Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I'm Excited to Read this Summer!

"Top Ten Tuesdays" is a weekly countdown meme, hosted by the Broke and the Bookish!

I am not joking, when I say that whenever I'm down, or sad, or a little bit lost and lonely, I just think about all of the books left in this world that I have left to read, and I feel a lot better. So, suffering under a bit of June gloom - I miss my sorority sisters and Seattle castle home! - I now cheerfully record this list of books that I'm planning diving into within these next two and a half months, before I am reunited with my SigKap girls again!

The YA
1. Catherine, by April Lindner
Written by the same woman who expertly adapted one of my favorite novels of all time, Jane Eyre, to fit the modern model of YA lit in Jane (read my review here, from way back in 2010!), Catherine covers the life and love of a Manhattan-set Wuthering Heights. Everyone who has heard me rant about my least favorite books, knows of my disdain for that god-awful classic, but if there's anyone I trust to fix the story for a contemporary mindset, it's Lindner.

2. Gilt and Tarnish, by Katherine Longshore
Following the narration of fictionalized friends of Catherine Howard and Anne Boleyn, respectively, these novels detail the luxe lives of Henry VIII's better-off-not brides, and have stirred up some rave reviews in the process for their realism and glamour. Can't wait to read!

The Newbies
3. The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls, by Anton Disclafani
A debut novel garnering an incredible amount of attention, this novel promises one of my favorite historical periods (the Great Depression), one of my current favorite settings (the South), and three of my favorite plot points (scandal, heartbreak, and love), while telling the story of a young girl cast out of her home for the summer after a family tragedy, to spend her time at a horse camp for ladies. Besides, Entertainment Weekly told me to read it.

4. The Astronaut Wives Club, by Lilly Koppel
Also one that Entertainment Weekly has told me to read, but one that I had my sights set on anyways: describing the lives of the young women married to the Mercury Seven astronauts in the golden age of space travel euphoria, this nonfiction account goes behind the quick smiles and strong veneer of women whose families - and celebrity status - were dependent on men one million miles away.

The Non-Fics
5. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
I've been meaning to read this one for a while, honestly. I don't know what it is about summer, but there's just something so right in the mix of a slice of classic Americana and a tall glass of lemonade.

6. Walt Disney: the Triumph of the American Imagination, by Neal Gabler
Yet another that's been drawing my attention for a while, I started reading this book before last summer's trip to Disneyland, but I never got the chance to finish it. Here's my chance!

7. Odd Type Writers: From Joyce and Dickens to Wharton and Welty, the Obsessive Habits and Quirky Techniques of Great Authors, by Celia Blue Johnson
From the author of one of my favorite books-about-books, Dancing with Mrs. Dalloway (read my review here!), which follows the origins of some of the world's best-loved books, this new non-fiction compendium chronicles the strange quirks and habits of some of the world's best-loved writers.

The Wild Cards
8. Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov
I literally just had a discussion with someone about this book before school got out, and I just can't get the unnerving story of a relationship between an older man and his all-too-young lover girl out of my head.

9. Austenland, by Shannon Hale
The movie adaptation of this story of one lonely girl's attempt to find her own Mr. Darcy, by attending an Austen-immersion theme park weekend, is set to come out in September, and I want to read the book before it does! Besides, who doesn't understand the plight of this poor girl; I mean, really!

10. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert Pirsig
Cute story time: on my parents' first date, they ended up staying out until 3 a.m., in a Dennys restaurant, talking all about this book. Therefore, I feel it is some kind of duty to myself to read it as well. (Besides, a little positive love-juju never hurt anyone, right?) :)

There's the books I'm most looking forward to reading this summer! What do you think of my choices? Do you have any recommendations of your own?


  1. I have Ben Franklin on the shelf and will get to him someday. Lolita is well worth it, although the subject matter can make it difficult sometimes.

    I'm inspired to read the Walt Disney book! I bet that would be really interesting.

    For recommendations ... Check out Tana French's Dublin murder squad series. First book is In The Woods. They are all highly atmospheric. I think they're great.

    And for a fun read about books, bookstores, Google, and ancient mysteries (really) Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore was delightful.

  2. Ohhh Lolita! I've never actually read the book, but I heard about it last year when I read a memoir called Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi. It's a book that I do want to read one day. I love the fact that you included Benjamin Franklin's autobiography :). I hope you enjoy all of your books!

    Thank you for stopping by and commenting on my blog!

  3. I want to read Gilt and Tarnish--they look really good and interesting! Thanks for stopping by!

    Rachel @ Beauty and the Bookshelf

  4. Great list. Lolita is on my Classics Club list. I didn't know about The Old Type Writers. That I have to check out. Thanks!

  5. If you are going to read The Astronaut Wives Club, by Lilly Koppel, perhaps you should read a book I have been recommending to you for some time now first.

    Tom Wolfe's The Right Stuff is an excellent non-fiction read that would set the other up nicely.

  6. Great list! I totally forgot about Tarnish! I can't wait to read it!

    Thanks for stopping by. :)

  7. Wow such a diverse collection of books! Love it! I haven't personally read any of these, but have heard about them here and there. I look forward to seeing what you think of them!