Summer Reading

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Since Christmas, I had been setting aside my summer reading,I had purchased one tome and received two others for the holiday, giving me afoundation for my summer.


Whereas most people seem to prefer lighter, undemanding works for their summer pleasure, I knew that without lessons to plan and papers to grade, I could really dive deeply into some works I wouldn’t have time for otherwise.

Ever since Charles Vess told me about the work he was doing with Ursula K. Le Guin on The Complete Earthsea, I knew I wanted to read it. I had read the initial trilogy for my Fantasy Literature course freshman year of college but remembered none of it.

Then, there superlative reviews for Jill Lepore’s TheseTruths, her 900-page one-volume history of the Untied States piqued mycuriosity. And, I remain a sucker for just about everything Doris KearnsGoodwin writes so wanted to see what she had to say about Leadership.


Most days, I managed at least an hour for these works, recognizing the sheer volume of pages I committed myself to. But, once we added Harley to our lives, I was back on dog-walking duty which gave me time to listen to audiobooks and on my trip to see family in Georgia, I didn’t want to lug heavy books so opted to read others on the tablet.

So, with nine days to go before I officially report back to school, I find that I not only managed my goal but then some.

I began American Spy on audio just as the school yearended and I transitioned to summer mode3. The reviews hooked me and Deb really likedit so I settled in and found myself fascinated by the unfolding story andstrong narration.

Meantime, I began These Truths, pausing to fit in StarTrek: Available Light and The Last Days of the Café Leila while onthe road. The latter was a recommendation for the faculty book club otherwise,I probably would never have read this. I’m glad I did since it’s a moving storyabout family, life in Tehran since the revolution, and larger themes.


Then there came the very disappointing Normal People,which I had recommended to the faculty book club based on all the articles andreviews surrounding its release. Three of us read it and wondered what the fusswas all about so we agreed to replace it with Where the Crawdads Sing,another it book for 2019 (and one I will read this fall).

And as I wended my way around Earthsea and its rich history,I began listening to Children of Blood and Bone, a best-selling YA novelform 2018 that was all the rage. I liked it, but didn’t fall in love with itand have no compelling reason to read the subsequent volumes in the series.

So here I am feeling rather satiated with words and ideas. Thisfinal volume for the summer season, Goodwin’s meditation on the makings of goodleaders, rehashes much of her earlier work but laser focuses it on his presidentsfaced specific challenges and broke them down step by step, putting a freshspin on familiar material.


That makes seven books over the summer, totaling something just under 4000 pages, which I am rather pleased by, I am seriously hoping I will still be able to do some leisure reading during the school year now that two of my four courses covers work I have already prepped.

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