Ever since I was in high school, every summer I would create a list of the books I was looking forward to reading once I had free time and could read whatever I chose (instead of what was assigned to me). More recently, I’ve discovered that creating those lists on a month basis helps me to (most of the time) actually read what I plan on reading and not get too distracted by shiny new books (but let’s admit, we all get distracted by shiny new books…)
My reading has been a little touch and go lately. At the end of May I discovered that I was still reading the same books I had started the month reading, and hadn’t actually finished anything. Part of that is because May was a busy month for me and I didn’t get a lot of time to read. But I think part of that is also because I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump. I (like many readers) have a tendency to gravitate toward certain types of books. For me, it’s usually scifi/fantasy books and books that tend to be really dramatic and serious. So for this year’s summer reading list I decided to change things up a little and try something new.
When I first started thinking about my summer reading list and what I wanted to do differently my first thought was to try to be more intentional about reading more women writers. And then I thought about all my favorite authors: Tana French, Gillian Flynn, Jen Lancaster, J.K. Rowling … the majority of the authors I read and love on a regular basis – those whose books I look forward to being published – are women. Of my favorite authors I could only actually think of two men whom I consider favorites: Neil Gaiman and Jim Butcher.
That’s when I realized that while I read a lot of books written by women, I don’t read a lot of books about women. At least, not everyday women and their lives. I’ve always shied away from the “popular women’s fiction” thinking it wasn’t something I’d ever be interested in – I couldn’t care less what Shopaholic is up to now. However, when I thought about this habit (or lack of, as the case may be) in my reading and my desire to try to work a little bit more lighter, fun beach reading type books into my summer reading list, I came up with quite a few ideas on how to shape my summer reading list.
This list is definitely different from my previous summer reading lists, and contains several books that in the past I may not have even considered reading, but I’m looking forward to all of them. The list is a little ambitious, but we’ll see how well I do (I even have a few alternates if I seem to be reading ahead of schedule). And in my mildly OCD nature, I also grouped them by month in which I hope to have them read. (August is primarily ARCs in anticipation of ARC August).
- The Last Letter from Your Lover by JoJo Moyes
- Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
- Spring Fever by Mary Kay Andrews
- Britt-Marie was Here by Frederik Backman
- The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
- The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin
- The Map of True Places by Brunonia Barry
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
- Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
- Save the Date by Mary Kay Andrews
- The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
- Beach Music by Pat Conroy
- The Fifth Petal by Brunonia Barry
- The Widow by Fiona Barton
- I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
- Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris
- A Hundred Thousand Worlds by Bob Proehl
- The Wonder by Emma Donoghue
- The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight
So there is my overly-ambitious Summer Reading list, which is sure to be interrupted by book clubs, new releases, and who knows what else (I think I’ve managed to get through about half of last year’s summer reading though it took me all year to do it). What books are you planning to read this summer? Are you trying anything new?