Summer reading lists

It’s Memorial Day Weekend, and apparently that generated some sort of bat-signal that prompted everyone to publish their “what to read this summer” lists. I’m not sure exactly how that makes sense. Maybe Memorial Day should be associated with lists of best books about wars and armed forces (fictional and real)? That might make more sense… hmm…. did anyone do that list? That sounds like a good list….

*goes to Google*

*returns frustrated*

I guess that’s not a thing. It should be a thing. Book people should get on this…

In the meantime… as for summer reading lists, I like reading these lists to see if they include any books I haven’t heard of yet and might want to read. But, it’s always a bummer when they contain all books that I’ve heard of, and ones that are getting a ton of press already. I like this list by Nancy Pearl (via NPR) because I haven’t heard of any of these books and at least two are definitely going on my wish list (The Swimmer, The Strangler Vine, and maybe The Revolutions). I also like this list by Book Riot which features a ton of diverse authors and genres. There are so many excellent books on this list. I already had several of these on my wish list and after reading this list I added at least four more. Book Riot, the very best at crushing my TBR pile.

Inspired by these lists, I decided to make my own summer reading list. For me, the thing that makes something an excellent candidate for a “summer reading” book is not so much that it is “light reading,” but that it has an element of “can’t put down-ness” that makes it perfect for reading when I don’t have other demands on my time. This element also means that my summer reading holds my attention when I may otherwise be distracted by all the crowds in airports and other public places — a definite must during the busy travel season.

Keeping this element in mind, I’ve been holding back some really fun books to read on my summer vacations. Here are a few books that I definitely plan to read this summer because I anticipate they will have that page-turning, can’t-wait-to-see-what-happens-next, stay-up-late-to-finish it appeal:

  1. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (contemporary fiction) — Yes, I am aware that this is not a new book and the sequel is already out. But, I was looking for fun books by diverse authors and stumbled onto this one. Bonus points for the library having an ebook copy I can borrow.
  2. All Mortal Flesh by Julia Spencer-Flemming (mystery) — This is the fifth book in a mystery series that is set in the Adirondacks. I found this series while doing a project for one of my UCBx literature classes, and since then I have made it a tradition to read at least one of these whenever I visit the Adirondacks for vacation. Since I’m going back this year, this one is definitely on my list.
  3. Reamde by Neal Stephenson (cyber-punk) — Again, not a new book, but one I’ve been meaning to get to for years. This was originally going to be my first Neal Stephenson book, but I ended up reading The Diamond Age on vacation last year instead. So, this is the year I’m finally going to read it. (Next year: Anathem).
  4. Scarlett and Cress by Marissa Meyer (YA, sci-fi) — I am psyched to get caught up on this series of sci-fi books modeled after classic fairy tales. I read Cinder last year and enjoyed it and have been saving these two for plane rides and/or vacation days.
  5. The Magicians by Lev Grossman (fantasy) — I am way late to the party here, but I plan to finally get around to starting this series that everyone says is like “Harry Potter for adults.” One bonus for waiting this long is that now I don’t have to wait to read the other two books in the trilogy!
  6. Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor (sci-fi) — The only new book on this list, this is scheduled to come out on 14 July. After reading and loving Contact and The Sparrow, I think I have a soft spot for “first contact” books. I also have been wanting to read something by this author for a while now. This seems like it may be just the ticket.

Of course, you never know what kind of book-mood you are going to be in. So, I have a list of other books on my Kindle that might make for good summer reading. If you’re on Goodreads, you can see my shelf of potential vacation reads here.

What’s on your list for this summer? Anything you think I should add?

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