My Summer Reading List 2013


Summer Reading 2013 c Elissa Field

Summer Reading 2013 c Elissa Field

It took me a little while to feel inspired to post my Summer Reading List before June’s end. Am I not excited about reading? Sort of the opposite.

As I posted about in My Reading List: Winter 2013 and 2012: Year of the Book, the last year of reading has been so rich that it can be hard to be the next book in line. In the last month, I’ve started and put down half a dozen books.

Just as I thought I was being an irritable reader, Curtis Brown literary agent Jonny Geller tweeted this:

In that spirit, I’ve made it through my “rebound” books and here is list of the books I’m excited to be reading for summer.

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2013 Releases I am Curious About:

Another 2013 release worth noting (see My Reading List: Winter 2013 ) is Karen Russell’s Vampires in the Lemon Grove.

More Fiction:

  • Hilary Mantel, Bring Up the Bodies (2012). As mentioned in 2012 Year of the Book, Bring up the Bodies went on my list after winning the 2012 Man Booker Prize, making Mantel the only woman to have won it twice. Mantel writes rich historical fiction. While I’m really enjoying it, I would have preferred to have read her Wolf Hall first, as Wolf Hall takes on Henry VIII’s efforts to marry Anne Boleyn, and Bring Up the Bodies picks up where Wolf left off.
  • Colum McCann, Fishing the Sloe-Black River: Stories (1996). I love listening to interviews of McCann for his soft Dublin vowels and his ease with poetic intelligence. He also tops my list of writers I’d love to workshop with, and this collection is one of his books I’ve not yet read. McCann is best known for his award-winning, best-selling Let the Great World Spin, and on current bookstore displays for his summer 2013 release, Transatlantic.

Young Adult and Middle Grade Fiction:

These are titles I’m reading with my sons, my 5th or middle grade students, or just because I love YA & MG fiction. (For more, here is my Teacher’s Summer Reading List from my teaching blog.)

  • Jacqueline Davies, The Lemonade War (2007). This novel was assigned as summer reading for my son, rising to 4th grade, and I was glad for the chance to read it with him as I’d skimmed the book in interest several times before. In addition to a good story, I believe it includes some math connections. Will let you know.
  • Agatha Christie, And Then There Were None (1939). Right. It’s not “YA” fiction — but this mystery classic is listed here because I am re-reading it along with my rising-7th grader, as his assigned summer reading. Fun, since I read all of Christie’s books in middle and high school.
  • Lois Lowry, The Giver (1994). My rising-7th grader is giving me perfect excuse to finally read this popular, Newbery-winning novel about a young boy in a utopian society. I’d previously read her WWII Number the Stars.
  • Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time (1963). I look forward to rereading this long-time favorite by Madeleine L’Engle, which I included among 3 classics on students’ summer reading options (rising to 5th grade). I may reread another on the list: Scott O’Dell’s Island of the Blue Dolphins as well.
  • Nova Ren Suma, 17 & Gone (2013). I’m excited for this new release by author of Imaginary Girls.
  • William Goldman, The Princess Bride (1973). This nearly-cult classic — often best known for the film version out in 1987 — is the topic of conversation for the month of June among a great group of writers I chat with on Twitter (#wschat on Wednesdays). It is likely to become the summer’s first nighttime read-aloud with my boys.

Nonfiction – on writing craft and teaching:

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What Are You Reading?

I’d love to hear your own reading suggestions in the comments.  Let us know the favorite books you’ve read this year or ones on your must-reads list.  If this inspires you to blog your own list, share link to your post so we can come read with you.

Where do the book links take you?

For convenience, you can click book titles for their link at Amazon — or find them at your favorite indie bookseller through indiebound.org:

Shop Indie Bookstores

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “My Summer Reading List 2013

  1. Something must be in the air–I was putting books down too lately, lots of them, unable to finish most of what I started. I finally came to a horrible grinding halt in my writing and my reading and about a week ago I couldn’t stand it anymore. So I felt I needed to go back to what I love. Went to the bookshelf and asked myself “what do I love here? what more than anything else?” and I pulled a John Irving novel out and started reading it. Fell in love all over again, super motivated, for the first time in my life I’m not questioning my ability to write a novel (even though a week ago I had almost given up). So–summer reading list is: re-read everything Irving has written. So excited about it. Thank you, Mr. Irving.

    • elissa field

      Oh, that’s amazing, Jennifer! Thanks for sharing that. I’m a firm believer in not forcing yourself through books that aren’t satisfying, even if it’s just a current mood (I put lots of great books down this spring). Same with writing. I’ll push myself through hard times with writing (like revision this week), but there’s a different kind of hard — if you are doubting yourself, you do have to give yourself space from the writing, right? *Especially* when you’ve been in a program and analyzing work really closely. There has to be some breathing room to find the joy again. Glad you fell in love all over again! Thanks for commenting.

  2. I too want to read 17 & Gone, the new Gaiman, and re-read A Wrinkle in Time. (That book was magic for me as a kid, so I’m both nervous and excited to return to it.) And I too share your admiration of Colum McCann’s work!

    • elissa field

      We’re kindred reading-spirits, Laura Maylene! If you’re interested in Nova Ren Suma’s 17 & Gone, look for her blog (I can link you to it on Facebook) — she shares some great insights to her experience with writing, residencies, publication and promotion. The new Gaiman is great, by the way — I started it last night. He speaks to that place in memory where we all go when we think of childhood storytelling. Thanks for commenting. Oh, and I hope your current writing project is going well!

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