I'll See You In the Land of Books: Summer 2013 Reading List

20 May 2013

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”  —Jane Austen
The calendar pointedly informs me that it's still May, but with both my sophomore year of high school and my spring dance recital behind me, the season of summer has — in my mind, at least — officially begun. As if to herald its arrival, this morning I awoke to tangible streams of sunlight beaming through my bedroom window with all the joy and radiance of a June day come two weeks early. I'm currently at a very tenuous period of freedom in these next few weeks, as the arrival of June means a summer job, a family trip, teaching at dance camp, and many other fun but time-consuming tasks. (I'm also determined to get my license this year, which means enrolling in driver's ed, a tedious, though necessary occupation.) Since reading time this summer won't be as plentiful as it has been in the past, I'm determined to make the most of the leisure hours I do have, which brings me to the purpose of this post.

Last June I posted a list of the books I hoped to finish over the summer. It was a rather fun idea that came to me spontaneously, and it also helped to keep me both motivated and organized in the weeks that followed. My reading list did morph and shift several times, though, and not many of the titles on the original list were actually completed, as they were traded for other volumes. Though I expect something of the sort may happen again this year, that's no reason not to set down an organized record as a means of staying accountable with my literary goals over the summer.

Thus, I give you my incredibly ambitious book list.

C L A S S I C S

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

H I S T O R I C A L

John Adams by David McCullough
1776 by David McCullough (I really need to finish this one!)
Saratoga by Richard M. Ketchum
Victory at Yorktown by Richard M. Ketchum
Jane Austen and Her Times, 1775—1817 by Geraldine Edith Mitton

F A N T A S Y

The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Tales of Goldstone Wood [including Veiled Rose, Moonblood, Starflower, and Dragonwitch] by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

T H E O L O G I C A L

The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy Sayers
Letters to a Diminished Church by Dorothy Sayers
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton

what are you reading this summer?

8 epistles:

  1. Great list. Jane Eyre is well worth the read for the highly-christian values and purity of the heroine. One of my favorites. :)

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    1. I started Jane Eyre on a whim some time ago, but I never finished it. It drew my interest from the first page, though, so I'm excited to get back into it!

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  2. Looks like a challenging list! The Count of Monte Cristo, Jane Eyre, and The Lord of the Rings trilogy are among my favorite books. Mere Christianity is on my 'to read' shelf as well. =)

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    1. I don't think I could pick a favorite among these titles; the challenge will be deciding which ones to read and which ones to keep on the shelf until another time. I started Count last summer and have taken it up again, so I'm determined to complete it this year. We shall see how that goes . . .

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  3. What fun! I like seeing other people's reading lists. :) I've read three of the classics you mentioned (and they are some of the best!), but not Gone With the Wind. My friend and I just had a discussion about it the other day. I don't think I'd like it ... it would be interesting to hear what you think of it, though, if you do get around to reading it. Jane Austen and Her Times sounds fascinating! I haven't heard of it before, but I certainly enjoy that time period. I'll have to look into it. Mind of the Maker and Mere Christianity are on my to-read list! Right now I'm plowing through Don Quixote, and that will last me into the summer for sure. :)

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    1. Gone With the Wind is not set in stone, since I've heard mixed reviews for it from elders and peers alike. I'm not terribly fond of the famous film of the same name, but I've heard that Mitchell's prose is breathtaking, so I'm willing to try out the book this summer. If I read it, I'll be sure to post a review, and you can decide whether it's worth it or not. :)

      I look upon thee in awe for taking on Don Quixote. It's one of my elusive dreams to read it one day in its original Spanish, but then, it's also a dream of mine to read Les Mis in French, so only time will tell whether either comes to fruition.

      Thank you for commenting, Kelsey!

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  4. Lovely collection of to-read summer list, Elizabeth! I am especially excited for you about embarking on the journey of The Lord of the Rings as I mentioned on G+ :).

    I myself am really enjoying my reading list right now: Stevenson's Kidnapped, 'With Christ in the School of Prayer' by Andrew Murray, C.S. Lewis' autobiography of his journey to Christ, Surprised by Joy and as a bit of extra reading The Ballad of the White Horse by good ol' Chesterton. I know. ALL OF THESE, right? I am mostly focusing on Kidnapped just so you'd know ;).

    Happy reading, dear!

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  5. What a list! I know you will achieve well. All the titles sounds intriguing, and yet, I've not read anything from that list. Not one. :-)

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