The Summer of 2014 Reading List

book ecard

Way back when (aka Spring), I made a list. A reading list. I don’t know what got into me, because I never do that, but I did. I even posted the list on what I’m now calling my in-between blog (the blog I had in between Fizzy Thoughts and this one, a blog with 12 posts, 2 of which are now here).

Anyhoosie, so when I posted the list, I also posted why each book was on the list. It went something like this:

Summer* of 2014 Reading List

  • The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner – because see above. Above was this intro to the post: I never make a summer reading list. NEVER. Mostly because I hate to set myself up for failure. But good golly, Miss Molly, there are just so many books I want/need to read in the next few months, that I am going to do it. First, let’s deal with that troublesome little word…need. I really hate to force myself to read anything. In fact, usually I have no problem with abandoning a book. But I do get on these kicks occasionally where I want to read more classics. Maybe because I regret not majoring in English? God only knows why, really. Anyhoosie, the latest choice in this sometimes misguided quest is The Sound and the Fury. Which I’m pretty sure I started in April and which I honestly loathe. Yes, really, loathe. Because it reminds me of Ulysses, which was another misguided choice and an incredibly miserable reading experience (alleviated only slightly by my shared misery, since it was a (supremely bad choice for a) readalong). BUT. I am this close to finishing the damn book (The Sound and the Fury, in case I’ve lost you), so it is on the need to finish list.
  • Washington, Ron Chernow – because I started it in Washington DC (DC made me want to binge on presidential history), and I don’t want to leave it unfinished
  • We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Joy Fowler – because I’ve started it and don’t want it to go forgotten amid all the rest of this potential goodness
  • Boy, Snow, Bird, Helen Oyeyemi – because it’s sitting two feet away as I type and I’ve heard such good things
  • The Sparrow, Mary Doria Russell (audio) – for The Estella Project and because I’ve heard such good things. Seriously good things.
  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon – for The Estella Project and because it’s been on the shelf for years
  • Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel – because despite loving it, I stopped 1/2 way through and then a friend was raving about both Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies at lunch last weekend and I remembered the half-finished book and then she offered to loan me Bring Up the Bodies and well, that’s why. Am I a sucker?
  • Mr. Mercedes, Stephen King (audio) – because, hello? It’s King!
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee (audio) – because it’s To Kill a Mockingbird. On audio!
  • Pilgrim’s Wilderness, Tom Kizzia – because of Trisha. Also, sometimes it’s hard to resist madness.
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – because Maya Angelou. And Care.

So. That was the list. And I’m happy to report that except for Washington (which I am still reading, just occasionally and slowly), I have completed the list. That’s right, people. My Summer of 2014 Reading List was a success! I know, it shocked me, too.

Here’s a brief synopsis of how it all went:

  • The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner – Yuck. Yuck, yuck, yuck. So yuck, that when I moved I found another unread Faulkner on my shelves and promptly put it in the discard pile. Along with Joyce and Dostoevsky, Faulkner is now on my Never Again list.
  • Washington, Ron Chernow –as I mentioned, still in progress. I like the stuff about his personality. But the war parts? B-O-R-I-N-G. And I just happen to be at the part about the Revolutionary War.
  • We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Joy Fowler – I honestly don’t remember, which means it was neither good nor bad.
  • Boy, Snow, Bird, Helen Oyeyemi – Oyeyemi is very hit and miss with me. This one was more hit than miss, thank god. Also, I loved the cover…because I’m shallow like that.
  • The Sparrow, Mary Doria Russell (audio) – Loved it! I even posted about it! (Twice actually, since that’s the other post that seems to have jumped ship onto this blog.)
  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon – I posted about this one, too (good lord, I’m on a roll), even though it didn’t ring my bell.
  • Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel – To answer my earlier question, yes, I am a sucker. Because once I hit the halfway point, I remembered why I quit reading it the first time. This book was a fucking slog. And me with a history degree. Still, I’m going to read the sequel. In fact, it’s going on the as-yet-to-be-written Fall of 2014 Reading List. Did I mention I was a sucker?
  • Mr. Mercedes, Stephen King (audio) – Hello? It’s King! Do I need to say more?
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee (audio) – Ooh, another post I can link to!
  • Pilgrim’s Wilderness, Tom Kizzia – Hoo-wee. To quote my own self: “Papa Pilgrim was fucking whacked.”
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Meh. Yes, really…meh.

And now it’s time to start plotting the Fall list. Children of God will be on it. As well as Bring Up the Bodies, if for no other reason than I’ll finally be able to give Judith back her book. Probably Don Quixote, as incentive to finish that bad boy. And Drood, because Trish is doing a readalong. Otherwise, I’m open to suggestions (that was a not so subtle hint).



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4 responses to “The Summer of 2014 Reading List

  1. I’m impressed. I quit making reading lists because I never stuck to them. Way to go!


  2. Damn woman, way to put us to shame. Okay, I have no right right to use “us” but it sure sounds better to my brain than the more appropriate “me.” I didn’t actually make a summer reading list, so at least I didn’t fail at that–it’s just every other reading list I’ve ever made in all of my life.


  3. I’m inspired to make a fall reading list. Oh wait…Fall has already started. How dare it???


  4. Beth F

    Wow! Like Kathy, I usually fail to stick to my lists. I love Faulkner! Oh well.


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