If I had a dollar for every time some asked me what I’m reading (or if I can spot their kid a point or two to qualify for HOPE), I would almost be able to afford to buy all of the books that I want to read. In reality I usually answer the “what am I reading question” with “I’m reading essays” because if an English teacher is doing his or her job correctly, there’s not a lot of time for reading for fun. However, it’s sweet summertime in Georgia which means along with days at the pool, Braves baseball, grilled hot dogs, and Arnold Palmers, come pleasure reading. (The above picture is a real Wheat Thin cracker in the shape of Georgia that I came across during my summer reading).
Sharing my summer reading list is one of the most vulnerable things I’ve done on my blog because books people choose to read tell a lot about them. Some of you will think I don’t read enough Christian books; others will think I read too many Christian books. Some will judge me for reading books with cuss words in them; others will wonder why I don’t read more classic literature. As you see, this is really a bearing of my soul, but here goes:
David and Goliath (Gladwell) – I finished this book the first week after school and have wanted to read it for a while. I LOVE (yes, I’m yelling) Malcolm Gladwell even though this is not my favorite of his. This book forces the reader to think about why the perceived underdog often has advantages. I thought some of the chapters were very insightful and will probably go back and read them again. However, if you’ve never read a Gladwell book, read Outliers and What the Dog Saw before this one.
Firefly Lane (Hannah) – A friend gave me this true beach read which chronicles the friendship of two women across several decades. I flew through it and loved reading something strictly for fun. This book also made me think about friends I’ve had through the years and how valuable long term friendships are.
Seven (Hatmaker) – This has been on my list for a while, and I will finish it by the weekend. The book is a diary of an experiment the author conducted in an effort to eliminate excess in her life. Each month focuses on a different area (food, clothing, media, etc.) where the author drastically scales back and hopes to create more room for God, her family, friends, and herself. While the topic is serious, Jen Hatmaker is funny, and the book is both convicting and humorous. Scott and I constantly struggle with how much we have versus how little most people in the world have and wonder what an appropriate response should be. We hope this book will continue to challenge us in the struggle.
The Count of Monte Cristo (Dumas) – Shame on me being an English teacher and never reading this book. That will change this summer.
World War Z (Brooks) – I love dystopian lit and having zombies in it makes it even better. There, I said it. Judge away; I don’t care.
The AP Vertical Teams Guide for English (College Board) – Yes, I’m excited to read this and think about how to make NGHS’s English classes more vertically and horizontally aligned (Nerd Alert).
The Things They Carried (O’Brien) – I like to read one modern classic per year, and this is my pick. I’m hoping to add to my AP curriculum next year.
The Fault is in Our Stars (Green) – I have to appear somewhat cool on the first day of school when I talk about my summer reading. Again, judge if you want, but this is my pick. If I have leftover reading time, I may even read Divergent (gasp).
Don’t Waste Your Life (Piper) – I read this every year before school starts to remind myself that if I am only about commas and themes, I have wasted my life. This year will be about my tenth time through the book, and it will continue to speak to me.
That’s my list, and I’m sticking to it, at least until I go to Barnes and Noble next time when it may slightly change.
What are you reading this summer?