My Summer Reading List

I haven’t had a great summer of reading since high school. I probably went through four library books a week. Those high school summer break days where I would sit in a plastic, reclining lawn chair, angled towards the sun, and read in the early afternoons before my dad came home from work were some of the best afternoons.

Then, I’d read inside on the couch until dinner time.

Then, I’d read in bed until like 2 in the morning.

Now that I’ve graduated from grad school, I thought I’d share my list of reads for this summer, the books I’ll eat and consume as part of my literary diet. I hope I read a lot more than this list, but if I don’t even make it through half of these, then that’s okay too.

I have a list probably weighted more heavily towards indie publishers than giant publishers, and I think I want to read more young adult books. I miss my YA reading days. And I think I want to read more creative nonfiction and poetry. I’m also finding that I’m shying away from short stories; I don’t think they’re my thing, you know? I only have a few collections of those in this list. And I want to read more Minnesota indie publisher books, too. And I want to practice writing reviews after each book.

That was a bunch of poorly connected reflection on my reading habits.

So, here it is. My summer reading list.

Summer 2017 Post-MFA Grad Student Reading List

  1. Crystal Eaters by Shane Jones (Two Dollar Radio) – I’m already reading it, and the density of magic is at a delightful level.
  2. Twenty Something by Katharine McLaughlin – Saved to my laptop and ready to go!
  3. Sunshine State: Essays by Sarah Gerard (Harper Perennial) – Finished. Will write a review soon. Have to practice my reviewing skills, so I can get free books in the future, you know?
  4. Blood and Guts in High School by Kathy Acker (Grove Press) – The title sold me. Two of my favorite writing topics for my own fiction.
  5. Where We Go When All We Were is Gone by Sequoia Nagamatsu (Black Lawrence Press) – I heard this was beautiful.
  6. The Winged Seed: A Remembrance by Li-Young Lee (BOA Editions Ltd.) – I read a chapter for my creative nonfiction class, and the writing is unbelievably beautiful. I want to read the whole thing.
  7. Wither by Lauren DeStefano (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers) – Recommended by a friend. YA with some dark subject matter. Sounds good to me.
  8. Pure by Julianna Baggott (Grand Central Publishing) – One of my professors talked about this book, and the way she described it made me put it on my list immediately after class. The book sounds gross and terrifying and lovely all at the same time.
  9. The Shining by Stephen King (Anchor) – This one and Sleeping Beauties. But The Shining has been on my list for a while. My husband and I visited the inspiration for the book while we were on our honeymoon in Colorado.
  10. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihari (Anchor) – I started it, but then thesis stuff happened. So I need to start over, but I hear it’s hard to put down after the first hundred pages.
  11. A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James (Riverhead Books) – Loved The Book of Night Women. I’ll probably love this one, too.
  12. Haints Stay by Colin Winnette (Two Dollar Radio) – Love the publisher.
  13. How to Get Into the Twin Palms by Karolina Waclawiak (Two Dollar Radio) – Love the publisher.
  14. The Babysitter at Rest by Jen George (Dorothy) – Pretty cool cover.
  15. Baby Geisha by Trinie Dalton (Two Dollar Radio) – Love the publisher.
  16. Cat is Art Spelled Wrong (Coffee House Press) – Cats.
  17. Marlena by Julie Buntin (Henry Holt and Co.) – Recommended by Sarah Gerard as a must read.
  18. The People Who Watched Her Pass By by Scott Bradfield (Two Dollar Radio) – Love the publisher.
  19. Suite for Barbara Loden by Nathalie Leger (Dorothy) – Testing out a new publisher.
  20. The Weight of Things by Marianne Fritz (Dorothy) – Also has a cool cover.

What books are on your list, or what would you recommend? Leave your note in the comments!


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