This summer I am not scheduled to take summer classes. I’m EXCITED about this. For one, my campus is in another state and driving there isn’t always my favorite thing. For two, I’ve been dying to dedicate some time to reading because I’ve been pumping out so much writing! The balance of being a writer, for me, has come in the medium of inspiration and application. I have to be inspired if I’m going to apply myself to writing. So, this reading list is a great way for me to find inspiration!
I’ll be starting this Reading list in May so that will give me a little time to finish the semester and get organized. This list has a little bit of everything. There are three novels, one book of short stories, and one book of poetry. There are male and female authors and a beautiful variety of ethnic backgrounds in each one. I wanted a mixture of books that really reflects the time we’re living in. I love all of my blog readers so if any of you want to read one or all of these books with me, let me know! I’m totally open to creating a space on here to open up dialogue about these books, their characters, themes, plots, etc. With that said, in NO particular order, here’s my Summer Reading List 2012!
|1. Crazy Love- Francis Chan
This book has been a popular book among the religious community and I had to put it on my list. Outside of the fact that it was $2 on Amazon (round of applause for Kindle prices) the reviews were amazing! A friend of mine is reading it with her congregation and they’re using it as a benchmark for Bible study discussion. Another friend of mine was reading it on her own. I’ll be reading it on my own but as usual, whatever powerful and life changing ideas I find I’ll be sure to blog and pass along.
|2. Leaving Atlanta- Tayari Jones
I’ve been a fan of Tayari Jones since she was in the spread of Poets and Writers magazine last year. She’s been an inspiration because she is an outstanding woman AND an outstanding writer. With that said, after I read Silver Sparrow last year I wanted to read another book she had written. Leaving Atlanta is Tayari Jones’ second novel and I’m so eager to read this! In large, this book is about child murders that were taking place in Atlanta in the 80’s. As terrifying as this idea seems I know that Tayari will make it digestible, intriguing, and and enlightening.
|3. We the Animals- Justin Torres
My graduate school program hosts a Summer’s Writers Week every year! In that week fabulous writers and poets come together to hold workshops, readings, and one on one sessions. This year, Justin Torres will be coming to represent the Fiction genre. Justin has received rave reviews from The Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, O Magazine (the Oprah Magazine) and more! I’m very excited to read this book about three brothers and their escapades through Brooklyn and their childhood.
|4. Unaccustomed Earth- Jhumpa Lahiri
This semester I was really turn on to short stories. My professor for Fiction Class would xerox copies of short stories by Alice Walker, Padgett Powell, and others to show us how words in a small quantity can force you to be more precise in character development and plot. For the first time, because of these readings and various exercises I feel like I have a real shot at being a fiction writer. (crazy, I know! I’m a poet at heart though!) Unaccustomed Earth is a book of short stories that deal with the construction of family over a span of different countries. Jhumpa has won the Pulitzer Prize for other books and this text is internationally a best seller. I’m so eager to see what she does with her short stories, I know I’ll be in for a real treat!
|5. The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry- Rita Dove
I make no secret of this: I love Rita Dove. Her style is what I’ve always wanted my poetry to be. I was thrilled when I found out that Rita Dove was the editor of this wonderful book of contemporary poetry. I am beyond excited to read this book from cover to cover. I read poetry much differently than I read fiction because it’s the genre I choose to write heavily in. I’m not sure if I’ll read this whole book this summer or if I’ll read the whole thing. We’ll see how long it takes me to digest each piece.