Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

The Guilt-Free Read

One of the first items of my “I’m-finally-on-summer-vacation” list is to trot down to the local library and leisurely select a few novels to enjoy without guilt. During the year I am either guilty of sneaking my reading in between grading essays or I feel guilt because I am not reading.  With no papers in sight for the next couple of months I shall enjoy reading at all hours of the day guilt free.

I tend to mix up my reading,  and although I don’t like to make lists, here are a few goals I plan on to accomplish while lounging in the hammock this summer:

1. Room with a View (a reread, the first time I read it too fast determining if I would teach it for AP–the verdict? A resounding “Yes!” The subtle humor and digs at Brits and their habits are delightful–the film caught the spirit well, also.)

2. A really good mystery series–I haven’t found one since I finished my Inspector Evans series by Rhys Bowens.  I’m picky though–no bedding, no swearing, no gratuitous violence–limiting, isn’t it?  Take it up as a challenge 🙂

3. Classics yet to read:  The Sound and the Fury; Middlemarch; Faust (really, I never have); some Dickens, more Shakespeare, and perhaps a Hemingway, and of course a revisit with Austen.

4. Look up current YA–I discovered Hunger Games before the masses did, and hope to find a new trend-setter.

5. Kid Lit: what’s going on in picture books these days, and it never hurts to look up old friends for an afternoon of revisiting.

I’m open to suggestions. Got a good read to recommend? My schedule is wide open until end of August.

image from

Billy Collins captures the guilt-free read so very well in his poem “Reading in a Hammock”. An excerpt:

Around the edges of the book
is the larger sky,
dotted with clouds,
and some overhanging branches
that appear to be slowly swaying
back and forth,
as if I were the one lying motionless…

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2 thoughts on “The Guilt-Free Read

  1. Elise on said:

    Don’t forget to share your ‘finds’ with your blog-readers! I have the new featured book for this year’s NIR which I can share as soon as I finish it. Have you heard about a book titled Juliet? Overhead a person raving about it and I was going place it on hold as soon as I can figure out the exact title and author. .. You can get in line in front of me if you act quickly!

    • Right now I’m revisiting old friends like Room with a View and My Antonia. I think I heard about Juliet–isn’t it about Romeo and Juliet? I read Ophelia last year which is Hamlet’s Ophelia.
      Got a mystery series as good as Evan in your book bag? 😉

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