I wasn't planning to do one of these, but since everyone else is posting their summer reading lists, I couldn't resist. Blame it on peer pressure.
Couple of months back, I planned to spend the second quarter reading science fiction and dystopian titles. And while I did read a few books from that category (Divergent, Battle Royale, Fahrenheit 451, The Knife of Never Letting Go, currently reading Unwind), I didn't quite get to as many as I had hoped to read. But mostly, none of the books I read so far have wowed me - they all fell far short of expectations. I will probably continue with more science fiction books (I still have Insurgent to read and maybe continue with the Chaos Walking series), but they may not exactly be on top of my pile. For now, I'm looking for something else to focus on.
I know that whenever I make a reading list, I never get to most of the books on that list. Reading lists, to me, are for ogling pleasure. I have no doubt, that history will repeat yet again, but lists are so much fun to make that I don't mind enjoying the whole process and patting myself for coming up with a final result. So rather than make a traditional list, I'm going for more of a project list. Moreover, summer hours are starting in a month, and I'm looking forward to using some of those weekends for reading whole chunks.
One of the first things I want to do is clean up my NetGalley list. I suffer from the out-of-sight-out-of-mind syndrome, so half the time I forget there are a bunch of egalleys waiting to be read. Last I checked, many have expired, but luckily, I usually download the galley files soon as I get the approval notification from NetGalley. Right now I have 12 ebooks waiting to be read or declined, and while I know that some of those don't appeal to me anymore, I know there are many there that I do want to read. I've decided not to request more titles from them until I clear off the pending ones (Ha, right!). In case, you are interested, these are some of the titles I'm looking forward to reading
- A Hundred Flowers by Gail Tsukiyama
- Between Gears by Natalie Nourigat
- The Lola Quartet by Emily St. John Mandel
- Smuggled by Christina Shea
- White Woman on the Green Bicycle by Monique Roffey
There are quite a few books on my shelves that I keep glancing at every other minute, wondering when to get to them. I only read one book this year that was already on my shelf - all other books were acquired or borrowed. I don't want to ever reach a stage where I've read 90% of the books I own - I like knowing that I will always have plenty of options to choose from on a blizzard-like evening or in an apocalyptic/zombie/non-'Fahrenheit 451' world. But for now, these are the books I hope to get to this summer:
- The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen (I'm really wondering what the whole deal over this writer is...)
- The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood (And this writer...)
- Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay (And this book...)
I haven't read a chunkster that wasn't fast-paced or a thriller in a long time. Mostly because I usually read in sporadic bursts, which are not suited to reading books like War and Peace or Ulysses. Not that either are on my bucket list. Just saying. Last year, I tried to read Shantaram during a readalong I hosted. That became an epic failure for many reasons. (I love readalongs! I just don't seem to be reading along.) I'm still reeling from that knowledge but that doesn't stop me from choosing the Big Read for this summer.
- One of my top choices is Haruki Murakami's 1Q84, which although huge, may still fall in the fast-paced category. Maybe.
- It's more likely though that I will read A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth. That ought to be challenging - last I checked the book, I saw plenty of verse in there that pretty much scared me.
- My third option is Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace that I am adding here just for jest.
- The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett - the saga-esque book that's been on my wishlist for ever!
- And the much popular A Game of Thrones by George Martin.
I was also thinking of reading a book or two from my PIE list. My personal goal is to read five books from the PIE list every year. I've already read four so far (The Yellow Wallpaper, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Fahrenheit 451, The Knife of Never Letting Go) and I'm going through the fifth one right now (Unwind), so looks like for the first time in three years I'll actually complete one of my personal goals. I've also been itching to reread some of my old favorites (To Kill a Mockingbird, A Christmas Carol, Harry Potter), but the Fall season seems to be the season for rereads. So for now, this is my summer reading list.