Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Summer Reads in the Making

Although school ended June 5th, I signed up for a workshop which prepares me for fall and pays me to be there, so I’m sticking it out until June 12. To celebrate my upcoming release into the almost endless days of summer, which for me involves LOTS of reading, I am finally sitting down to decide on my destinational course of action. I take my Reading Rainbow directive seriously “I can go anywhere. It’s in a book. Take a look…”

My room in its vacated student mode. I’m surprised the desks weren’t more in a tangle from students bolting out the door to summer’s beckoning…  
Here are some possibilities:

King Lear: I’ve watched at least two different dramatizations which were powerfully presented, one with Ian Holm. I even began reading Jane Smiley’s Thousand Acres, a modern retelling (didn’t get too far due to her plot restructuring). I’m drawn to this play, being fascinated by Shakespeare’s penchant for family dynamics and the fact he has three women instead of the usual one or two. It’s weird to realize that in Shakespeare’s day male actors having to project the wounds of a daughter, of trying to capture of how a woman would react to a father’s rejection is fascinating because women had to be portrayed by men. Then again, we also have men portraying women–did anyone really believe Dustin Hoffman was a woman? My choice of Lear is one of considerable contemplation. Basically I’m trying to determine if I can switch to Lear from Hamlet in my AP curriculm. Going from a son’s agony to a daughter’s makes for interesting analysis. Maybe I’ll do a comparison. Here I go again–working on my supposed two months off…

Of course Harper Lee’s Watchman is at the top of the list. I will request it at the library and figure my turn will come along in time for Christmas Break reading.

I plan to browse for some middle reads, revisit some friends from childhood such as Homer Price or Henry and Ribsy. I am open to suggestions for newer middle reads, especially series. I started reading Al Capone Does My a Shirts. It has promise to continue. A kid who lived on Alcatraz?

And I am game for trying out BIG name authors whom I have yet to make an acquaintance. Maybe Clive Cussler, or Janet Evanonich. I’m taking suggestions for commercially successful authors because I need to get out of my nineteenth century rut of classics reading. I think its healthy to read a book by someone who’s presently living.

Then there is my TBR. Time to blow dust off the list and begin whittling down the titles. 

And what will you be reading this summer?

Anyone try these out yet?

Boston Girl/Anita Diamant
The Remorseful Day/Dexter
Book Seller/Mark Pyor
The Art and Craft of Writing Historical Fiction/James Thorn
Tipping Point/Gallagher
Bird by Bird / Anne Lamott
Hidden Talents-David Lubar
Love, Nina/Nina Stibbe
Juliet’s Nurse/Lois Leveen

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7 thoughts on “Summer Reads in the Making

  1. I want to get to Stephen King’s new one. Just so many books begging for my attention. I’m reading ‘All the Light We Cannot See’ now. Wonderful book to add to your list. 🙂

  2. I find Clive Cussler a bit too simplistic for my tastes, I haven’t read any Dexter buit having watched quite a few of the Inspector Morse episodes I would say he is worth a read, The Remorseful Day is the last of the Morse books though so you may want to hold off on that one. I enjoy the works of Irene Nemirovsky who is not half as popular as she should be. Stephen King does some good books as well, he always writes bad guys one loves to hate.

  3. Am reading a few MG and early chapter right now. Am going to submit the first five pages of this type of book for the SCBWI LA conference at the end of July. Gotta see if I have any feel for the genre. Have too many other adult fiction titles on my plate to think about right now. There’s never enough time.

    I’m thinking Mike’s gonna love how orderly those desks look. He may get out his T-square to make sure they’re all parallel and equidistant from one another. 😀

  4. I like to read and enjoy the show Rizzoli and Isles which is written in books by Tess Geritsen. I liked all of Jane Austin and also, recently enjoyed the new film remake of Thomas Hardy’S book called “Far from the Madding Crowd.” I liked a new book with two lives featured in it by Tara Conklin called, “The House Girl.” There is a slave girl named Josephine and a lawyer working on the Reparation Act. It is a page turner! Our mutual friend, Luanne, likes the cat mystery books that I also enjoy. Lillian Braun Jackson writes in a unique way. I got to friends hooked on these. I saw your comments about dolls and I once had a Thumbelina doll which I would wind up and her head would move. She had a soft body and Mom and I used to get premature baby clothes for her. I wish I had kept her but I do have a nice old antique store I sold stuff to when I got divorced in 2006. Take care and hope this is not too long
    after you read it, feel free to edit away 🙂

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