Catherine Stine's IDEA CITY

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Too Many Books, Too Little Time-or the Summer Reading Race Starts Soon

I teach literature to freshmen college students, and we just finished our last novel of the semester, Dr. Faustus, by Christopher Marlowe. Before that, it was The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer. and before that... too many to mention.

I teach these books every year, but I have to at least skim them closely each time in prep, for after a 4 to 6 month hiatus, I get foggy over themes and plot elements. I love the characters that populate these books: the lusty Wife of Bath, the irreverent friars and crafty Mephostophilis, but these re-reads don’t leave me much time to devour other material.

Now, I’m suddenly free to read exactly what I please until next September. Happy Day! During the school year, I compile multiple novels on my kindle, and on my nightstand. I’m about 20 or 30 pages into at least ten things, and now I need to figure out which novel I’ll pile through first. HELLLLP!!! Here’s the list. (Interesting to see where I purchased the novels, and hey, a shout-out to the indie bookstores I frequent, and every other one in the country!):

Amanda Hocking’s eBook, Switched, from her Trylle trilogy (Bought on amazon)

The Demon Trapper’s Daughter Jana Oliver (Picked this up at my local B & N)

Dust by Arthur Slade (Bought online via Arthur’s blog)

Altar of Bones by Phillip Carter (A giveaway ARC at awesome indie Greenpoint, Brooklyn Bookstore WORD.

Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Cherie Priest (From Forbidden Planet, a great scifi and graphic novel bookstore in Manhattan)

Black Hole Sun by David Gill (From my local B & N)

Noodle Maker by Ma Jin (from ultra-cool Manhattan indie bookstore McNally-Jackson)

Faking It by Elisa Lorello (Bought on amazon, for my kindle)

A Thousand Years of Good Prayers by Yiyun Lee (Bought on amazon for my kindle)

On top of this, I’m looking forward to reading and critiquing a colleague’s 400-page first draft YA novel.

EEEPPP! What should I read first?

What’s on your summer reading list, and where did you buy your copies from? What’s on your kindle, your nook, your kobo reader, or your iPad? What’s on your night table? Your coffee table? Your kitchen table? What will you cart to the beach? And how many books do you think you’ll actually get through before September rolls around?


  1. I have more writing goals than reading goals for the summer. Trying to finish my first novel has been quite a chore.

  2. Boy, can I relate! On top of tackling that reading list, I aim to complete the draft of my YA WIP, and some illustrations to boot. Oh, and take some mini-vacations?!

  3. I'm also writing YA illustrations though. Make sure you keep me up to date! I'd love to follow your progress!

  4. Oh boy, I have way too much on my reading list. Mainly right now I'm reading various MG stories since my WIP is MG.

  5. Oh wow, my nightstand is groaning under the weight of so many books. Here's the most recent additions:
    Con & Conjure by Lisa Shearin
    Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton
    Blessed by Cynthia Leitich Smith
    Nevermore by Kelly Creagh
    Awaken by Katie Kacvinski
    Strings Attached by Judy Blundell
    Entwined by Heather Dixon
    and more...

    Many of these are ARCs, and I just haven't been able to get to them yet. Too many books, too little time!

  6. Yeah, PK, my WIP is a major determining factor in what I read. And Tabitha, I got a big chuckle out of picturing your poor old night table groaning. Interesting booklist, BTW.

  7. I bought 38 books this weekend and my friend loaned me ten or 20. I have no idea where I'll start. I guess with the sequel to the one I'm reading now.

  8. Paranormalcy - Kirsten White
    The Lost Saint - Bree Despain
    City of Glass- Cassandra Clare
    Evermore - Alyson Noel
    Ship Breaker - Paolo Bacigalupi
    The Lost Hero - Rocl Roprdan
    And others.
    I'm in no hurry because my writing takes priority.

  9. Beth! You're worse than me! And Beverley, your list made me realize that I have Ship Breaker and I have Paranormalcy on kindle.

  10. I'm not ready to take the eplunge...I purchased Leslie Marmon Silko's wonderful memoir, The Turquoise Ledge, in Santa Fe at the Collected Works Coffeehouse and Bookshop--a really fine story. It's a signed first edition. Try to replicate that on Kindle! (I know, it's only a matter of time.) But each paper book has a different feel, and the pages wrinkle slightly when I read in the tub, leaving a minor history. I'm going to go through her novels this summer!

  11. Oh, read the Hocking book! I'd love to know how it is, Catherine! Her story has inspired me beyond belief recently.
    I'm off to play in the garden. It's 80 degrees today and absolutely no humidity, which is a rarity for southeast Texas!
    I will post a "night table" list this eve. Toodles, and I enjoyed reading your post! Off to sign up to follow!:))

  12. Candy, you lucky duck, 80 degrees! I'm just hoping the petunias I planted on my humble deck won't freeze before the sun comes out again. Thanks for following.

  13. Hey Catherine
    Come on over to my blog and pick up your award of 'Versatile Blogger'!

  14. Google is such a booger! I typed this long reply out, and it vanished! I had my entire list of reads, and a list of things I did in the garden today. For some odd reason, my google account won't post my picture when I reply, and this time when I selected "post comment" it kicked me out.

    I won't retype the entire list, again, but first on my list of reads is, The Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. My sister in law has been bugging me to read it. She says it's the "best book" she's read in a long time. We'll see!

    (Oh, now I see it wants to show my picture, and let me post.)

  15. TG, thanks for the blog award. Wow! I'll jump over there in a minute.
    Candy, how annoying that your first reply vanished. It would've been cool to see your list. I'll check out the Harkness book.

  16. I am going to read "Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer.". Hahah, I wrote that one. I actually am going to spend the summer writing a new book and movie. Love this blog!!!

  17. So far I've got Lark and Termite and Queen of the South on my TBR list. More to come.