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Sunday Salon: Summer Reading Shortlist

May 24, 2009

The Sunday Salon.comI don’t remember ever having an official summer reading list, except for before starting 9th grade Honors English we were supposed to have read Romeo and Juliet. I participated in library summer reading programs aplenty, but my district(s) never really went in for whole lists of assigned books.

In past years, however, I’ve made myself a de facto summer reading list by simple virtue of the fact that I have spent much of my summers in the woods, with only whatever books I crammed into a cardboard box at the beginning of the summer to keep me company.

So, because I am a creature of habit, I am making myself a summer reading list out of my TBR pile. (Although I won’t be putting them into a cardboard box, at least not until I have to move in August.) Some of these are ARCs that I’ve agreed to read and review, but most are some that I’ve been meaning and wanting to read for a while but just haven’t quite seemed to get around to it (and some are both!)


Angels of Destruction by Keith Donohue – While his The Stolen Child wasn’t perfect, it was very interesting, and I still find myself thinking about it almost three years later, which is more than I can say about most books. I’m looking forward to see what he’s done for his sophomore effort.

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson – New stand-alone fantasy from one of my favorite authors. Need I say more? (besides “Hooray!”)

Tomato Rhapsody: A Fable of Love, Lust & Forbidden Fruit by Adam Schell – This sounds a lot like Chocolat – hopefully it’s just as good.

The Wet Nurse’s Tale by Erica Eisdorfer – From reading the first page and the description, this looks like it’s going to be a good time.

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley – I know a lot of you have read this already… seems like Random House is going whole-hog on the pre-publication buzz creation, huh?

Series to finish

Temeraire: Throne of Jade, Black Powder War, and Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik – I re-read the first one recently in hopes of having it fresh in mind before reading the rest… and they’re still sitting on my shelf, untouched. That needs to be remedied! (I know there’s a fifth book that I’ll probably wind up reading too, but it’ll come from the library if/when I do.)

Modern Tales of Faerie: Tithe, Valiant, and Ironside by Holly Black – I actually read and reviewed Tithe a year ago, but all of the details have thoroughly fallen out of my mind already, so it’ll require a re-read before I can read the rest of the trilogy.

Demon Hunting Soccer Mom: Demons are Forever by Julie Kenner – I’ve read the first two, so I’d like to get this third one cleared off my shelf. This one also fits in the “Christmas presents I feel bad about not having read yet” category below… except this one is Christmas 2007. Whoops.

Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War by Clive Barker – The first book is reviewed here; I’d like to get to the second one before too much time passes, plus this is a hardcover that I’d rather not have to move, if possible.

Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch – I absolutely loved The Lies of Locke Lamora, and although I have heard that this one ends with a cliffhanger, and the next book is not yet published, I do not care. Must have more Locke.

Series to start (and finish)

The First Law: The Blade Itself, Before they are Hanged, and Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie- I always feel like summer is a good time for reading fatty-fat fantasy novels, and I’ve heard many, many good things about these. Besides, I think I might hold off on my Wheel of Time and A Song of Ice and Fire re-reads until ALL the books are out, or else I’m going to have to re-read them all AGAIN before each new book, and then I really wouldn’t have time to read anything else.

Midnighters: The Secret Hour, Touching Darkness, and Blue Noon by Scott Westerfeld – Another series that I’ve heard almost nothing but praise for. Westerfeld‘s books have been somewhat of a mixed bag for me in the past, but when he’s good, he’s really, really good.

Christmas presents I feel bad about not having read yet

The Vintner’s Luck by Elizabeth Knox – This had been on my wishlist *forever*, my parents finally found me a copy this year.

Original Wisdom: Stories of an Ancient Way of Knowing by Robert Wolff – Another one from my wishlist… plus it’s my current Go Review That Book! “assignment” at LibraryThing.

On Fire’s Wings by Christie Golden – A SantaThing pick.

Fifth Quarter by Tanya Huff – Another SantaThing pick.

Just ’cause

Ysabel and/or Last Light of the Sun by Guy Gavriel Kay – It’s been too long since I’ve read a new Kay; there’s no point in hoarding them unread.

The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror: Twelfth Annual Collection – I keep collecting new volumes of this without actually reading any of them; I’ve actually been occasionally browsing this one for a long time, but I’ve only got the yearly summaries and three of the stories read. Time to get cracking.

Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder – This one’s cover yells “READ ME!” every time I look at it, but it’s the start of a series, and given how many books I already have on my pile…
So… twenty-seven books in the next three months. Not too shabby. Am I going to get to all of these? Probably not. Are there going to be other books (from the library, new arrivals, etc.) read as well? Almost certainly. Still, this at least gives me a base to work from.

What say you, readers? Which of these should I push to the top of the stack? What’s on your reading plate for the summer?

19 Comments leave one →
  1. May 24, 2009 8:12 am

    So many books. I wish read faster and had more time. Enjoyed your post.

  2. May 24, 2009 8:50 am

    Well, I think you should put Temeraire at the top of your stack. :-) I adored the first one, and like you did, I’m planning to re-read it and then continue with the rest of the series this summer. I just read your “re-review” and I’m so glad to know it held up to a second reading.

  3. May 24, 2009 9:05 am

    I should do a post like this. I’ve also pulled a bunch of titles from my TBR stack for the summer.

    I’m afraid your reading list is well outside of my own so I cannot offer any advice. They do all look like terrific summer reading.

  4. May 24, 2009 9:08 am

    I think I’m in love with your summer reading list. So many good books! Kay! Lynch! Novik! Black! Sanderson!

    I’d go with WARBREAKER first, myself, since I’m really looking forward to it, but if I were you I’d probably tackle RED SEAS UNDER RED SKIES straight off. Even with the cliffhanger and a big of muddledness, it’s an awesome read.

  5. May 24, 2009 10:48 am

    What a great list! I bet you get most of them read, unless you get sidetracked by new books.

  6. May 24, 2009 10:53 am

    That is some list! I am green with envy!


    Here is my TSS post

  7. May 24, 2009 11:37 am

    I love your “Christmas presents I feel bad about not having read yet” category. I also have plenty of those, and unfortunately, they are not all from this past Christmas either. Shh!

    Don’t forget “Birthday presents I feel bad about not having read yet” as well :)

  8. May 24, 2009 3:11 pm

    I’d go with Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson! I can’t wait to read that book. I read a little bit when he was releasing it online but because I hate reading books on the computer didn’t get very far. I loved it though. I’m totally jealous of your ARC! ;)

    The rest of your list sounds amazing too. I love Guy Gavriel Kay, I really liked the Temeraire books, and I would love to read The First Law series. I also have to read my SantaThing books, they’re still sitting here begging to be at least tried!

    I hope you have a great reading summer!

  9. May 24, 2009 5:08 pm

    What a great pile of books! Maybe start with Angels of Destruction? I agree that The Stolen Child wasn’t perfect but Iit has stuck with me.
    Thanks for the intro to Sanderson, he’s new to me:)

  10. May 24, 2009 6:56 pm

    What a great idea, a summer reading list! I should probably do one, too. Looks like you’ll have a great reading summer.

  11. May 25, 2009 12:55 am

    The last time I had a summer reading list was the summer before 10th grade, when we had to read A Prayer for Owen Meany. That was my first John Irving book, and he became one of my fave authors.

    What I love about the idea of a summer reading list for adults is just that–the idea of making yourself read outside of your normal comfort zone and possibly discovering something great!

    Love this idea. I’m off to see if people like Nancy Pearl and Indiebound have put out summer reading lists now!

  12. May 25, 2009 12:40 pm

    susan – I don’t think there’s any of us who wouldn’t want more time for reading!

    Julie – The first one, at least, was a fairly quick read for me, so hopefully that’ll continue throughout the rest of the series. Enjoy your re-read!

    CB – I’ll look forward to seeing your list!

    Memory – Warbreaker‘s actually not here yet, but I’m going to be hard-pressed not to drop whatever I’m doing and dive straight in the second it arrives.

    bermudaonion – Which I almost certainly will. :)

    gautami – I’m sure you’ve got some books on your own list that I’d be envious of too!

    April – My birthday’s in March, so I figure I have at least until September to start feeling bad about not reading my birthday books.

    Megan – I can’t read books on my computer, either, so I haven’t read any of Warbreaker yet either.

    Gavin – It’s amazing how often The Stolen Child pops up in my thoughts, given how long ago I read it.

    Belle – Making the list helps me focus my attention on what I really want to read without getting so distracted by other books. Hopefully it’ll work for you too!

    Kelly – Well, since my reading list is pulling from my TBR pile, I probably won’t be discovering a whole lot of new stuff… but maybe I’ll find a new favorite or three. :)

  13. Shanra permalink
    May 25, 2009 5:18 pm

    I’ll go against the grain and suggest bumping The Vintner’s Luck up on your TBR. Also, you can read Valiant without having read Tithe because the characters from Tithe only have a cameo. But rereading it before Ironside is probably a good idea.

    But, really, bump up whichever book strikes you most. Fun list! ^-^ I’ll be curious about quite a few of those reviews (as there’s a fair bit of overlap with books on my TBR pile. Five, not counting books I’ve read.)

  14. May 26, 2009 1:20 pm

    I don’t have a summer reading list, I usually just grab about 10 random books I’ve never read, when we’re heading out to the cottage.

    I’d say the 12th Fantasy & Horror would be a good choice, lots of different stories so there’s bound to be some awesome stuff. I’ve got about 6 of these and haven’t read a full one yet :)

  15. May 26, 2009 5:52 pm

    That’s a lot of good books! I look forward to the reviews. A lot of them I should probably read sometime in this century, but that’s nothing new! Some I have read and enjoyed. It looks like a great summer of reading!

  16. May 27, 2009 9:57 am

    Shanra – Well, I normally like to keep things in order, so I’ll have to re-read Tithe first, just because it’s first. :)

    Joanne – I’d say your 10 books totally count as a de facto reading list.

    Kailana – Luckily, we’ve got a lot of the century yet to go. :)

  17. May 27, 2009 11:56 am

    I’m particularly interested in seeing how you like your ARCs, because I don’t have any of them and they all sound interesting.

  18. May 27, 2009 2:50 pm

    I read an ARC of Tithe before it came out but I never did get around to reading the rest of them! Really, really got to do that…


  1. Summertime and what do you want to read?

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