So here are the fifteen on my radar, in no particular order:
|Now to decide which one I should read first?!|
1. The Memory Keeper's Daughter, by Kim Edwards
This was the one book from my Winter 2014 post that I didn't finish, so it only seems right to carry it over here. It is on my TBR Pile Challenge, so I will get around to it, but I have a feeling it may end up toward the bottom of this summer reading list.
2. Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell
Between those who have read this book and/or saw the movie, I've heard it is rather complicated to follow at the start, but worth the effort! It is on my Chunkster Challenge, which is a plus. Also, I want to watch the movie with a good friend who goes through movies like I do books. (He has a movie blog, JoeMama's Movie Reviews. He owns thousands of movies...it takes us an hour to go through his cases to decide what to watch. We call him JoeFlix.)
3. Eleanor & Park, by Rainbow Rowell
A big title in YA recently that I want to put on my classroom shelf come September, so I thought I'd like to read it first. You know, while it is still clean and in one piece.
4. Me Before You, by JoJo Moyes
Another book with rave reviews, as well as an author who receives rave reviews herself. (Is there a better way to praise a book than say it had "rave reviews"?) This one and any of her other titles sound promising based on what the majority of people have to say about Moyes's storytelling and writing.
5. Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
There's gotta be a humdinger of a classic on the list, right? If I don't read it during the summer, I'm afraid I won't be able to give it the attention it needs during the busy school year. I made sure to do this with The Count of Monte Cristo last summer and it worked much better than when I read Les Mis (unabridged) three months into the school year the year
6. The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck.
Another classic, but one long overdue for me. I teach Steinbeck every year in American Literature, so I should probably be more familiar with one of his most culturally known works. Not to mention, the Great Depression/migrant worker theme will match up nicely with Of Mice and Men.
|The Uglies series have really creepy faces on the covers.|
Although I like them better than the newer covers,
I keep them covered up sitting in my room. Creepy.
7. Uglies series, by Scott Westefield
This is a series of four YA books I brought home from my classroom shelf for the summer: Uglies, Pretties, Specials, and Extras. The idea is that everyone is born ugly and has major cosmetic surgery at age 16 to make them pretty. The series has an obvious storyline, a problem with the surgeries, etc., but "the true thrust of the story is that individual freedoms are far more important than the need for uniformity and the elimination of personal will" (Wikipedia). The Big Brother vibe comes into play with this dystopian sci-fi, so I'm happy to see it's YA with a deeper meaning.
8. Matched trilogy, by Ally Condie
Also from my classroom shelf: Matched, Crossed, and Reached. At age 17, the dystopian society of Matched does just that...they are each matched up with a member of the opposite sex. Their lives are completely controlled by the government and so you know where this is going...yep, rebellion. Good old Katniss style, whose Hunger Games series came out two years before Matched. But that's okay, I'm getting the full timeline of rebellious female characters, since Tally in Uglies dates back to 2005, three years before Katniss.
9. Miss Peregrine's & Hollow City, by Ransom Riggs
Again, more rave reviews, which I thought, "okay, sure" and promptly handed my classroom copy off to a number of students to guinea pig it for me. I kid you not, every single one came back loving it. Still, I put it off. Hollow City came out and those same students begged me to get it. When I started seeing great reviews for it, I decided to buy it. When a senior wrote to tell me that handing him Miss Peregrine's the year before made him start reading again, I decided to bring them home to read for the summer. (See, my students do come in handy. I use them to guinea pig all the new YA material, so I can only read what seems most worth it!)
So there you have it...a most ambitious list that doesn't include books I've taken for review, or the three intriguing nonfiction e-books I purchased a week ago, or the other books on my TBR and Chunkster Challenges, or the nine other books sitting on my dresser haunting me nightly, or the bookshelves I pretend I don't see.
Oh dear Lord. Help me.