Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: My Summer Reading List


Ah, summer reading. I love to think about long, lazy days reading by the lake or pool. Or maybe on the boat. Reality is a little different though and entire days devoted to reading are rare, indeed. I may manage a couple of them this summer, but an hour or two here and there is much more the norm.

As for the books themselves, I always prefer a mix. Literary fiction, classics, nonfiction, an "it" book, maybe a mystery or thriller, and always one or two just for fun.  So here is my summer reading list - today's version, anyway:


The Secret Life of Violet Grant by Beatriz Williams
Her previous novel, A Hundred Summers, is my favorite beach read ever.


The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante 
Neopolitan Novels, book 2... in progress


Neopolitan Novels, book 3


The Folded Clock : A Diary by Heidi Julavits
I have a library copy now, but may buy my own.


Framley Parsonage by Anthony Trollope
The July/August book for our #6Barsets project


I hope my library hold comes in before summer is over.


The Shore by Sara Taylor
Not sure whether I'll read or listen to this one



Purity by Jonathan Franzen
 A September 1 release, hope to read it Labor Day weekend


Enchanted August: A Novel by Brenda Bowen
I finished this one already... here's my review.


Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
(Pevear and Volokhonsky translation)
because I always have to have one "hard" classic on my list


And since I already finished one book on the list, here is my bonus selection:

The Fortune of the Rougons by Émile Zola (Les Rougon-Macquart #1)
I've read a couple, but really need to start at the beginning.


What books are on your summer reading list?
Find more Top Ten Tuesday posts here.



56 comments:

  1. A nice variety JoAnn---The SHore was good. I want to read--The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. happy reading

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    1. Diane - I keep going back and forth on The Shore, but it's on the list right now :)

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  2. I have the same image about summer reading too. But the reality is very different! Love your selection here - it's certainly very varied. I hope you do get to all of them. And yay for already finishing one.

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    1. Athira - I'll be pretty surprised if I do get to them all, but it sure is fun making the list!

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  3. Interesting list JoAnn. Thanks for sharing it. I recognize a few of these. I hope you have a great summer.

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    1. Pat - Thanks. I always love making lists... we'll see if I stick to it.

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  4. Love Beatriz Williams for summer! I'm about to start her June 23 release, Tiny Little Thing. And - I would recommend reading The Shore rather than listening to it. There are a lot of characters and small connections to keep track of and I think that would be much easier to do it in the hard copy version - and there is also a family tree.

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    1. Sarah - Beatriz Williams seems like the perfect summertime author! Will look forward to your thoughts on Tiny Little Thing. Have a feeling I may end up reading it this summer, too.

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  5. Nice mix of classics and current novels!

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  6. A great list! The Secret of Violet Grant looks good!

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    1. Monica - I'm hoping to start it by this weekend.

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  7. Very nice list. I have Beatriz Williams on my list for this summer as well. At least I hope to get started on her books. Have not read any of them yet.

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    1. Kay - Beatriz William's books just seem to scream summer. I think A Hundred Summers is the best beach read ever!

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  8. I have more Trollope envy. Every time I see one of the Barsetshire posts. I suppose I could just dive in now that summer has arrived... Always feel Zola more challenging then Dostoevsky. A little Ferrante is still on my TBR too but starting the summer with Georges Simenon titles - Maigret first then others. And appreciate that nod to tidying! Every summer I think I will change my domestic world! :) Happy reading!

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    1. Frances - I haven't read enough Dostoevsky to make a comparison with Zola... have just assumed D would be more challenging. C&P was my 'wishful thinking' addition to this list, but you've made me want to make it a reality!

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  9. I had that Kondo book on hold at two different libraries and was like #100 or something. A blogger was nice enough to send me her copy so I will be reading it soon. I guess when she was interviewed in The New Yorker her popularity grew quite a bit.

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    1. Ti - I missed The New Yorker interview... no wonder the hold list is so long!

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  10. Crime and Punishment for a summer read, you are brave! The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has been on my radar too. Also, Framley Parsonage is the book that inspired our year long Trollope reading last year because it inspired the book Tooth & Claw. Enjoy!

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    1. Melissa - This makes me even more excited to begin Framley Parsonage! There is already talk of reading The Palliser novels next year :)

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  11. Crime and Punishment doesn't seem like summer reading, but, in fact, I did read it in the summer, back in 1965...LOL. I called it my Russian Novel summer, as I read several.

    I am curious about Purity...and want to read Enchanted August.

    I didn't like The Shore...sorry.

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - I've always felt like I should attempt a challenging classic each summer (not sure where that came from)... C&P may be more of a wishful thinking addition ;-)

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  12. I want to read most of the books on your list! Hope you have lots of leisurely reading time over the summer.

    Thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Catherine - My fingers are crossed for lots of lazy days by the pool!

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  13. I read Crime and Punishment in high school and it's one of those rare books that actually stuck in my mind though I did not enjoy the reading experience! I'm looking forward to reading Enchanted August and The Secret Life of Violet Grant. I have the Magic Art of Tidying Up but it's in a pile hidden under the bed (there's some irony in that sentence) and I keep forgetting about it. You've got some interesting looking books on your list! Can't wait for the reviews!

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    1. Katherine - It seems like C&P is one of those books everyone has read except me, and I keep coming across references to the story in other books, too. Seems like one I should finally attempt!

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  14. I love reading on a boat- perfect way to relax, with the boat gently rocking. You're right though, doesn't happen nearly enough! The secret Life of Violet Grant looks like a very summery read.

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    1. Greg - The summer always fills up way too quickly. I'm thinking we should block off at least a couple of weekends for lounging at home by the lake!

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  15. I'd like to read Violet Grant, Folded Clock, and The Life Changing Magic this summer also. Nice, eclectic list and I hope you enjoy those you get a chance to read.

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    1. Rita - Summers are so short here and it seems we always try to fit everything in to July and August, so my fingers are crossed that I at least make a good dent in this list!

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  16. Violet Grant has been sitting on my shelf for way too long! She has another book coming soon too. I've got the Kondo book on hold too, but way down the list.

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    1. Nise' - I want to read her new book, too! I got Violet Grant for Mother's Day, so will start there. We'll see how long it takes us to reach the top of the library list for Kondo, lol!

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  17. Love your list...I kind of bounce around...I need books that stand up to the beach, lake and bay!

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    1. Patty - I definitely need a variety of books, too! Who knows what type of mood will strike ;-)

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  18. What a great list of books!

    As you know I am on Trollope kick. I found Framley Parsonage to be a great book.

    I like an eclectic reading list also. With me it is also very fluid.

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    1. Brian Joseph - I'm actually counting down the days until July 1. That's when we officially start reading Framley Parsonage!

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  19. Looks like you'll have a great summer with your reading list. I did put The Folded Clock on my list after you mentioned it. Thanks for that. Have a happy summer.

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    1. Margot - I still haven't gotten back to The Folded Clock, but definitely plan to. I doubt I'll be able to renew the library copy, but it is such a beautiful book... would love a copy on my shelf!

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  20. What a mix. I think there's some really interesting ones though bit daunted by the idea of Crime and Punishment as a summer read.

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    1. Emma - Not sure where the idea of one 'hard' read every summer is character building came from, but I seem to have embraced it ;-)

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  21. Great reading list JoAnn! I wish I had whole days to devote to reading but sadly do not. I've got quite a few of yours on my reading list as well like The Secret Liffe of Violet Grant -I've had the audio for ages. I'm listening to the Elena Ferrante books as per your recommendation (really enjoying the first one). I've got The Shore and Enchanted August on audio to get to but I need to make time to watch the movie before reading Enchanted August. I need some background - lol. Anyhow, lots of great picks so you'll for sure have a good summer in the reading department.

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    1. Darlene - I am loving Ferrante's books as a read/listen combo! So nice to be totally immersed in the story and I love Hillary Huber's narration. Hope to finish The Story of a New Name in the next day or two. I've heard recommendations both for and against the audio version of The Shore, so am thinking maybe that should be a combo, too. Will be starting Framley Parsonage around July 1. Looking forward to more Trollope already :)

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  22. Looks like some good reads. I am trying to see what is new and out there.

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    1. Sheila - You might enjoy Enchanted August now :)

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  23. Hope you enjoy the Beatriz Williams read. I have her new one and hope to read it next. Also I really enjoyed Crime & Punishment in high school. It's a great read as I recall.

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    1. Thecuecard - I think Beatriz Williams may be up next. We'll see...

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  24. Dostoevsky. I shudder just typing out that name. ;) Though Crime and Punishment is quite a bit shorter than Brothers Karamazov. Ha!

    I keep seeing Elena Ferrante everywhere! Funny because based on cover alone I would NOT pick up her books...but I'm curious to see what all the fuss is.

    Happy summer!! And YES! Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up! :)

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    1. Trish - Not sure I'll get to C&P, but I always feel like I should have something heavy on my summer list. Finished the second Ferrante book yesterday and immediately downloaded the third... so good! There is an incredibly long library list for Life-Changin Magic, but I just decided to see if the library I use in Florida has the ebook and they do. I'm next on the waiting list - hooray!

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  25. Every summer I think - lots of reading time by the pool or on the verandah - and every winter I think - lots of reading time curled up on my slippers with a cuppa reading.... But neither option ever seems to become my reality for very long!!

    But I do hope you have time to finish the Ferrante books so I can read your review/s!

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    1. Brona - My thinking is exactly the same!! I finished the second Ferrante book last night and immediately started the third -so, so good!

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  26. You've got a fabulous list...some light books...some dense reading. Love it!

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  27. What a list! I try to throw in some non-traditionals into my reading list, and my Italy project is doing that with your Elena Ferante recommendations. I loved Enchanted April so Enchanted August seems like a natural. I will get on the waiting list at the library.

    For me, summer means listening to The Girl on the Train, which I finally got two days ago and am hooked!

    BTW, I really enjoyed Framley Parsonage--nothing like a good Trollope for the summer.

    There is some movie in which the lead character is reading a long sad Russian novel by the pool--can't remember which movie, though I remember that scene. All I can say is, Crime and Punishment is NOT on my summer reading list!!!! :)

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    1. JaneGS - I hope you are enjoying Ferrante! Finished Book2 on Friday (even better than the first!), then immediately started Book 3. They are wonderful. I figure by the time I'm done, it will be time to return to Trollope...and I can't wait.

      The Girl on the Train hooked me early, too... really enjoyed it last winter while in Florida.

      Not sure I'll get to C&P this summer, but will try. Haven't read many of the Russians...

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