It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

Very few things make me happier than this: it’s June 1st and time to plan for summer reading.  In thinking back over past summers, it seems like each one has a story of its own and this year’s is to get lost in creativity.  We aren’t traveling anywhere big (though I did join zip car in order to have out-of-the-city adventures), I’m not taking any classes, and I don’t have any major projects to work on.  So, my plan is to spend my mornings and evenings running and:



This is a culmination of a school year spent thinking about the need for creativity in my life that isn’t job-related, and the growth and freedom of mind and that comes from getting lost in the creative process.  I actually started reading these books as soon as my spring graduate semester ended a few weeks ago and it is amazing how the authors’ ideas align with the same influences who inspired this summer journey: Anne Lamott, Over the Rhine, Brene BrownMary Oliver.  I’m also going to be diving into some essay and short story collections that have been sitting on my nightstand, patiently waiting to be read.

I get the afternoon doldrums after the pretty morning light is gone and before the golden hour begins, so I plan to fight them with my summer reading list.  It’s interesting to me that this is the only part of year where I make a specific reading plan–and making makes me incredibly happy.  I can only hope that you, too, are choosing which books will fill your summer as well.  (Look here for lists from years past if you want ideas or recommendations of books I’ve already read.) 

In the coming weeks I will be walking to my favorite independent bookstores to gather up the following titles, and encourage anyone to shop local if you are able to help keep these curators and lovers of great books doing what they do.  And, before I get to the list here are some favorites to check out if you’re in the area and want to experience reading inspiration at its finest (and I’m always looking for new ones to add if you have one in any of the boroughs, Hudson Valley, or Columbus, Ohio):

Brooklyn: Greenlight, Community Bookstore, BookCourt, and Powerhouse Arena 

Manhattan: McNally Jackson, Three Lives & Company, St. Marks Books, The Strand

Louisville: Carmichael’s

Summer Reading 2014: 

Fiction (curated from my iphone list of recommended books by kindred readers/books I’ve seen but didn’t buy because my nightstand was already full):

  • This is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett
  • Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore
  • Someone by Alice McDermott
  • The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner
  • A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

Revisiting Favorite Authors:

Mystery (because I love them):

  • Rage Against the Dying by Becky Masterman (because I’m on the lookout for a writer who reminds me of Tana French)
  • Charm School by Nelson Demille (because my mom, my brother, and every one of my aunts and uncles on my mom’s side read it and call it one of their favorite mysteries)

Kid narrators (because I teach amazing 13 year old readers and need more books to hand them):

  • Yonahlosee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani
  • How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky by Lydia Netzer


  • Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink (because it came highly recommended from my cousins)
  • Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo (because I have looked at it everytime I’m in a bookstore)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *