On Books, World Book Day, and Summer Reading Lists

April 23 was World Book Day, celebrating the hundreds of years and millions of books that we are today lucky enough to have the option to read. Whether ancient medieval manuscripts, shiny paperbacks, or electronic e-readers, books come in all shapes and sizes. Their content is a varied as the topics humans think about and—let’s admit—the quality can be quite varied as well. But books, in all their shapes and forms, seem to possess a magical quality that other media don’t.

I binge-watch TV shows like the rest of us, enjoy a good movie with a bowl of popcorn perhaps too often, and spend FAR too much time staring at a computer screen.

However, it is only on days when I delve into a new book that I lose track of the time and my surroundings. It is only a book that sucks me in like no other medium can. I close the last page, and look around discombobulated. Where am I? What century is this? When did it get dark outside? Are all questions I have to ask as I stretch cramping legs and head to the kitchen for a long-delayed meal.

As an author, I know I can (and should) always read more. So I have a new summer reading list, a list I am sure I will add to as the summer starts into full. Reading lists can turn into check-offs of books that you “should” read, but creating a reading list can also help broaden my scope of reading material, and make sure I get to books I sometime forget about.

On my reading list are recent books that have created a buzz in the last few years, others are decades old and I can’t believe I’ve never read. Still others just peaked my interest or were recommended by friends:

My Summer 2015 Reading List:

Some fiction…

  • The Round House by Louise Erdrich
  • The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
  • The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
  • and probably some works of less-than literary value that I’ll pick up along the way…

Some Non-fiction…

  • The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
  • Apocalyptic Planet by Craig Childs
  • At Home by Bill Bryson
  • A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush by Eric Newby
  • The Worst Hard Time by Timothy Egan
  • Junkyard Planet by Adam Minter
  • The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible by Scott McKnight

To help my writer craft…

  • The Art of Storytelling by John Walsh

And it’s always good to re-read a few good books as well:

  • A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne

I should add to that list a lot of books about Alaskan wildlife, plants, geology, and history, as I am moving back to Alaska for the summer. I’ll have plenty of daylight living in Alaska, so I hope to get through all these books and more!

What books are on your summer reading list? What books should I add to mine?

Happy reading!

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