There have been many insightful posts on Independent Ideas this year; I have learned so much from our colleagues at schools across North America. This is my last AISL blog post for a while; I’m heading off for a one year maternity leave (Hazzard#2 is due in late June), and before I leave I wanted to talk about something close to the hearts of many librarians…
What are YOU planning to read this summer?
Like so many of you, I am a voracious reader, and plan my summer reading from about mid-April onwards. I’ll share a couple of titles I’m planning to read this year below, and invite you to add your own recommendations in the comments section…
Far from the Tree by Andrew Solomon
I have read nothing but good reviews of this book. Solomon focuses on all our different types of children, from those with disabilities, to prodigies, to children of rape, to transgender children and on. When I picked up my copy at the bookstore, one of the blurbs on the back suggested it was ‘required reading for all parents and teachers’.
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
It won many prizes this year, and it’s about 800 pages long. Too heavy for my daily commute, but perfect summer reading. It’s a murder mystery, set in 19th century New Zealand, and everyone I know who has read it has loved it.
Anything by Jennifer Brown
On a fellow librarian’s recommendation I have just read Thousand Words by Jennifer Brown. It’s about a girl called Ashleigh who sends a naked selfie of herself to her boyfriend – and her boyfriend forwards it on, and those people forward it on… It’s about the implications of social media, privacy, consequences, teens, and is terrifying and compelling. I had never read anything by Brown before but am looking forward to devouring her backlist – up next: The Hate List.
Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen
I’m cheating here a little bit because I’ve actually just finished reading this book. It’s wonderful – a great memoir for teens. High school sophomore van Wagenen uses a 1950s guide to style and beauty throughout her eighth grade year to enhance her life. From embracing pearls to making a commitment to sit next to someone different at lunch time, this is a lovely look at the life of a girl who is just a little bit different (and a lot like the teen girls we know). The book is full of Maya’s tips, and even as adults, we would do well to live by these small tidbits of advice…
Archduke Franz Ferdinand Lives! A World without World War I by Richard Ned Lebow
I love alternate histories. One of my favourite novels is Fatherland by Robert Harris (set in Berlin in 1964 after a German World War II victory), and I just finished reading Dominion by C.J. Sansom (if Germany had won the Second World War from a British perspective). Lebow takes a look at how the world would be different if there had been no assassination, and no subsequent war in 1914.
Happy reading, all!