie, thank you! Glad you liked them. That's motivation for me. :)

Harvee, one of my online book clubs is reading that book this month. Really looking forward to it!

Gwen, that is the only book I know very little about. I am going into it on pure recommendation.

Lynne, awww.. maybe we should read it together? :) But I like this idea of planning one-fourth of my reads for a season. Makes it easier to decide.

Molly, I would love to see your list. I don't know if missed it.

Ash, I think I will enjoy Candace Bushnell too. Not sure why I waited so long to read it.
Great list for summer reading! I look forward to the reviews as I haven't read any of them!
Mary (Bookfan) said…
Yay for summer challenges! Thanks for the shout out :) I like your books. I've read Bel Canto, Breathing Lessons, " Divine Secrets". All good in their own way. Good luck to all of us with our own personal summer challenges. I started one already.
I've read and enjoyed the first 3 on your summer list. ENJOY!
Athira said…
Helen, I hope I will finish all, LOL! One problem with challenges is I tend to put them off. :)

Mary, good luck for sure! I think I will start next week.

Diane, glad to hear that. I am thrilled that most of these books got good reviews.
MizB said…
I joined in with Mary's idea, too! You can read my post here:
http://challenged2read.wordpress.com/summer-2010-tbr

Good luck!

~MizB
Athira said…
MizB, that's awesome!! Off to check your post!

Popular posts from this blog

Hell-Heaven by Jhumpa Lahiri (Short Fiction Review)

I first read Jhumpa Lahiri years ago, when her Interpreter of Maladies was making a huge buzz. At the time, I didn't catch any of the buzz, but for some reason, when I saw the book on the shelf at the store I was browsing in, I felt it just might be a decent read. Funnily, I read the entire short story collection without complaining about it, but for some reason, I cannot read any collection anymore without agonizing over its disjoint nature.

I did enjoy Interpreter of Maladies, but I did get bothered by the thread of loneliness and infidelity and distrust that laced through the stories. For that reason, I have been reluctant to read Unaccustomed Earth. However, when I came across Hell-Heaven at the NewYorker - a free short story from her book, I decided to go ahead and read it. I can't resist the pull of stories set in India or featuring Indian characters, and it is that same aspect that hooked me throughout this story.


In Hell-Heaven, the narrator contemplates the relations…

Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Maybe that’s what religion is, hurling yourself off a cliff and trusting that something bigger will take care of you and carry you to the right place.
Bernadette Fox has a reputation. While her husband and her daughter Bee love her, there's barely anyone else who share the sentiment. Her neighbor Audrey loves to gossip mean things about her with her close friend, Soo-Lin. The other parents of kids at Bee's school look down on Bernadette because she doesn't involve herself in school affairs. Bernadette herself goes out of her way to avoid company.

And then one day, Bee comes home with an excellent report card and asks for her reward - a family trip to Antarctica. The very plan throws Bernadette into a panic but she has no other option. She hires a virtual assistant, based out of India to take care of all her demands, including getting prescriptions at her local pharmacy, doing her online shopping and taking care of some of the logistics of her trip. (It is ridiculous! Bern…

The Lottery by Shirley Jackson (Short Fiction review)

With the Hunger Games hype that engulfed us last week, it was hard to avoid all the discussion of similar works that existed. Of the many titles that I came across, two stood out particularly - a short story called The Lottery and a Japanese novel (and movie) called Battle Royale (which I'm reading right now and just cannot put down). The novel will be fodder for another post, so for now, I just want to rave about the awesomeness that was The Lottery.

In contemporary America, villagers across the country are gathering on the 27th of June (and some a day earlier) for an annual event called the Lottery. Children, women, men, all come to the main square of their village or town, where the lottery master keeps a black box full of paper chips. One of these chips is marked has a special mark on it to identify the winner (the person who draws that chip). Not everyone draws however, but only the head of the family. Husbands are viewed as the head of their families/households, and if the …